7 Things MS Patients Want You to Know About the Disease

While most people have heard of multiple sclerosis (MS), very few actually know what the disease is and how it affects those who suffer from it.

To help spread the word, we’ve put together a list of things we think MS patients would like other people to know about the disease with help from healthline.com and empowher.com.

MORE: Six things to know about using medicinal marijuana.

MS is a disease of the central nervous system. 
Patients’ immune systems attack their brain and spinal cord creating lesions and inflammations along the spinal cord, in the brain or optic nerve.

MS isn’t contagious. 
You can’t catch MS from another person. It’s not inherited or genetically passed on from parent to child, although researchers do think that genetics may leave some people more predisposed to developing the condition.

MS can affect a person mentally as well as physically. 
Fatigue is one of the symptoms of MS that tends to affect cognitive skills like memory and concentration. MS patients may have difficulty remembering names, finding the right word to say in conversations and staying focused.

No two MS patients experience the same symptoms. 
Because there are so many symptoms associated with MS, the disease will affect each patient differently. Some may experience vision problems, while other may have difficulty walking.  In addition, there are different types of MS, some of which are faster progressing than others.

MORE: Find out more about the four types of multiple sclerosis. 

It’s not life-threatening. 
While multiple sclerosis patients will experience many different symptoms including chronic pain, mobility issues, and vision problems, the disease is not fatal. Life expectancy for most people with MS is the same as non-sufferers although a few may suffer from rare life-threatening complications of the disease.

MS is a progressive disease.
Multiple sclerosis is a progressive disease. Many MS patients will go through relapses followed by phases of disease inactivity. These relapses or flares can occur at any time and often without warning. Some people may find that certain things will trigger a flare like sun exposure, overheating due to hot baths or exercise, stress, or fever.

MS is often classified as an invisible illness. 
Many MS patients have very few (if any) visible signs of the disease. Some of the most common symptoms, including chronic pain, cognitive issues, vision problems, and fatigue, are not obvious to others.

MORE: Discover 14 invisible illnesses you might not be aware of here. 

Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

10 comments

  1. Reg. Bavis says:

    I have Primary pro originally in N. B. They diagonished me as having Secondary , I have had ms since 95 recent ally I have had eye problems , I would like to be confide red with any new drug that might help give me a better quality of life. Reg Bavis

  2. MS Caregiver says:

    There is so much more than just these 7 things…… As a 20+ year caregiver of my husband with ms diagnosed 30 years ago (before drugs), the scope of this disease is beyond the imagining of most. It is not just a disease of the patient, but the life-changing redirection of everything you thought your future would be as a part of the “family” surrounding a patient. As the cognitive issues destroy the mind and the physical issues destroy the body, you mourn the loss of every step, every lost word, every lost connection to life or family member, every lost ability for them to care for and make decisions for themselves – the couple and family intimacy – every “transition” to adjust to a new normal- the financial and emotional costs – the literal costs of the disease and well as lost income – the absolute unfairness of it all… I guarantee he did nothing in his life to deserve this disease…nor did I……. Yet we persevere – my main objective is to keep him laughing despite his inability to understand. Is this “life” for him? ….and what do I do when the money runs out – despite planning – for him, and for myself……

    • Ricki Becker says:

      I, too, was diagnosed in 1987! Was that a good year? Maybe for MS but not me! I was diagnosed at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland (as there are many now) and had one of their 1st MRI’s.
      But, I am still here! I have the disease, it doesn’t have me! And, after 30 years with this beast, I say, I WIN!

  3. MARK THEOPHEL says:

    My fiance was diagnosed with MS approx. 4 yrs old. She will be turning 50 in January. In an unfortunate state of events, she abruptly ended our relationship and moved in with her ailing mother. I wish I had known more about MS while we were engaged.
    I may have been able to help her better deal with some of the changes she may have been experiencing. “Invisible” illness it is indeed.

    • Tim Bossie says:

      I am truly sorry to hear about this. It is so hard sometimes to deal with many things all at once when you also suffer with MS. Keep that understanding attitude.

  4. Cher Bear says:

    After having MS for 20 years my main issues are bladder And bowel and I’ve had some wicked eye things like double vision and blindness in one eye. Various numbness all over my body at different times. After my husband was declared bankrupt, and loosing 2 houses, one of which I owned with my super payout. He then spent all my investments and during our departure of the 2nd house I couldn’t walk at all. That attack was my worst to date and it took 6 months to return with primary progressive. Mostly good now that I kicked that C from my life, penniless in comparison to what I should have. Now I’m living in a shed on a pension. I was called a f’n lazy C by my now ex in front of our children. Somehow I think I know who was the lazy one, after all he did go BANKRUPT! On a brighter note there is this thing called KARMA and his will not be kind when it kicks him. Rant over. Thank you for showing me I deserve better universe. 😘

    • Denise Edmondson says:

      You sound like a fighter! I understood the second C you mentioned but what did the first C mean? You were referring to a man so cunt didn’t make sense. I have recently been reconnected via Facebook with my best friend from my childhood and teenage years. She has MS and is pretty damn miserable. I am in Portland Oregon and she is in Port Townsend Washington. Long ways to give her any Hands-On help. I’m dealing with my own medical issues none of which are even close to MS. In terms of severity in every way. Talk about realizing things could always be worse. I consider myself a fighter. That is why I responded to your output🙄. I’ve read a little bit about the disease and it’s symptoms and causes but I really don’t know shit! I love my friend still and would like to be able to help her in any way possible from afar unfortunately. I’m living month to month so I cannot afford to go visit her. We hadn’t seen or talked for 40+ years (yeah I’m over 50) until a few months ago. I would appreciate any helpful helpful advice or insights. I found your letter encouraging. Thank you. Love and peace. Denise

  5. Kathleen Biasin says:

    We have a nephew who has MS and I also know two other people with this condition. You are correct, in that all of them have different symptoms and the progress of the disease is not the same either. Hopefully, a cure, or at least, a way to prevent it in the first place will be found eventually. No chronic condition is easy to live with, but here in WA we do have access to the latest treatments and research is ongoing.

  6. Denise Edmondson says:

    You sound like a fighter! I understood the second C you mentioned but what did the first C mean? You were referring to a man so cunt didn’t make sense. I have recently been reconnected via Facebook with my best friend from my childhood and teenage years. She has MS and is pretty damn miserable. I am in Portland Oregon and she is in Port Townsend Washington. Long ways to give her any Hands-On help. I’m dealing with my own medical issues none of which are even close to MS. In terms of severity in every way. Talk about realizing things could always be worse. I consider myself a fighter. That is why I responded to your output🙄. I’ve read a little bit about the disease and it’s symptoms and causes but I really don’t know shit! I love my friend still and would like to be able to help her in any way possible from afar unfortunately. I’m living month to month so I cannot afford to go visit her. We hadn’t seen or talked for 40+ years (yeah I’m over 50) until a few months ago. I would appreciate any helpful advice or insights. I found your letter encouraging. Thank you. Love and peace. Denise

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