Living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

28 June 2023

Having MS does not define who you are, but it does affect your life.

Award-winning actress, Christina Applegate, has been candid following her MS diagnosis in 2021. She took to Twitter to update fans and followers: “It’s been a strange journey. But I have been so supported by people that I know who also have this condition. It’s been a tough road. But as we all know, the road keeps going. Unless some a—hole blocks it.”

Applegate has shared that there were some early warning signs and symptoms that she ignored, sharing in 2022, “I wish I had paid attention,” she said during a November 2022 conversation with the outlet. “But who was I to know?”

So, what is MS, and if you have been diagnosed with this de-myelinating disease, what can you do to live with it?

What is Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a potentially debilitating disease in which your body’s immune system eats away at the protective sheath (myelin) that covers your nerves. Imagine your nerves are the wires that carry signals and impulses to and from your brain. MS damages the protective insulation of these wires, causing shorts and confusion throughout your nervous system.

Multiple Sclerosis does not only cause neurological problems but can affect the cognitive ability of a sufferer.

It’s essential to:

  • Manage the symptoms in a way that works for you.
  • If you have been diagnosed, look into the drugs commonly used to treat MS, along with the complimentary therapies, such as reflexology or massage, that could enhance your general feeling of well-being.
  • Look at your lifestyle: eating well, sleeping well, and taking care of yourself physically and mentally are all very important.

What are the risk factors?

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) affects 2.5 million people worldwide.

  • Age – MS most commonly affects people aged between 20-40.
  • Gender – Women are twice as likely to develop MS than men.
  • Family history – If one of your parents or siblings has MS, you have a 1 to 3% chance of developing the disease.
  • Certain infections – Bacterial or viral infections can be triggers.
  • Other autoimmune diseases – You may be more likely to develop MS if you have thyroid disease, type 1 diabetes, or inflammatory bowel disease.

What are the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis?

  • Muscle weakness, stiffness, or spasms.
  • Difficulty in walking.
  • Numbness, tingling or prickling sensations.
  • Discomfort or pain in the eye.
  • Loss of vision in one or both eyes.
  • Bowel and bladder dysfunction.
  • Depression.
  • Mental changes, such as forgetfulness or difficulty concentrating.

Lifestyle changes and remedies:

  • Get plenty of rest. Fatigue is a common symptom of MS, so make sure you rest enough.
  • Exercise. Regular exercise may offer some benefits if you have mild to moderate Multiple Sclerosis. Physical activity will improve strength, muscle tone, balance, bladder, and bowel control and will combat fatigue and depression.
  • Cool down. MS Symptoms often worsen if your body temperature increases. Keep cool by staying in air-conditioned areas and drinking cold beverages.
  • Eat a balanced diet. This will help you to maintain a healthy weight, keep your immune system strong and maintain bone health.
  • Relieve stress. Stress may trigger or worsen Multiple Sclerosis symptoms. Activities such as yoga, tai chi, massage, or deep breathing are helpful.

Coping and support:

Unfortunately, MS has no cure, so any treatments offered can only help in improving the quality of life. Living with Multiple Sclerosis can place you on a rollercoaster of emotions. Here are some suggestions to help you cope:

  • Maintain normal daily activity as best you can. If MS impairs your ability to do the things you love, talk to your doctor about possible ways to get around these obstacles.
  • Stay connected to friends and family. Reach out to them if you need to talk and explain how you’re feeling.
  • Physical health affects mental health. A therapist may help you to put things in perspective.
  • Join a support group where you can share experiences and feelings with other people who have similar concerns.


DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.

You may also be interested in

Request a Call

Request a Call

I am:

Complete your contact information below.

By clicking the button below, you are giving consent to be contacted by an accredited healthcare sales representative/broker regarding medical scheme and other related products.

What can we help you with?

By clicking the button below, you are giving consent to be contacted by a representative of the Fedhealth customer services team.

What can we help you with?

By clicking the button below, you are giving consent to be contacted by a representative of the Fedhealth Broker sales/ support team.