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Facts That Multiple Sclerosis Patients Need To Know

Apr 22, 2008
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, inflammatory disease that affects the central nervous system. It was first identified by a French neurologist, Dr. Jean-Martin Charcot, in 1868.

There is no cure, but there are a number of medications and lifestyle changes that multiple sclerosis patients and their families can use to make the disease more manageable. In this article, we'll examine the known facts about the disease and MS treatment options.

The disease multiple sclerosis attacks the protective covering of the brain and spinal cord, causing inflammation and often damaging the myelin in patches. Multiple sclerosis symptoms vary greatly from person to person and can include vision disturbances, extreme fatigue, loss of balance, problems with coordination, stiffness of muscles, speech problems, bladder and bowel problems, short-term memory problems, and even partial or complete paralysis.

Multiple sclerosis treatment can minimize the impact of these symptoms and allow patients and their family to live a relatively normal life. MS treatment can have some side effects, so you should notify your doctor immediately if you experience an adverse reaction to your medication.

The bathroom can present challenges to multiple sclerosis patients. MS sufferers should not lock the door or shower when no one else is home, but there are safety measures that you can put into place to make using the facilities easier.

To avoid falls, hand rails should be installed by the toilet and bathtub. Showering is safer for MS patients than bathing. Run the water before you get into the tub to avoid getting burned, place a slide proof mat on the floor of the tub, and take your shower sitting down. Keep pillows and bottles in a place where they can't block the drain.

The kitchen can also be a minefield for MS sufferers. You should cook using a microwave to avoid burns and fires. If you do use a stove, then select a model with controls located at the front, use the back burners whenever possible, and use a stove guard which fits around the side or front of the stove.

It's a good idea to buy a kettle with an automatic switch-off. You should also avoid using appliances such as an electric egg beater and electric carving knives. When loading a dishwasher, point blades and other sharp objects downward. Keep regularly used household items such as utensils and towels where they can be easily reached.

The combination of medication, therapy and counseling has proven to be extremely useful to multiple sclerosis patients. Living with multiple sclerosis means that you have to take the appropriate home safety measures.

Taking these little steps will make living with MS easier for both you and your family. With ongoing MS research, hopefully one day soon there will be a cure for multiple sclerosis. For more information, contact the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
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