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Women's Health

Mercy Women's Care at St. Anne
3404 W. Sylvania Avenue
Toledo, OH 43623
419-407-1616

Mercy Women's Care at St. Charles
Navarre Medical Plaza
2702 Navarre Avenue
Suite 101
Oregon, OH 43616
696-7900

Mercy Women's Care at St. V's
2213 Cherry Street
Toledo, OH 43608
419-251-4340

The Latest Developments in Multiple Sclerosis

separator Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is an autoimmune disease that attacks the brain and spinal cord. It generally occurs in episodes, or flare-ups, that eventually lead to disability. The level and type of disability varies greatly from person to person. MS can affect the legs, arms, bladder, sexual function, memory and awareness. It can cause depression and extreme exhaustion.

It’s also very unpredictable. Some people have long periods of time between episodes. Some people have episodes that are debilitating, while others are simply a little weak and off balance. For some people, MS varies from day to day. Some people describe it by saying that when you wake up in the morning, you never know which body you’re going to be in that day.

Early symptoms of MS
MS is often called a disease of young adults. The average age at diagnosis is 32.

Symptoms are different for everybody, but some of the more common ones include:

  • Trembling
  • Weakness or numbness in an arm or leg
  • Dizziness
  • Stumbling more than usual
  • Vision problems
  • Pain in the extremities

If you notice any symptoms, tell your doctor. A neurologist is the type of specialist you would see to find out whether your symptoms indicate that you have MS.

Medications are available
Even 10 years ago, there was very little that could be done to treat MS. Today, there are six primary MS medications. They’re given by injection, either under the skin or into the muscle or a vein. You and your doctor choose medications depending on your preference, what you can tolerate and how severe your disease is.

What helps people deal with MS?
There’s no indication that any of the following factors will change the course of your MS, but they can help you to handle what comes your way and to continue to experience life in a positive way, instead of in a way that focuses only on your disability.

Positive attitude: This is easy to say, of course, but it’s true. As a rule, a positive attitude helps people adjust to any chronic condition. Instead of believing that MS is the worst thing in the world, for example, a more positive way to view it is that MS still allows you to live your life, spend time with your loved ones, and, for many people, it allows you to continue to work and be productive.

Healthy diet: There’s no particular diet that’s “good for” MS beyond a typical healthy food plan with fruits, vegetables, protein, etc.

Physical exercise: Many people with MS can use exercise bikes, do yoga, walk, do floor exercises, etc. It’s important to keep your body active.

MS: a disease you live with
The good thing about MS is that it rarely causes death. Many many people learn to get used to their symptoms and to taking medications. It’s difficult to find out you have MS, but with the help of your doctor, your loved ones and, if you’re interested, an MS support group, there’s no reason why MS should stop you from having a meaningful, productive, even joyful life.

Important Resource:
If you have MS and you are having difficulty paying for your medication, visit HelpingPatients.org.  This organization can help you to find out whether there are any programs that would enable to you to qualify for assistance. Their phone number is 1-800-762-4636.

Source:
The National Multiple Sclerosis Foundation; The Montel Williams Foundation; HelpingPatients.org.



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