28667 postsback to top
Posted 11 months ago
We've all heard them...
Multiple sclerosis is often misunderstood, and for many people, the very name suggests things like permanent disability and visions of wheelchairs. But according to HealthCentral's MS expert Lisa Emrich, truth is that MS is a manageable disease, and a great many people with MS live active, fulfilling lives. In this slideshow, Lisa tackles some of the most common misconceptions regarding MS.
Myth #1: Multiple sclerosis is a fatal disease.
MS is generally not considered a fatal disease. Statistics show that most people with MS have a near normal life span. Most deaths associated with MS are due to complications in advanced, progressive stages of the disease. Early treatment is aimed to slow down the disease progression and help prevent those complications. That said, very severe cases of MS certainly can shorten a patient's life span.
Myth #2: Since there is no cure for MS, there are no treatments for MS.
Wrong! While it is true that there is no cure for MS, we do have treatments available to help manage the disease and the symptoms it causes. As of January 2010, there are six FDA-approved medications that have been shown to modify or slow down the underlying course of MS, and several oral drugs are awaiting FDA approval to be added to the disease-modifying arsenal.
Not true. Many people living with MS remain able to walk unassisted, while a smaller number need the help of a mobility aid. Only 25% of people with MS use a wheelchair or stay in bed because they are unable to walk, according to a survey completed before the new disease-modifying drugs became available.
Myth #4: Multiple sclerosis isn't a physically painful condition.
Myth #5: People diagnosed with MS should immediately go on disability.
There is no scientific evidence that the normal stress of working has any effect on MS. But symptoms, such as fatigue, can cause problems on the job and may need to be managed. Approximately 30% of people with MS are working full-time after 20 years. The National MS Society thinks that number could be higher, and works to change the attitudes of employers and employees alike.
Myth #6: People with multiple sclerosis shouldn’t have children.
Myth #7: Multiple sclerosis only affects white people.
It’s true that the prevalence of MS in the United States is higher in whites than in other racial groups, but that doesn't mean it affects only Caucasians. What's more, according to a study supported by the National MS Society, African Americans with the condition are more likely to experience a more aggressive course of disease.
Myth #8: Multiple sclerosis is caused by heavy metals, diet, or negative thinking.
Myth #9: Natural treatments are "safer" and more effective than prescription medication.
Controversy continues to rage about the value of alternative approaches to treating disease. Advocates of alternative medicine claim that conventional medicine is ignoring or suppressing treatments that can ease symptoms or even cure some diseases, while opponents want patients to stick to treatments proven to be both safe and effective. So far, no dietary claim has yet held up in scientific studies as a treatment for MS.
Not really. In fact, it can take years for an accurate diagnosis to be made. Symptoms caused by MS can be seen in many other diseases and conditions that must be eliminated before MS can be considered. The current diagnostic criteria makes it easier to make a definite diagnosis, but it still requires that evidence of demyelination is seen at two points in time and in different locations within the central nervous system. Reaching these findings can take time.
28667 postsback to top
| Posted 11 months ago
Every person with MS is unique. There are generally four recognized types of MS: a)relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS)`sc` b)secondary-progressive MS (SPMS)`sc` c) primary-progressive MS (PPMS)`sc` d) progressive-relapsing MS (PRMS).
Years ago people with MS were told incorrectly to stop exercising. Nowadays most experts agree that leading a healthy lifestyle including exercise is the best.
Medications are one way to treat MS symptoms, but there are other ways too, including physical and occupational therapy, yoga, tai chi, meditation, and complementary and alternative medicine approaches.