What Are the Symptoms of MS?
- Sexual problems – Especially erectile dysfunction in men.
- Pain – Including strange neuropathic sensations.
- Pins and needles and numbness.
- Sight problems – Including optic neuritis.
- Heat sensitivity – Worsening of symptoms in extreme heat or cold.
- Cognitive problems – Memory, concentration and word retrieval.
- Speech difficulties.
- Swallowing problems.
Luckily, we won’t suffer all these symptoms all the time, and in those with RRMS, a full recovery can be made after a flare-up or relapse in symptoms.
What MS Treatment Options Are Available?
The best treatment for those with RRMS are disease-modifying drugs or therapies (DMD/DMT’s), and it’s advised people start on these as soon as possible after diagnosis. These include injections and infusions as well as daily drugs, but sometimes the side effects seem to outweigh any benefits you may feel.
The research suggests, however, that being on DMT’s can reduce the number and severity of relapses and can prevent progression, so it’s worth trying different kinds till you find one that suits you. It’s also worth pointing out that different drugs and therapies are being developed all the time so if one doesn’t suit you, speak to your neurologist and try something else.
Unfortunately, DMT’s are only available when the MRI scan indicates disease activity, and if none is present and it’s decided you have SPMS, there are no treatments available.
Research is going on all the time though, and Stem Cell treatment could be the answer in future.
Beware of “miracle cures” on the internet where paying a fortune to travel to distance places promises dramatic results. There is little conclusive evidence for these treatments, and it’s far better to wait patiently for the real breakthroughs.
There are treatments for symptoms though such as medication for pain and bladder issues as well as physiotherapy and more holistic approaches.
Changes in lifestyle and diet can also ease fatigue and exercise can have a significant impact on mobility issues, but trial and error are necessary till you find what works for you.
I’ve started using CBD oil as there is some evidence that it can ease pain and spasticity. It’s also recommended that people with MS take vitamin D supplements and I’ve met MSers who swear by turmeric or evening primrose oil. As with all these types of treatments, there is little evidence of the benefits, but they won’t do you any harm, so they’re worth a try.
What Does an MS Prognosis Look Like?
Not everyone with MS will end up severely disabled and need a wheelchair. As we have seen, there are numerous symptoms associated with MS, but no two people with MS will be the same, and we won’t experience all the symptoms all the time.
My main symptoms are mobility issues and balance, but cognitively I’m doing well! I can’t walk well but I can read a book, write and I still work part-time in a job I love. I feel I lead as full a life as I can and although I need to rest frequently, and my disabilities make it harder to get out and about, I still make a contribution to life and can feel proud of myself.
Also, I think my attitude and outlook plays a considerable part, and as long as I stay positive things don’t seem so bad. There are worse things to have than MS.
What's Next With MS?
So, as you can see from this entire article, MS can be a complicated and devastating condition with many symptoms.
So now you know all about the condition what do we need you to take away? We MSers don’t want your pity. We don’t want you feeling sorry for us, but we may occasionally need your help, and we always need your understanding.
If we can’t make a social engagement, it’s probably fatigue stopping us rather than being rude. Although many of our symptoms are invisible, that doesn’t mean we’re not having a rubbish day, even if we’re still smiling.