What Kind Of Disease Does Christina Applegate Have?
The emotional ceremony marked Christina Applegate’s return to the spotlight following her multiple sclerosis diagnosis, which she publicly revealed in August 2021.
- 1 What is the survival rate of MS?
- 2 What are subtle signs of MS Christina Applegate?
- 3 How long can you live with MS?
- 4 At what age does MS usually begin?
- 5 Can someone have MS and not know it?
- 6 What is most commonly mistaken for MS?
- 7 What are six symptoms of MS?
- 8 Can you get MS if no family history?
- 9 Is multiple sclerosis painful?
- 10 What triggers MS?
- 11 Can MS be stopped if caught early?
- 12 What is end stage MS like?
- 13 What are 3 early signs of MS?
What are usually the first signs of MS?
Here’s where MS (typically) starts – Although a number of MS symptoms can appear early on, two stand out as occurring more often than others:
Optic neuritis, or inflammation of the optic nerve, is usually the most common, Shoemaker says. You may experience eye pain, blurred vision and headache. It often occurs on one side and can eventually lead to partial or total vision loss. Spinal cord inflammation, or what’s called partial transverse myelitis, is the second most common symptom Shoemaker typically sees. “You may experience numbness, tingling, weakness in the arms and legs, bladder dysfunction and/or difficulty walking,” he explains.
Other early signs of MS include the following:
Bowel problems range from constipation due to reduced physical activity causing a reduction of food moving through the intestinal tract to diarrhea and incontinence related to neurological dysfunction. Depression Difficulty thinking Fatigue Pain, which may be acute or chronic, caused by the nerves that carry sensation “short circuiting.” Types of pain can include band-like pain around the chest, or MS hug, caused by spastic nerves along with other types of painful sensations in the neck, arms, legs and feet. Sexual problems, These may include changes in sexual function such as arousal and orgasm since arousal starts in the central nervous system and nerve pathways become damaged. MS may also create psychological factors such as mood changes and lower self-esteem that can affect sexual desire as well.
What is the survival rate of MS?
FAQs about MS prognosis and life expectancy Multiple sclerosis itself is not usually lethal, but it can increase the risk of long-term complications, such as infections or trouble swallowing, that can potentially shorten survival. On average, longevity is about five to 10 years shorter in people with MS.
What are subtle signs of MS Christina Applegate?
– According to the Multiple Sclerosis Society, MS “is a disease that impacts the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves, which make up the central nervous system and controls everything we do.” The exact cause is unknown. Something triggers the immune system to attack the central nervous system.
That can damage myelin, the protective layer insulating wire-like nerve fibers, and disrupt signals to and from the brain. This change can cause unpredictable symptoms such as numbness, tingling, mood changes, memory problems, pain, fatigue, blindness, and/or paralysis. Everyone’s experience with MS is different and these symptoms may be temporary or long-lasting.
MS is not directly inherited from one’s parents, but genetics can be a factor. Having a relative with MS can be a risk factor. There is no cure for MS, but symptoms are treatable with medication and stress management.
How long can you live with MS?
Many people with MS may live for 25 to 35 years or longer after their diagnosis.
At what age does MS usually begin?
What Is Multiple Sclerosis (MS)? – MS is an immune-mediated disease affecting the brain and spinal cord, also called the central nervous system (CNS). MS can appear at any age but most commonly manifests between the ages of 20 and 40. It affects women two to three times as often as men.
How long does MS take to disable you?
Disease Course of MS Is Unpredictable – About 5 to 10 percent of people diagnosed with MS have what’s known as benign multiple sclerosis, according to John Hopkins Medicine, A person with benign MS will have few symptoms or loss of ability after having MS for about 15 years, while most people with MS would be expected to have some degree of disability after that amount of time, particularly if their MS went untreated.
- The problem is, we have no way of identifying these people,” says Barbara Giesser, MD, a neurologist and MS specialist at the Pacific Neuroscience Institute in Santa Monica, California.
- We can’t tell at the outset if someone is going to have a very benign course or if their relapsing-remitting MS will move on to progressive MS.” While “ultimately, it’s up to the patient what they want to do,” Dr.
Giesser says, “most MS-ologists and neurologists would recommend starting treatment once you have a diagnosis.”
What are the 4 stages of MS?
Four disease courses have been identified in multiple sclerosis: clinically isolated syndrome (CIS), relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), primary progressive MS (PPMS) and secondary progressive MS (SPMS).
Can you live a long full life with MS?
If you have multiple sclerosis (MS), a question may lurk in the back of your mind: Will this disease take years off my life? The answer is a mixed bag, experts say. While it’s true that the average life expectancy is somewhat shorter for people with MS than for others who don’t have the condition, the gap has shrunk dramatically in recent years.
- And while better treatments appear to deserve much of the credit, there’s also plenty you can do to ensure that you live long and well.
- Over the years, researchers have consistently found that MS, which damages the coating that protects your nerves, can also shorten your lifespan.
- In a large 2015 study published in the journal Neurology, scientists compared 5,797 people who had MS with 28,807 people who didn’t but who did have things in common like age and location.
The study found that people with MS lived to be 75.9 years old, on average, compared to 83.4 years old for those without. That 7.5-year difference is similar to what other researchers have found recently. MS and its complications are the cause of death for about half the people diagnosed with the disease.
There are several types of MS, and the kind you have may be one thing that determines not only whether you die of MS-related causes, but how long you might live once you’re diagnosed. “It’s pretty clear that progressive MS is associated with increased mortality,” says neurologist Barry Hendin, MD, chief medical officer for the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America.
In primary progressive MS, which is the initial diagnosis in 10% to 15% of people with MS, symptoms don’t improve. They steadily get worse over time. By contrast, the 85% to 90% of people who get the form called relapsing-remitting MS have symptom-free periods of remission.
But more than half of these people eventually develop a progressive form, known as secondary progressive MS. Overall lifespan is similar in people with both forms of progressive MS. But people with primary progressive MS tend to be older when they learn they have the disease. “So for people with primary progressive MS, the period from diagnosis until death may be shorter,” Hendin says.
While 7 or 8 fewer years may leave you feeling shortchanged, that’s a striking improvement over a generation ago, when a someone with MS could expect to live 14 or 15 fewer years than others, Hendin says. What’s shrinking the longevity gap? A major factor has been the rise of new medications known collectively as disease-modifying therapies, or DMTs.
They slow the course of MS, says Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, MD, a professor of neurology at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo. The life-prolonging benefits of DMTs are well-established. An important 2012 study found that the first DMT introduced, interferon beta 1b ( Betaseron ), reduced MS patients’ risk of dying by 46% to 47%.
Because DMTs slow MS progression, starting them early on can help prevent potentially fatal damage to brain tissue, Weinstock-Guttman says. What’s more, DMTs prevent or delay the start of disability related to MS. That’s important, because disability can lead to immobility, which increases the risk for common infections that can prove fatal, like pneumonia, pressure ulcers, and urinary tract infections.
- This is especially a problem in older patients with significant disability,” Weinstock-Guttman says, adding that these people also have a higher risk of falls, which can be deadly, too.
- Disability in MS also contributes to early death because it prevents people from exercising, Hendin says.
- Lack of physical activity can lead to weight gain,
Extra pounds, along with lifestyle factors like smoking and poor diet, can worsen other deadly conditions common among people with MS, like heart disease and strokes. It isn’t clear why MS makes you more vulnerable to these killers, but high levels of chronic inflammation related to the disease may be to blame, Weinstock-Guttman says.
Unfortunately, some people with MS devote so much time and energy to managing the disease that they ignore these and other conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, says Julie Fiol, RN, director of MS information for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. “People with MS sometimes hyperfocus on the disease and may not pay enough attention to these other conditions,” Fiol says.
That isn’t surprising, she says, but it is cause for concern. “MS is a complex disease, and managing it can be a full-time job. But it’s ultimately going to benefit the person to manage their whole selves.” It’s key, Fiol says, for all MS patients to see a primary care doctor regularly, know whether they have other medical conditions, and get routine comprehensive health screenings for cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, and other disease risk factors.
Becoming disabled can also weaken chest muscles, which may lead to another major cause of death in MS: lung disease, “It’s really important to maintain the ability to take a good, deep breath. That will help prevent many different types of lung problems,” Fiol says. That makes getting plenty of physical activity crucial.
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society recently published new exercise guidelines that call for everyone with MS to exercise regularly, regardless of how disabled they are. Hendin believes there’s another thing shrinking the MS longevity gap: Doctors are paying greater attention to the role that other conditions play in their patients’ health.
- That includes mental health,
- Is there an increased incidence of suicide in MS? Yes,” Hendin says.
- But we are paying increasing attention to the role of depression and anxiety in MS.” Screening for and managing these and other common conditions that affect people with MS, along with early and aggressive treatment with DMTs, will continue to increase their longevity, Hendin says.
“My goal as a physician is to help you lead a normal or nearly normal lifespan,” he says. “So for me, it is a highly optimistic time.”
Can you have mild MS all your life?
Outlook – The outlook for benign MS isn’t clear. Some people who are diagnosed with it never go on to have a more serious disease progression, while others do. Remember, just because you have mild symptoms when you’re first diagnosed with MS doesn’t mean that they’ll stay that way.
Can someone have MS and not know it?
How long can MS go undiagnosed? – MS is usually diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, but it can go undetected for years. In fact, a 2021 study suggested that many people with MS experience disease symptoms several years before being officially diagnosed with the disease.
The symptoms of MS can vary considerably between patients, as well as over time, making the diagnosis difficult. Another factor contributing to delays is that other medical conditions need to be ruled out for a definitive MS diagnosis, and this process takes time. No single test is yet available to rule out or confirm MS.
Given that a misdiagnosis of MS could put a person at risk of receiving unnecessary treatment, healthcare professionals usually are careful, and meticulous in their assessments, before making a final diagnosis of the disease. The diagnosis of MS in people with unusual disease manifestations can be more challenging.
What is most commonly mistaken for MS?
These include fibromyalgia and vitamin B12 deficiency, muscular dystrophy (MD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease), migraine, hypo-thyroidism, hypertension, Beçhets, Arnold-Chiari deformity, and mitochondrial disorders, although your neurologist can usually rule them out quite easily.
What are six symptoms of MS?
Multiple sclerosis (MS) – common symptoms is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system that can affect the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. It can result in a range of symptoms and functional impairments. MS symptoms are varied and unpredictable, depending on which part of the central nervous system is affected, and to what degree.
levels of sensory function (such as or burning pain) (such as blurred or double vision) (such as urgency, frequency or difficulty in emptying the bladder) bowel function (such as or ) motor function (such as problems with weakness, balance, spasms or functioning of the legs and arms) (such as or ) cognition (such as problems with memory and information processing) (such as acute pain with a relapse or chronic with spasticity).
The symptoms of MS can be both visible and invisible to others. They can also be unpredictable and vary from person to person and from time to time. Symptoms can also interact with each other and other co-occurring conditions or diagnoses. The key goals in managing MS are to:
minimise relapses eliminate inflammation prevent new lesions slow down brain atrophy at all stages of the disease restore function minimise the impact of symptoms on your day-to-day life.
See your doctor or specialist MS healthcare team for investigation and diagnosis of any new symptoms, as some symptoms can be caused by other illnesses or may be indicative of a relapse. Watch this MS Australia animation about the invisible symptoms of MS.
Can you get MS if no family history?
Risk of developing MS In the general population in the UK, about 1 in 600 people has MS. MS is not considered hereditary. A hereditary condition is directly transmitted from parent to child or further generations, which is not the case in MS. One of the elements that combine to cause an individual to develop MS is a genetic susceptibility to the condition.
- More than 230 genes have been found that each increase the risk of developing MS to a small degree.
- None of them directly causes the condition itself and someone with MS will have a combination of many of these genes.
- As family members will share some of the same genes, this does mean that there is a higher risk of developing MS if there is already MS in the family.
However, there is no certainty that the particular combination of genes that make a person in one generation susceptible will occur in subsequent generations. Many people diagnosed with MS do not have a family history of the condition. Whilst the rate of MS within families suggests that there is a genetic factor involved in developing the condition, studies of identical twins show that genes are not the whole story.
Identical twins have exactly the same genetic make up as each other. If MS were solely dependent on genes, it would be expected that if one identical twin developed the condition, so would the other, which isn’t the case. Studies have shown that, whilst still small, the risk of developing multiple sclerosis is higher for people who already have someone with MS in their family.
An Australian study published in 2013 combined the results of 18 previous studies to get a better estimate of the risk of MS in family members. In families where one member was already diagnosed with MS, the risk was highest for more closely related members.
Identical twin – 1 in 5 Non-identical twin – 1 in 22 Other brothers or sisters – 1 in 37 Parent – 1 in 67 Child – 1 in 48 Relatives that were less closely related had a lower risk. The lifetime risk in the general population is about 1 in 330
The researchers calculated that genes contributed just over half (54%) of the risk factors. The remainder would probably be due to, In 2014, a study using health records dating back to the 1960s captured information on most people diagnosed with MS in Sweden.
- This found that the risks were lower than in previous studies.
- The risk of the brother or sister of someone with MS also developing the condition was about seven times higher than in the general population.
- Previous studies suggested this risk was about nine times higher.
- The risk for children of someone with MS was five times higher, rather than the previously reported seven times.
It is worth putting MS in context with other conditions.
1 in 3 people will develop some form of cancer 1 in 9 women will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives 1 in 9 men will develop prostate cancer 1 in 20 people over the age of 65 have dementia 1 in 22 people have chronic heart disease 1 in 33 people have diabetes 1 in 500 people have Parkinson’s Disease 1 in 520 people in England and Wales have a stroke each year
: Risk of developing MS
Can people with MS have kids?
Multiple sclerosis (also called MS) is an autoimmune disorder that affects the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord). Autoimmune disorders are health conditions that happen when antibodies attack healthy tissue by mistake. Antibodies are cells in the body that fight off infections.
- If you have MS, your body attacks the myelin sheath.
- This is a covering that protects your nerve cells, kind of like insulation around an electric wire.
- Damage to the myelin sheath slows down or stops messages between your brain and the rest of your body.
- This can cause mild to severe symptoms that affect your muscles, speech and vision.
MS is usually mild, but over time some people with MS can’t write, speak or walk. About 1 in 1,000 people in the United States has MS. Women are about 2 to 3 times more likely than men to have it. It’s usually diagnosed during childbearing years, between the ages of 20 and 40.
Muscle weakness, stiffness or cramps Tingling, numbness or pain in your body Tremor (shaking) in your arms or legs Loss of balance Problems walking or moving your arms or legs Speech problems Vision problems Fatigue (feeling tired all the time) Dizziness Bladder or bowel problems Thinking and memory problems Depression, This is a medical condition in which strong feelings of sadness last for a long time and interfere with your daily life. It needs treatment to get better.
These signs and symptoms can be mild or serious. If you have any of them, tell your health care provider. She may refer you to a neurologist. This is a doctor with special training in diseases of the nervous system. The nervous system is made up of your brain, spinal cord and nerves. Your nervous systems helps you move, think and feel. To check for MS, you may have these tests:
Physical exam Blood tests Tests to see how your nervous system works (also called evoked potential tests) A spinal tap. This is when your provider pushes a small needle into your lower back to remove a small amount of cerebrospinal fluid. Cerebrospinal fluid is found around your brain and spinal cord. You provider sends the fluid for testing at a lab. Imaging tests, like magnetic resonance imaging (also called MRI). MRI is a medical test that makes a detailed picture of the inside of your body. The test is painless and safe for you and your baby. MRI can show changes in the brain that are seen in MS, like abnormal tissue changes (also called lesions) and loss of brain tissue (also called atrophy).
MS can be hard to diagnose because there’s no specific test for it and the symptoms are different for each person. Some people have times when they’re feeling well (called remission) and times when new symptoms appear or old symptoms get worse (called flare-ups).
Your health care provider looks at all of your test results and health information together to know if you have MS. What problems can MS cause in pregnancy? Having MS doesn’t seem to affect getting pregnant. During pregnancy, many women find their MS symptoms stay the same or even get better, especially during the third trimester.
But if you have MS, you may be more likely than other women to have:
A small-for-gestational-age baby. This means a baby who is smaller than normal based on the number of weeks he’s been in the womb. Trouble pushing your baby out during labor and birth. This can happen if your MS symptoms affect your pelvic muscles and nerves. A cesarean birth (also called c-section). This is surgery in which your baby is born through a cut that your doctor makes in your belly and uterus. Experts aren’t sure why women with MS are more likely than other women to have a c-section. It may be because of muscle problems that may delay labor.
Women with MS may be more likely to have a flare in the first 3 to 6 months after giving birth. But researchers think that being pregnant doesn’t affect the overall course of MS later in life. How is MS treated? There’s no cure for MS, but medicines can help control the symptoms.
Many women don’t need medicines during pregnancy because their symptoms get better. If you have MS and are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant, talk with your health care provider about the medicines you take for MS. Some may not be safe to use during pregnancy or breastfeeding, For example, many people with MS take a medicine called beta interferon (Avonex®, Betaseron® and Rebif®).
This medicine can help lessen flares and slow down the spread of nerve damage and the course of MS, but it’s not safe to take during pregnancy. Beta interferon may increase the risk of miscarriage (when a baby dies in the womb before 20 weeks of pregnancy) and stillbirth (when a baby dies in the womb after 20 weeks of pregnancy).
Cancer-fighting medicines called immunosuppressives are sometimes used to treat MS, but they’re also not safe to use during pregnancy. Your provider can switch you to a safer medicine. Other therapies for MS are important, especially during pregnancy. For example, finding a support group for people with MS or talking to a counselor can be helpful.
A support group is a group of people who have the same kind of concerns. They meet together to try to help each other. Exercise or physical therapy also can help. Physical therapy is an exercise program created just for you to help improve your strength and movement.
- What causes MS? We don’t know what causes MS, but genes may play a role.
- Genes are parts of your body’s cells that store instructions for the way your body grows and works.
- Genes are passed from parents to children.
- About 15 in 100 (15 percent) people with MS have one or more family members with MS.
- People who have a family history of MS are more likely to have MS than people who don’t.
White people, especially whose families come from northern Europe, have the highest risk of having MS. People of Asian, African or Native American backgrounds have the lowest risk of having MS. Researchers are studying to see if viruses, infections or other health conditions may be linked to MS.
- For example, if you have type 1 diabetes or thyroid disease, you may be slightly more likely to have MS than people who don’t have these conditions.
- Your environment and lifestyle also may play a role in causing MS.
- For example, people who smoke are more likely to get MS than people who don’t.
- And MS is more common in people who don’t get enough sunlight or vitamin D.
For example, it’s more common in areas farther away from the equator where there’s less sunshine. Sunlight helps the body make vitamin D. More information
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Last reviewed: January, 2014
Is multiple sclerosis painful?
A lot of people with MS experience pain at some time. It varies from person to person and over time, but drug treatments and other therapies can help you cope. Pain can be associated with stiffness or spasms in muscles, or symptoms like Lhermitte’s sign, trigeminal neuralgia or optic neuritis.
What triggers MS?
Causes – The cause of multiple sclerosis is unknown. It’s considered an immune mediated disease in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues. In the case of MS, this immune system malfunction destroys the fatty substance that coats and protects nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord (myelin).
What are the first signs of MS in a woman?
What are usually the first signs and symptoms of MS? – There’s no typical pattern of MS symptoms that applies to everyone – people can have different symptoms at different times. The early signs and symptoms of MS can be the same for women and men. One of the more obvious first signs of MS is a problem with vision, known as optic neuritis.
This is often because it’s a more concrete symptom as opposed to vaguer neurological symptoms like numbness and tingling, You shouldn’t assume these symptoms are a sign of MS though – not everyone who experiences them will get an MS diagnosis. If you’ve searched for symptoms online or you know someone with MS, it may be at the front of your mind.
But many symptoms of MS can also be symptoms of other conditions.
Can MS be stopped if caught early?
Overview Many people find it challenging to decide when to begin treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS). Faced with few symptoms and the prospect of side effects from medication, many people choose to delay medical intervention. However, MS is a lifelong condition.
Starting treatment early can have a positive impact by potentially slowing the progression of the disease. Discuss the issue with your doctor to arrive at the best plan for your short-term and long-term well-being. It’s easier to understand why early intervention may help MS when you consider how MS affects the body.
Our nerves are vital for all parts of the body to communicate with the brain. These nerves are protected by a fatty substance called myelin. MS is characterized in part by the immune system’s attack on myelin. As the myelin degrades, the nerves are vulnerable to damage.
- Scarring, or lesions, can appear on the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerve.
- Over time, communication between the brain and the body breaks down.
- About 85 percent of people with MS have relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS),
- These individuals experience attacks of MS symptoms followed by a period of remission.
A 2009 study in the Journal of Managed Care Medicine estimated that for every MS attack that causes symptoms, 10 attacks happen below a person’s level of awareness. Disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) can reduce the severity and frequency of attacks. They do this by acting on the body’s immune system.
- In turn, these medications reduce the amount of neurological damage from MS.
- Several years after diagnosis, RRMS can turn into secondary progressive MS (SPMS), which doesn’t have periods of remission.
- DMTs aren’t effective against SPMS.
- For that reason, your doctor may recommend starting DMT treatment early, when these medications can have a notable effect.
Although potentially effective, DMTs come with side effects and risks. These can range from relatively mild flu-like symptoms and irritation at the injection site to a greater risk of cancer. It’s important to discuss these risks with your doctor to fully understand and weigh your options.
Left untreated, MS causes substantial disability in 80 to 90 percent of people after 20 to 25 years of the disease. Since diagnosis typically occurs between the ages of 20 and 50, many people have a lot of time left. It’s important to consider if making the most of that time means treating the disease and stopping its activity as early as possible.
Treatment options are limited for those with advanced or progressive MS. There are no DMTs approved for SPMS. Only one DMT, ocrelizumab (Ocrevus), is approved for primary progressive MS (PPMS). Moreover, there’s no medication that can repair the damage already caused by MS.
A 2017 article in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry noted that many people don’t have access to DMTs until several years after diagnosis. This group of people delays treatment, which has negative consequences for their brain health. If a person becomes disabled, it’s very challenging, or may even be impossible, for them to recover the abilities they’ve lost.
Starting treatment early generally provides the best chance at slowing the progression of MS. It reduces the inflammation and damage to the nerve cells that cause your disease to worsen. Early treatment with DMTs and other therapies for symptom management may also reduce pain and help you better manage your condition.
What happens if MS is left untreated?
The Importance of Staying With Your MS Treatment By Kathleen Costello, MS, as told to Rachel Reiff Ellis Drugs don’t work in people who don’t take them. It sounds over-simplified, but it’s true. And it’s not an MS-specific problem – it’s a challenge in any ongoing condition. The World Health Organization has estimated that only 50% of people with a persistent illness continue long-term therapy.
- This is related to hundreds of billions of dollars a year in additional health care costs.
- With MS, when you don’t stay with your treatment, there’s the chance that the disease will continue unchecked.
- That means your immune system can go on causing inflammation and damage in your central nervous system.
And “time is brain”: If there’s damage, it can be permanent – you may not get that function back. Research has shown over and over again that MS disease-modifying medications limit new clinical activity or relapses. They also slow progression and lessen the amount of new damage in the central nervous system.
- In short, not treating your condition can equal more disease activity.
- Studies show that the No.1 reason people with MS don’t keep up with their medication is that they simply forget to take it.
- There’s a lot going on in life that can impact your ability to stick with your treatment.
- In addition to remembering to take your medication, it’s important to believe that it will help you.
A number of recent studies have shown that this buy-in is key. When you believe it will be effective, it motivates you to stick to it. Other things that may affect your ability to stay on your medicine are side effects and cost. What’s the actual out-of-pocket amount? Is it too much to manage? Sometimes the expense of medication leads people to either ration theirs or not take it at all.
- You can also have difficulty when you don’t keep up with other types of MS treatment, such as physical or occupational therapy.
- These can help you get stronger and have better endurance, mobility, and flexibility.
- And regular physical activity can help support mental health and lessen fatigue.
- But without doing these things consistently, you won’t get all the benefits.
There have probably been more than 40,000 papers written on the topic of people following or not following their treatment plans. One thing we’ve found is that proactive follow-up from providers is helpful in getting people to start and continue it. Results are better when providers simply check in and ask questions like, “Are you missing any doses of your medication?” or “Are you having any side effects? If so, what are they?” It’s also important that you and your provider work together.
- Our job as providers is to explain and ensure that you understand the benefits of your medicine and any side effects and risks.
- At the same time, it’s important for us to understand what’s important to you and what your concerns may be.
- Then that information can be used to make a shared decision.
- When we have shared goals and a shared decision-making process, we have the best chance for success.
There are also practical things you can do to help you stay the course. Set reminders on your phone that tell you when it’s time for your medication. Engage loved ones to help you but not nag you. Have them check in to ask if you’ve taken it. If not, what they can do to help you remember? The best way to stick to your plan is to address these things before they happen.
Most importantly, take ownership of your health. Make sure you understand why your treatments are important. Don’t be afraid to voice your concerns before you get started. Putting you in the driver’s seat is probably the most important thing we can do as providers to help you maintain your therapy and manage your MS.
© 2021 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.
Photo Credits:Header Image: byryo / Getty ImagesInset Image: Kathleen CostelloSOURCES:Kathleen Costello, MS, ANP-BC, MSCN, associate vice-president, Healthcare Access for the National MS Society.World Health Organization: “Adherence To Long-term Therapies: Evidence for Action.”
: The Importance of Staying With Your MS Treatment
What is end stage MS like?
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease with no cure. It varies quite a bit from person to person, and not everyone with MS will progress to a severe course of disease. For some people, MS can lead to severe disabilities and life threatening complications.
This is called end-stage or final-stage MS. Read on to learn more about final-stage MS, plus some things you may want to consider earlier in MS progression. As MS progresses, you may see your symptoms increasing in severity, or you may find that you experience more symptoms at the same time. Symptoms may last longer or become permanent.
Some symptoms you may experience in final-stage MS include:
trouble with balance, coordination, and posturelimited mobility or paralysisblood clots and pressure sores due to lack of mobilitycramping, stiffness, muscle spasms, tremors pain in muscles, nerves, and joints severe bladder and bowel problemsbreathing problems due to weak respiratory musclesgetting respiratory infections like pneumonia more easilydifficulty swallowing, which can lead to choking and problems eatingspeech problemsvision losscognitive difficulties fatigue depression
What are 3 early signs of MS?
Early MS symptoms may include blurred vision, numbness, dizziness, muscle weakness, and coordination issues. MS is progressive and can worsen over time.
What is most commonly mistaken for MS?
These include fibromyalgia and vitamin B12 deficiency, muscular dystrophy (MD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease), migraine, hypo-thyroidism, hypertension, Beçhets, Arnold-Chiari deformity, and mitochondrial disorders, although your neurologist can usually rule them out quite easily.