Seven myths about multiple sclerosis (ms) debunked

Several medical myths have originated from worldwide and have unfortunately stood as a resource for judgment on opinions. Multiple sclerosis is not exempted from this issue, and the goal in this post is to debunk the myths. 

What is Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a dangerous and chronic disease that affects the brain and the spinal cord. It is a critical condition that causes neurological disabilities. It has a wide range of symptoms. In just 2016, MS affected an estimated population of about 2.2 million people.

Most experts say that MS is an autoimmune defect. In people with MS, the immune system attacks the protective sheath substance, myelin, covering the nerve fibers.  It attacks the communication between the brain and other parts of the body. Some symptoms include:

  • Vision problems.
  • Numbing or tingling.
  • Muscle spasms.
  • Fatigue or weakness.

These symptoms can attack any part of the body. However, an Anti-Myelin basic protein antibody is your best bet for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. 

Top seven MS myths

Below are nine myths about MS and the truth

9 myths about multiple sclerosis
Source

1. People with MS will eventually need a wheelchair.

This is a myth because several people with MS may never need to use a wheelchair. After being diagnosed with MS, only a few people need wheelchairs and canes to get around. Another note is that if your MS affects your mobility, you will need to consider using a wheelchair or cane.

2. People with MS cannot work.

This is a myth because people with MS are still a valuable part of the workforce. It is true that people with MS face challenges and may need to change career paths, but this is not the same with everyone. Those with MS can remain in the workforce like every other person. Having regular work can be good for people with MS.

3. Only older adults develop MS.

Most people believe that only older adults and seniors develop MS; this is a very common myth. Most people with MS experience their initial symptoms between 20 and 40 years. Although it can appear at any age, developing MS after the age of 50 is relatively rare.

4. People with MS should not exercise.

This is a very common but untrue myth about MS. Exercise can reduce symptoms and help with stability and strength. Most people with MS reduce physical activities because they are afraid it would worsen their condition, but this is wrong. Although it is very important to exercise to improve balance and strength, you must speak with a doctor first.

5. I don’t need medication if my symptoms are minor.

Recently, experts say even if your symptoms of MS are minor, it is important that you get medication and treatment. Although during the early stages of the condition, its symptoms may not cause problems, early treatment and long-term follow-up may slow the progression of the stages.

6. People with MS should never get pregnant.

Another myth is that MS can stop a person from getting pregnant and cause issues during pregnancy. This is not true because pregnancy is not a dangerous activity, not even when the mother has MS. With MS, you are not at more risk of miscarriages or abnormal births 

7. I have MS, so my kids will too.

This is a slightly untrue myth. Although there is a genetic part to MS, it does not pass from parent to child in a predictable way. According to studies, if one identical twin develops MS, there is a 20-40% chance the other twin will. In un-identical twins, the risk is 3-5%.

8. People with MS must avoid all forms of stress or anxiety.

Stress or anxiety indeed worsens the condition of MS. However, it is impossible to avoid stress completely. You cannot avoid all forms of stress, so what is recommended for MS patients is to reduce the intensity of their everyday activities to improve their health.

9. MS is always fatal.

Even though MS is a lifelong condition, it isn’t fatal. According to a study, MS reduces a person’s life span by seven years. As scientists keep developing new treatments, MS is likely to have an increasingly reduced effect on a person’s lifespan.

MS Organizations Dedicated to Research and Awareness
Source

Final words

Multiple sclerosis (ms) is a lifetime condition that affects the brain and spinal cord. If diagnosed with MS, it is important to clear away all the myths and face the facts about MS. Medicine has advanced greatly and the effect of MS on a person’s life span is gradually reducing.

By Hemant Kumar

I am a zealous writer who loves learning, redesigning the information, and sharing the original content in an innovative and embellish manner. I hope you will find my work beneficial and entertaining. Happy Reading!