Being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) can be overwhelming. As you process the news, one of the questions you may begin to ask is whether you can lead a normal life with this condition.
While symptoms affect each person differently, most people with MS can retain their quality of life, with some modifications. Here’s a closer look at what to expect.
An Overview of MS
The symptoms of MS can vary, but in general, many people experience fatigue, discomfort, and coordination challenges.
These symptoms can affect your daily functions. The types of symptoms you experience will depend on the type of MS you have. People with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) experience symptoms that can come and go for long periods. With primary or secondary progressive MS, symptoms intensify over time.
With that being said, most people with MS can expect to have the same lifespan as someone without the disease. Some may experience difficulty completing normal activities like walking and talking and will require assistive devices.
For others, it will be possible to continue doing these things independently. Factors such as the type of MS and treatments received will influence the trajectory of the condition.
Living with MS
MS is chronic, meaning there is currently no cure. Symptoms can range from mildly uncomfortable to more severe or debilitating. Common symptoms include blurred or double vision, tiredness, mood changes, difficulty thinking clearly, muscle weakness and spasms, and bladder and bowel problems.
Nonetheless, most people don’t experience all of these symptoms. The symptoms patients do experience depend on the location and severity of their nerve damage.
With that being said, there are medications available to help slow the disease’s progression and reduce the severity of symptoms, while also potentially reducing the number of flares in people with RRMS.
Patients are also searching for alternative options such as regenerative medicine, also known as stem cell therapy. This emerging treatment option helps manage symptoms and slow down or halt the condition but without the unfortunate side effects of conventional medicine options.
There are also lifestyle tactics that can help improve symptoms:
- Exercise or physical therapy can help promote overall health and maintain mobility.
- Follow a nutritional diet to avoid issues that could exacerbate symptoms, such as high blood pressure.
- Avoid or reduce alcohol intake, and quit or avoid smoking. These behaviors can impact the nervous system and intensify symptoms.
Additionally, monitor symptoms and relay any changes to your care team. Continue taking your medications as prescribed, and consider complementary therapies such as massage or physiotherapy, among others, to help control symptoms.
Treatments may include disease-modifying therapy, drugs to address specific symptoms, and steroids to reduce inflammation which can contribute to symptom severity
Fortunately, with comprehensive care, a strong support system, and an overall healthy lifestyle, living a long and fulfilling life with MS is almost always possible.
This post was written by a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. At Stemedix we provide access to Regenerative Medicine, also known as Stem Cell Therapy in Tampa. Regenerative medicine seeks to replace tissue or organs that have been damaged by disease, trauma, or congenital issues.