Multiple sclerosis (or MS) is a chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system, which is made up of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. Symptoms may be mild, such as numbness in the limbs, or severe, such as paralysis or loss of vision. The progress, severity, and specific symptoms of MS are unpredictable and vary from one person to another. (National Multiple Sclerosis Society)
I have a friend named Linda who has a niece and husband with MS. The niece has severe symptoms that adversely affect her ability to her function normally in her daily life. Her husband: however, has a regular job, exercises frequently and participates in all his family activities. His symptoms seem to worsen if he is under too much stress and does not take care of himself - poor nutrition and lack of exercise. Both are on medication and both experience episodes or times when symptoms are more severe and can last days, weeks or months. Episodes alternate with periods of reduced or no symptoms or remissions.
No two people have exactly the same symptoms, and each person's symptoms can change or fluctuate over time. One person might experience only one or two of the possible symptoms while another person experiences many more. Fever, hot baths, sun exposure, and stress can trigger or worsen attacks.
The most common symptoms, according to the National MS Society, include:
- · Fatigue
- · Numbness
- · Walking, balance & coordination problems
- · Bladder dysfunction
- · Bowel dysfunction
- · Vision problems
- · Dizziness & vertigo
- · Sexual dysfunction
- · Pain
- · Cognitive dysfunction
- · Emotional Changes
- · Depression
- · Spasticity
Doctors and scientists are still not certain as to what causes MS. The most common thought is that a virus or gene defect, or both are to blame yet environmental factors may play a role. You are slightly more likely to get this condition if you have a family history of MS or live in a part of the world where MS is more common. (US National Library of Medicine)
Today, new treatments and advances in research are giving new hope to people affected by the disease. Most of these symptoms can be managed very effectively with medication, rehabilitation, and other management strategies. If you or someone you know has MS or any other ailment that requires assistance, contact SYNERGY HomeCare. SYNERGY HomeCare provides assistance with personal care services, housekeeping services and many more. We service most cities in North Orange County including Yorba Linda, Anaheim, Silverado and Santa Ana.