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Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Education & Awareness Month

by admin March 5 2013 13:22

March is National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Awareness Month. 180 Medical helps many customers with MS who have to catheterize, and we want to do our part in raising awareness.

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease that involves an immune system attack against the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves).  can cause blurred vision, loss of balance, poor coordination, slurred speech, tremors, numbness, extreme fatigue, bladder and bowel problems, problems with memory and concentration, paralysis, blindness, vertigo, and more. These problems may be permanent or may come and go. 

Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, although individuals as young as 2 and as old as 75 have developed the disease. Anyone may develop MS. Two to three times more women than men have been diagnosed with MS. Worldwide, MS affects about 2.1 million people.

MS symptoms result when an immune system attack affects myelin, the protective insulation surrounding nerve fibers of the central nervous system. Mylen is often compared to insulating material around an electrical wire; loss of myelin interferes with the transmission of nerve signals.

Bladder Dysfunction and MS

Bladder dysfunction, which occurs in at least 80% of people with MS, can usually be managed quite successfully with intermittent or continual catheterization (inserting a thin tube into the bladder to remove urine). Bladder dysfunction occurs when MS lesions block or delay transmission of nerve signals in areas of the central nervous system that control the bladder and urinary sphincter. The sphincter is the muscle surrounding the opening of the bladder, which controls the storage and outflow of urine. It is this muscle that gives people voluntary control over urination.

Symptoms of bladder dysfunction can include:

  • Frequency and/or urgency of urination 
  • Hesitancy in starting urination 
  • Frequent nighttime urination (known as nocturia) 
  • Incontinence (the inability to hold in urine) 

These symptoms can be caused by a spastic bladder that is unable to hold the normal amount of urine, or by a bladder that does not empty properly and retains some urine in it. Retaining urine can lead to complications such as repeated infections or kidney damage.


Visit the links below for more information on multiple sclerosis:

Multiple Sclerosis International Federation
Multiple Sclerosis Foundation

National Multiple Sclerosis Society

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About the Author:

Trish has worked for 180 Medical for almost three years, as the Nebraska Office Coordinator. She lives in Nebraska, with her husband and daughters.