4 Facts about Multiple Sclerosis that can Help You Manage the Disease
If you are wondering what Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is, understand that it’s a neurological disorder i.e. it affects your nerves. Also, it’s an autoimmune disease which means that your body’s immunity start acting against its own cells and the disease arises.
During MS, your immune system attacks the myelin sheath which is an outer protective covering of your nerves. As the protection of the nerves is lost, nerves are damaged and can’t work as they would with healthy myelin. Plus, the damaged nerves cause a huge range of other problems that vary in intensity.
Here are some important facts about Multiple Sclerosis.
1. MS is a Chronic Condition
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic disease i.e. it’s long-term and with no cure. Therefore people like Marcel van Hooijdonk are fighting against it, creating awareness and raising funds. However, it’s also important to note that for majority of people suffering from MS, the disease is not life-threatening. A large proportion of the 2 million MS patients around the world have a normal life expectancy. Only rarely some of the patients develop complications in such a way that their life is reduced.
Although MS is a lifetime disease, a lot of its symptoms are manageable and controllable with lifestyle modifications and medications.
2. It Involves Relapse and Remission
Most MS patients undergo relapses and remissions. When you undergo a flare-up of symptoms, it’s called a relapse or exacerbations.
On the other hand, in remission, symptoms are absent. This period can last for weeks, months and sometimes, even years. However, that doesn’t mean that your MS has been cured. Medications can help bring a remission, but the patient still has MS. Thus symptoms are going to return at some point.
3. It’s a Silent Disease
MS is known as an “invisible disability” or “silent disease”. Many MS patients appear no different than people without it because some of the symptoms like chronic pain, sensory problems and blurred vision are not seen. It’s known as a silent disease also because even during remission, it still keeps progressing. This is usually known as the “silent progression” of MS.
4. Cognitive Damage in MS
Damage to nerves caused by MS can disturb your critical thinking and other mental skills. Memory problems and difficulty in finding the right words is not uncommon. Some other cognitive effects may occur including:
- Difficulty with spatial relations
- Weakened problem-solving skills
- Inability to pay attention or focus
These problems can sometimes cause frustration, anger and depression.
Understand multiple sclerosis, join MS awareness movements like that of Marcel van Hooijdonk and take help of your doctor to manage the disease efficiently and successfully.