MS Awareness Month: A Guide to Multiple Sclerosis
July 25, 2023
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic and often disabling neurological disease which, according to the MSIF, affects more than 2.8 million people worldwide. In recognition of the impact of MS on individuals, families, and communities, every March is dedicated to raising awareness about the condition. Let’s take this opportunity to learn more about MS, how it is diagnosed and treated, and how we can help raise awareness.
What Is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS). It occurs when the body’s own immune cells attack the myelin sheath that covers nerve cells in the CNS. This causes inflammation and damage to the myelin which can lead to impaired communication between different parts of the brain or between the brain and other organs in the body.
What Are The Symptoms Of Multiple Sclerosis?
The symptoms of MS can vary depending on which areas of the CNS are affected by myelin damage. Common symptoms include fatigue, vision problems, difficulty walking or balancing, muscle spasms, numbness or tingling in extremities, memory loss, cognitive impairment, depression or anxiety, bladder and bowel issues, and speech difficulties.
How Is Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosed?
MS is typically diagnosed through a combination of physical exams, medical history review, and imaging tests such as MRI scans or CT scans for ruling out other conditions with similar symptoms such as Lyme Disease or Lupus Erythematosus Systematica. Other tests such as lumbar puncture may also be administered to evaluate levels of certain proteins in cerebrospinal fluid which could indicate MS activity.
To keep track of your health, consider using Jonda to maintain a record of your health history and monitor your progress.
How Is Multiple Sclerosis Treated?
There is currently no cure for MS yet, but there are a few treatments available that are aimed at reducing symptoms and slowing the progression of disability due to relapsing forms of MS. These treatments include medications such as corticosteroids or interferons; physical therapy; occupational therapy; psychological counseling; assistive devices; surgery; diet changes; lifestyle modifications such as stress reduction techniques; acupuncture; yoga; massage therapy; hydrotherapy (hot/cold water baths); cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT); mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR); and relaxation techniques such as biofeedback or meditation.
How You Can Help Raise Awareness
Raising awareness about multiple sclerosis helps create understanding about this condition so that people living with it feel less alone in their journey towards managing its effects on their lives.
There are many ways you can help spread awareness about multiple sclerosis including talking openly about it with friends and family members who may not be aware of what it entails; joining local support groups to connect with those affected by this condition directly; volunteering your time with organizations dedicated to helping those living with MS manage their daily lives better through education programs or financial assistance programs; donating money to research initiatives aimed at finding better treatments for multiple sclerosis patients worldwide.
By taking these steps we can all make a positive difference in someone's life who has been touched by multiple sclerosis.
Do You Have Multiple Sclerosis?
Feature on Jonda’s Patient Voices (coming soon), and become an advocate for your medical condition. We believe that your experience and perspective can help raise awareness for other people who may be going through similar challenges.
If you feel comfortable sharing your story with us, we would be honored to feature your journey living with multiple sclerosis on our blog. Your unique journey can inspire and educate others, and bring attention to this important cause.