Each year, the beginning of March is the start of National MS Education and Awareness Month. At 180 Medical, we like to make sure to do what we can to raise awareness about this condition and support the millions who are affected by MS all across the world, including many of our customers, who depend on us for their catheter supplies.
Take some time to learn a little bit more about MS and find out what you can do to help raise awareness this month.
What is MS & Who is Affected?
MS (Multiple Sclerosis) is an “unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body.” (Source: National MS Society)
This can affect one’s optic nerves, spinal cord, brain, and nerves of the body in general, and the condition seems to attack the myelin sheath, the fatty protective material surrounding nerve axons that transmits impulses through the body).
Since over 2,500,000 people around the world live with MS, there’s a chance that someone you personally know is currently living with MS.
What are the symptoms of MS?
MS can present itself in a multitude of different ways in the body, so the symptoms are not the same for every single person living with this condition.
Early warning signs of MS may include:
- Vision changes
- Cognitive issues
- Sudden lack of coordination or difficulty walking
- Loss of balance
- Numbness or tingling
- Sudden or gradual weakness in your limbs
If you suspect you may have Multiple Sclerosis, see your doctor as soon as possible to begin the process of diagnosis, as some of these symptoms are attributable to other conditions. The first diagnosis usually occurs when one is between twenty to forty years old, but symptoms can appear earlier or later in life.
Other MS symptoms one may experience include:
- Coordination and balance issues
- Bladder dysfunction
- Mental fogginess
- For a more comprehensive list, visit the National MS Society’s MS symptoms page.
Raising Awareness About MS
A great way to connect with others and share information in order to help people understand more about this condition is through social media, so if you have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or another social media account, consider using it to help raise awareness.
One of the fun happenings that we here at 180 Medical love to participate in is the annual National MS Society Walk MS event with the local Central Oklahoma chapter. Find a walk near you, sign up, and even a group of friends or family together to have a great time while taking steps to find a cure.
Some other fun ideas might be having a day during March for you and your co-workers, fellow students, or family to wear orange as a way to promote awareness, or having a fundraiser like a bake sale or car wash to donate to one of the great foundations and organizations that are working toward a cure for Multiple Sclerosis or dedicated to supporting and helping those living with MS.
Life After an MS Diagnosis
If you or one of your close loved ones have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis by a qualified health care professional, please know that life is not over. There are many ways to manage your symptoms, including medication, changing your diet, getting better sleep, and getting regular exercise, all of which may help you feel your best. Support groups and connecting online with others living with MS in forums can be a big help. Sometimes just knowing someone else is living through and dealing with what you are can be a big relief and a way to feel less alone in your diagnosis.
This year, the National MS Society is launching Breakthrough MS, where those living with MS can share their personal stories, what inspires and keeps them going, and what their personal breakthrough with MS has been or one that they hope to achieve in the future. Learn more at wearestrongerthanMS.org.
At 180 Medical, we understand that there are some symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis that can feel embarrassing to discuss, like the inability to control your bladder, whether that’s incontinence, bladder retention, or a combination of those symptoms.
Talk to your doctor to find the right solution for your individual needs.
If intermittent catheterization is prescribed as a treatment plan, know that when you contact 180 Medical at 1-877-688-2729, you will speak to understanding, professional specialists who are ready to offer you a compassionate, listening ear and set you up on the best catheter supplies for your needs.