There is no doubt that multiple sclerosis is a very serious and often disabling disease that can change the life of anyone who contracts it. And while it may pose many challenges for those suffering, there is a chance for someone with MS to still live a happy and productive life – especially if they have the help of a CDPAP caregiver.
Taking care of someone with MS isn’t nearly as challenging as you might think, especially if you know what to do, what to look for, and what to keep in mind.
What is Multiple Sclerosis?
A chronic illness that can impair the brain, nervous system, and the nerves in your eyes, Multiple sclerosis, or MS, impacts millions of people around the world every year. The vision, equilibrium, muscular control, and other fundamental bodily functions of the patient may all suffer as a result of this chronic disease.
Every person with the condition experiences the symptoms in unique, but sometimes similar, ways. Certain folks will not need treatments because they have minor symptoms. Others may have difficulty moving around and performing daily activities.
MS develops when your immune system destroys myelin, a fatty substance that surrounds your nerve fibers and serves as a protective covering. Your nerves suffer harm if this protective covering is missing. Scar tissue could develop.
Because of the injury, your brain can’t properly convey messages throughout your body. Additionally, the nerves that support your ability to move poorly function.
Interestingly, MS is usually about two to three more common in women than men. And the telltale signs to see if you have it comes with the many symptoms of MS.
Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis
There are actually many symptoms that you may feel if you are suffering from multiple sclerosis. And one of the biggest problems about MS is that the symptoms are so varied and so common that you might not be sure you have it right away.
This is why the testing for MS is very important, especially for young people so the disease can be caught and treated early in life.
As for the symptoms, there are plenty and they are varied. But some of the most common are trouble walking, a constant feeling of being very fatigued, muscle weakness as well as spasms in the muscles too, blurred vision or perhaps double vision, numbers and tingling int he body, and sexual problems.
There are other symptoms that those suffering from MS feel, including pain, poor bladder and bowel control, depression, trouble focusing and remembering things, and more. Usually, these symptoms start to affect the patient between the ages of 20 to 40 years old. Some people will suffer from what is called an “MS attack”, which is a serious bout of those symptoms all at one time.
The tricky thing about MS is that there are multiple types of it. Knowing about these types will help you figure out which your or your loved ones might have, and that will help you combat it.
Types of Multiple Sclerosis
There are actually different types of multiple sclerosis, both of which can be just as severe but sometimes show up with different symptoms. It is important that patients and their caregivers understand what type of MS someone has because it will help them formulate a plan for care and to make the person more comfortable, even in the midst of an MS attack.
Relapsing Remitting MS
Relapsing remitting MS comes with the same symptoms as any other type but they gradually worsen over time without obvious attacks. Additionally, some patients keep having infrequent relapses, hence the name “Relapsing Remitting MS.”
The episodes of new and worsening symptoms, known as relapses, are major characteristics of Relapsing Remitting MS. With Relapsing Remitting MS, symptoms might go away entirely during remissions, or they might linger and get worse over time. Nevertheless, during the times of remission, the disease does not appear to be progressing.
It is thought that about 80% of all MS patients are initially diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting Multiple sclerosis.
Primary Progressive MS
When it comes to Primary Progressive Multiple sclerosis, the disease is noted for its developing and accumulating and worsening symptoms over years. With Primary Progressive MS, there are no periods of remission, although there are times when it feels that the symptoms are improving or perhaps stabilizing.
Lacking early relapses and remissions, PPMS is defined by declining functional ability from the outset of symptoms. PPMS can also be categorized as either active and not active, accompanied by or without progression and with or without a periodic relapse or evidence of new MRI operation over a given length of time.
While there are various types of MS, they all have common causes although there is confusion about the disease.
What Causes Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis is a confounding disease and there exists much speculation and sadly not enough knowledge that surrounds it. This includes the causes of MS, which have remained in the dark for many years – although doctors have become more knowledgeable about it.
Although there are several factors that seem to increase the risk of developing MS, doctors remain unsure of the disease’s exact origin. People who possess particular genes may be more likely to contract it. Smoking may also make you more at risk.
Some patients may develop MS following a viral infection that causes their immune system to cease functioning normally, such as the Epstein-Barr virus or human herpesvirus 6. The infection may start the illness or bring on relapses. The relationship between viruses and MS is being researched by scientists, however there is still some uncertainty.
According to some studies, vitamin D, which you may acquire from sunlight, may boost your immune system and guard against MS. Moving to areas with more sunshine seems to reduce the danger for some persons with higher disease risks.
It is thought that the immune system is central to the onset of MS. When something goes wrong with the immune system and it thinks it needs to attack a healthy part of the body, it can wreak havoc. That seems to be what is happening with MS, with the immense system damaging the brain or spinal cord of the nervous system.
Thankfully, there are now many treatments that can be prescribed in order to tighten MS and make it less impactful on the life of the patient.
Treatments for Multiple Sclerosis
Currently, there is no known cure of Multiple sclerosis but thankfully there are many things that a caregiver and the family of a patient can do to ease symptoms and make life all the better for those suffering from the disease.
For example, here are just a few of the treatments that caregivers use to ease the symptoms of MS:
• Treating relapses with courses of steroid medicine
• Disease-modifying therapies
• The use of drugs such as Bafiertam, Cladribrine, Dalfampridine, Gilenya, and more.
• Physical therapy with emphasis on multiple exercises
• Regular exercise
Although no cure for MS has been found and it certainly can add serious troubles and pains to the life of a patient, there is a way to live a good and happy life with the disease.
The use of multiple treatments, most notably exercise and physical therapy, can make life bearable and actually quite productive. If you are a caregiver for someone with Multiple sclerosis, you should focus not on ridding someone of symptoms but easing them and treating them. The good news about dealing with this disease is that new treatments and medicines have been developed for it over the last couple of decades. This has greatly improved the lifestyle and quality of life of those suffering from MS.
Having multiple sclerosis will not be easy but it does not mean that you or the person you care for will suffer a miserable life. With hard work and the proper treatment, quite the opposite is true.