March is National MS Awareness Month. Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is estimated to affect more than 2.3 million people worldwide, and it is one of the leading causes of catheter use. In fact, many individuals who suffer from MS report that one of the first symptoms they experienced was incontinence. National MS Awareness Month was created to put MS in the spotlight so that more people around the world can be aware of how it affects those currently living with the disease. Having a month dedicated to raising awareness can also help increase funds for research for a cure and more treatments.
Here are some common things you should know about MS.
It Might Affect More People Than Estimated
According to the National MS Society, many more people may be suffering from multiple sclerosis that we don’t know about. This is because physicians do not need to report new cases, and the first symptoms of MS are often undetected in the beginning.
We Don’t Know How It Is Caused
So far, doctors and researches have not been able to pinpoint what exactly causes the immune system to attack the central nervous system. It’s not clear if this is a genetic disorder, but it does seem apparent that some people are more likely to suffer from MS. Women, for example, are almost three times as likely to have MS. Smoking can also worsen symptoms.
There are Myriad Symptoms
No two individuals with MS will have the exact same symptoms, and the symptoms will vary depending on the level of inflammation, health of the individual affected, etc. The most common MS symptoms include fatigue, numbness, tingling, difficulty walking, and incontinence.
You Can Go Years Without Experiencing a Flare-Up of MS
Although there is no cure for MS at this time, there are medications available which can improve symptoms. There are also technological and therapeutic solutions to help patients manage their symptoms. Because of this, it’s possible to go years without experiencing any new or worsening symptoms.
MS is Not Considered Fatal
MS is life-changing, but it’s not usually fatal. In fact, individuals with MS should enjoy a normal life expectancy except in very rare situations. The important thing is to practice a healthy lifestyle as much as possible, take any prescribed medication, and schedule regular visits to your doctor.
180 Medical provides disposable urinary catheters and other medical supplies to customers living with MS all across the country. Please visit our website for more information related to catheters, billing, insurance, etc. To learn more about National MS Awareness Month, please visit the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation’s information site.