7 Things MS Patients Want You to Know About the Disease

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by Wendy Henderson |

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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.

Ask questions and share your knowledge of MS in our forums.

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.

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