Multiple sclerosis; myths and facts

Multiple sclerosis; myths and facts

Multiple Sclerosis has a lot of false information out there. Today I felt like talking about the Myths vs the facts of MS.  I got this from Youdontknowjackaboutms.com.  My thoughts are written in red.

 

MYTH:
MOST PEOPLE WITH MS ARE DIAGNOSED AT AN ADVANCED AGE.
FACT:
Most people are diagnosed with MS between the ages of 20 and 50. Though less common, MS can also appear in young children and teens, as well as much older adults. I was diagnosed at the age of 26 years old. Even at that age they had to rule out stroke and had me stop taking birth control. They never actually told me I could start it again, that I was definitely NOT having a stroke. Luckily, I had my daughter a year and three months later. 

MYTH:
MS LEADS TO SEVERE DISABILITY FOR THE MAJORITY OF PATIENTS.
FACT:
Most people with MS do not become significantly disabled. In fact, two-thirds of people with MS remain able to walk. February 14, 2017 will be my 19 year with multiple sclerosis. I have issues walking, I won’t lie. However for the most part, I AM still on my feet 95% of the time, just with the help of a walker.

MYTH:
MS AFFECTS EVERYONE THE SAME.
FACT:
The nature of MS is that it is unpredictable, so different people may experience different symptoms and different levels of severity. Not even close. We may have similar symptoms, maybe even similar stories but severity, feeling and difficulties vary drastically. I could honestly say no two MS patients are exactly the same. Like I said, we have things in common we can relate to each other. Foot drop might cause one person to walk with extreme difficulty, but may not cause fatigue where my foot drop I walk better, but I get severe fatigue. No matter what the symptoms they are never felt EXACTLY the same in each patient.

MYTH:
THERE IS NOTHING THAT CAN BE DONE FOR MS.
FACT:
While MS is not currently curable, there are treatments available that can help. Everyone with MS should talk to their doctor to find a treatment that is right for them. I’ve been on a lot of the MS therapy drugs. I’m held well for the relapsing part of MS but not for the secondary part of MS. Right now secondary and primary progressive MS do not have any drugs to help stop progression of MS. 

MYTH:
MS IS CAUSED BY EXCESSIVE ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION, MERCURY FILLINGS, POOR DIET OR ASPARTAME.
FACT:
There is no evidence that any of these things cause MS. While the cause of MS remains unknown, scientists believe a combination of factors may be involved, including processes related to the immune system and genetic factors. I wrote a blog on this subject http://www.multipleexperiences.org/2016/10/09/mercury-poisoning-and-multiple-sclerosis-fact-or-myth/  I discussed this subject facts and myths at length 

MYTH:
MS NEVER CAUSES PAIN.
FACT:
It is common for people with MS to experience pain associated with their disease. In one study, 55 percent of patients had “clinically significant pain” at some time, and almost half (48 percent) were troubled by chronic pain. The good news is that most pain in MS is treatable. I’ve been very fortunate to not have too much pain with MS. What has caused pain was the spasms I used to get in my legs especially from driving to and from work in traffic. The constant back and forth on the brake and gas would cause shooting pains that would be unbearable. However baclofen and neurontin were taken hoping for relief. 

MYTH:
WOMEN WITH MS CAN’T OR SHOULDN’T HAVE CHILDREN.
FACT:
Several studies of large numbers of women have repeatedly shown that pregnancy, labor, delivery and the likelihood of fetal complications are no different in women who have MS than in women without the disease. In general, pregnancy does not appear to affect the long-term clinical course of MS. Women with MS who wish to have a family can usually do so successfully with the help of their neurologist and obstetrician. As I stated above, I got pregnant right after my diagnosis. They actually say that while pregnant the MS usually does very well for some reason. I, of course for safety of the fetus, had to come off any MS medicine I was taking and was absolutely fine during my pregnancy  there is a concern that after birth that the strain and stress put on the body can cause a relapse. I was fine giving birth as well.  I would like to mention I had a very sever first MS attack, my entire left side was just about numb, atrophied and useless and I was still fine. However I would also like to state they WOULD NOT give me an epidural because with the MS diagnosis they wouldn’t touch the spine.

MYTH:
PEOPLE WITH MS CAN’T WORK.
FACT:
People with MS often continue working, even years after diagnosis. I worked full time stopping just this past January. I stopped because I did progress and I’ve gotten worse both hands and feet. Fatigue was becoming to overwhelming for me to continue anymore. I’d push my body was past its limits and unfortunately I made myself sicker.  However I worked for 18 of my 19 years full time. 

MYTH:
MS IS A DEATH SENTENCE.
FACT:
MS is not a fatal disease, except in rare cases. People with MS can be expected to have a normal or near-normal life expectancy. Hello I’m here blogging still breathing

MYTH:
PEOPLE WITH MS SHOULD NOT EXERCISE.
FACT:
Not only is exercise essential to general health and well-being, but it is also helpful in managing many MS symptoms. Several studies have confirmed the benefits of exercise in MS for things like cardiovascular fitness, strength and improved bladder/bowel control. Any exercise program needs to be tailored to each individual patient’s needs and limitations. Just remember to talk to your doctor before you start any exercise routine. I exercise 6 days a week. I’ve had to accommodate exercising as I got worse over the years but I still move everyday even in a chair.  My doctor has told me it’s probably what has kept me on my feet all these years. It has kept me strong both mentally and physically. To me, exercising is MY time gets my head on straight. Keeps me focused and I feel like I’m doing something good for myself.

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