Social Clips

Jack Osbourne Talks About His Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosis In this MS Society video, Jack Osbourne admits that although he’s lived a fairly hedonistic lifestyle, the scariest moment of his life was when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). MORE: Jack Osbourne asks strangers to compete in a game show and test their knowledge of multiple sclerosis…

How Does Oxidative Stress Affect Multiple Sclerosis?

Oxidative stress is the result of an imbalance in the body of free radicals. These free radicals damage proteins, lipids and nucleic acids, which in turn causes inflammation. The inflammation results in demyelination of the central nervous system and has a bearing on how severe a patient’s multiple sclerosis is. MORE:…

How a Service Dog Changed This MS Patient’s Life

We’ve heard from many members of the MS community that service or therapy dogs can provide incredible comfort to patients and their families. From helping with mobility to reducing anxiety, these magical animals are sometimes exactly what the doctor ordered. Here, we talk to 45-year-old Karin, who’s been living with…

6 of the Best Apps for Chronic Illness Management

Managing a chronic illness can be difficult. There are many different medications to take (often at different times), appointments to remember, symptoms to keep track of, and lots of information to absorb. Thankfully, living in a digital age means that there are numerous mobile apps that can help you manage…

5 Tools Used to Diagnose Multiple Sclerosis

It’s never a good idea to jump to conclusions when trying to find a cause for any symptoms you might have. With multiple sclerosis (MS), self-diagnosing is not the way to go. This disease may cause permanent damage even in its earliest stages so it’s crucial to get it properly diagnosed as soon…

4 Types of Multiple Sclerosis-Related Tremors

Tremors are a common symptom of multiple sclerosis, experienced by around three-quarters of people with the condition, and one that often makes sufferers feel quite self-conscious. For most, the tremors will be mild and occur infrequently, but for some, the tremors may be more severe. There are four different types of tremors associated…

15 Multiple Sclerosis-Inspired Tattoos

Getting a tattoo shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s a piece of art that will be on your body for life and therefore, should represent something that’s near and dear to your heart. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that many who suffer from a chronic illness choose to add permanent messages…

9 Ways Multiple Sclerosis Affects Your Body From Head to Toe

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic illness that presents many different symptoms since it can affect any part of the human body. While no two people living with MS will experience the same symptoms, there are some more common ways the condition affects the body. Brain: Cognitive issues such as brain fog, memory and concentration problems are common for people living with MS and many experience vertigo or dizziness. In rare cases, patients may also suffer from tremors or seizures. Eyes: Vision problems are often one of the first signs of MS. Double vision, blurred vision and eye pain can come on suddenly but in most cases, they are temporary and are due to inflammation of the muscles around the eye and can be rectified with medication. Ears: In rare cases of MS, damage to the brainstem may result in hearing problems or deafness. Again, the majority of cases are temporary but some may suffer permanent damage to hearing. Mouth and throat: Around 40 percent of people living with MS may experience problems with speech, usually slurred speech or trouble articulating. Some may also have trouble controlling the volume of their speech. Rarer still, some people may experience problems with swallowing which can be serious as it can lead to choking. Speech and language therapists can help with both speech and swallowing problems. Arms and legs: The limbs are most likely to be affected by multiple sclerosis, with patients suffering from a variety of ailments such as pain, numbness, and tingling. Both fine and gross motor skills are involved as hand-to-eye coordination may be affected and many will suffer from balance problems or have difficulty walking as the disease progresses. Bladder and bowel: Nerve damage can lead to problems controlling the bladder and bowel. Bladder problems are extremely common in MS affecting around 80 percent of patients. Bowel problems such as constipation, diarrhea and lack of bowel control can sometimes be managed through diet and exercise but in some cases, medication or surgery may be required. Reproductive system: There is no evidence that suggests MS affects fertility in men or women. And for women, many find that their MS goes into remission during pregnancy. However, between 20 percent and 40 percent will relapse after they have given birth. Sexual dysfunction is common in MS, this could be due to a variety of reasons both physical and emotional. Nerve damage, fatigue, general pain and the effects of depression can all have an effect on a person's libido. However, these can often be overcome with some medication or a little bit of planning. Skeletal Structure: The regular use of steroids and lack of exercise puts multiple sclerosis patients at a higher risk of osteoporosis. Exercise is important to help keep bones strong and healthy and to avoid excess bone density loss. People with multiple sclerosis are also more likely to be deficient in vitamin D, which plays a vital role in bone health. Heart: Researchers have discovered that women with MS are more likely to suffer from cardiovascular problems than those without the condition. Regular exercise and a good diet are essential to help avoid problems such as stroke, heart disease or heart failure.

3 Things to Consider When Telling People You Have Multiple Sclerosis

Accepting a multiple sclerosis diagnosis is difficult and it often takes people a while to come to terms with what it means for their future. Some people choose to tell others immediately about their MS diagnosis, while others may bide their time — there is no right or wrong way to approach it, it's very much up to the individual and what they feel comfortable with. However, if you're finding it difficult to tell the people closest to you about your multiple sclerosis, the Multiple Sclerosis Society UK has some useful advice. Telling Your Loved Ones: Family members and partners are usually the first people you want to tell, but these are the hardest people to tell as they love you and will most likely be upset. They'll need time to fully digest the news and come to terms with the diagnosis. They may be in denial about what it means or they may not fully understand the implications of MS. Try to be as informative as you can and remember MS is different for everyone, so while they may jump to the worst conclusions about the disease, it doesn't mean that's how it will work out for you. Tell children as much as you think they can emotionally cope with and fully understand for their age. It's better to be as honest as possible so they don't find out information from other people. Children are often more adaptive to change than adults and will probably take the news a little better. Choosing Who Else to Tell: You don't need to tell everyone you meet that you have multiple sclerosis (although you can if you want to), but there are some people you may want to know right away so that they can offer you emotional support. Close friends will want to support and help you in any way they can, and sometimes they may be easier to talk to than family as they tend to be more objective. Telling colleagues about your MS will help them understand why you may be fatigued or unable to work. Telling dates and potential partners can be tricky, you may want to be upfront or you may want to wait to see if you like them before broaching the subject. Either way is fine. Dealing With Different Reactions: You will find that people can often react very differently to your news. Some may be very upset and grieve, others may be upbeat and positive about your outcome. Some may even withdraw and avoid you — they do this because they don't know what to say or how to handle the situation. Others may bombard you with questions that you can't answer. You may find that you have to reassure people and explain that having MS doesn't mean that you can't live a happy and successful life. It's important you emphasize that you're still the same person you were before your diagnosis and you want to be treated the same. How have you dealt with this issue? Be sure to visit Multiple Sclerosis News Today and leave a comment.

How Massage and Bodywork Is Used to Treat MS Patients

Massages are known to relieve pain, stress and help out with problem areas. According to the National MS Society, it’s one of the most well-known bodywork treatments. There are several kinds of massages that originated in different countries — below are some of the most used today. MORE: Massage helps with MS pain and fatigue The Swedish massage is a bit more “traditional.” It uses techniques such as vibration, kneading, and friction. The German massage uses most of the same techniques as the Swedish massage, but combines them with healing baths. Keep in mind that if you’re sensitive to heat, this might not be the best option for you. Acupressure sounds like acupuncture, and that’s no mistake. This treatment is a Chinese massage that originated from acupuncture and uses fingers to stimulate the same parts of the body as needles do. Shiatsu is a Japanese treatment that focuses on preventing conditions, not healing…

Important Things to Remember If You Have MS

If you or a loved one is living with multiple sclerosis (MS), it’s important to remember that you can always try to make your situation better. If your doctor says something like “there’s no other option” or “we have nothing more to offer you,” find another doctor. Doctors are humans, too, and they…

18 Common Home Modifications to Improve Life With MS

As your MS progresses, you may find it necessary to make some modifications to your home to make it safer and more accessible. Such alterations can vastly improve the quality of life for people living with the disease, allowing them to regain some independence and making life more comfortable. Here are some common…

How Doctors Treat Spasticity in Multiple Sclerosis

Spasticity is where the muscles become stiffened and often spasm due to nerve damage — it’s a common symptom associated with multiple sclerosis (MS). MORE: Six of the best apps for managing chronic illness Generally, the spasticity occurs in the arms and legs and may impact the way a person can move their limbs.

5 Things to Know About the New MS Drug Ocrevus

The multiple sclerosis community has been waiting with bated breath for the approval of the drug Ocrevus (ocrelizumab), which will be used to treat patients who have relapsing MS and primary progressive MS. The FDA’s decision of final approval arrived on March 28, which coincides with Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week. In preparation for…

John’s Story: ‘I Am More Than MS’ In this video from Patients Like Me, John shares that although he’s suffering from the autoimmune disease multiple sclerosis (MS), he’s definitely much more than the disease. MORE: How doctors treat spasticity in MS John explains that when the MS symptoms he was experiencing began…

5 Benefits of Cannabis Tea for Chronic Illnesses

Medical marijuana is gaining popularity as a complementary medicine to help with many symptoms associated with chronic illnesses. While many people are curious about how marijuana (or cannabis) may help improve their symptoms, they are also reluctant to smoke the substance. However, there are ways that medical marijuana can be administered, including in tea form. According to, here are five ways that cannabis tea can help relieve some of the symptoms people with chronic diseases live with. Relieves pain: Marijuana has been associated with pain relief for centuries. Researchers have found the cannabinoids in marijuana dampen pain signals by binding to the pain receptors in the central nervous system (CNS). In contrast to opiates such as morphine or codeine, cannabis is not addictive and poses no withdrawal symptoms to patients. Cannabis-infused tea is delivered to the whole of the body through the digestive system so the effects are longer lasting and more efficient than smoking. Reduces inflammation: Medical marijuana has been found to reduce inflammation associated with many autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, and lupus. It also helps to temper the body's immune system making it less likely to attack itself. Protects the brain: Studies of cannabis's effect on the brain have found that the drug has a neuroprotective effect and appears to slow down or even block the beta-amyloid protein build-ups associated with dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Promotes digestive health: Many chronic illnesses present symptoms which affect the gastrointestinal system. Cannabis has been found to improve digestion and relieve symptoms such as cramping, stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea, constipation and acid reflux. Mood enhancer: While smoking cannabis may produce mind-altering effects that most people are weary of, drinking cannabis tea can help with stabilizing mood and helping to relieve emotional symptoms associated with chronic illnesses such as depression and anxiety.

5 Tips for Parenting With Multiple Sclerosis

Living with an unpredictable illness can be tough at the best of times, but when you're a parent, it can often cause unforeseen problems. Living with multiple sclerosis (MS) is no different — you'll have to continue being a parent, but you'll also have to manage your condition. However, there are ways that you can make life easier for you and your family as you navigate parenthood, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Be Honest: Children are often more resilient than we give them credit for. Explain your condition, how it may progress and what it means for you as a family on a day-to-day basis. Take Care of Yourself :The better you feel, the more energy you'll have for your family. Overdoing things can knock you off your feet for days, increasing fatigue and general unwellness. Learn to plan, pace and prioritize. Decide what's important to do today and what can wait until another time when you're feeling better. Eat well, try to sleep well, get some daily exercise and ensure you comply with your medications. Teach Understanding: Make sure your children understand that there will be days when you can't take them to the park, or have to cancel plans at the last minute. Make sure you have a stash of things younger children can do at home to occupy themselves while you rest (watching DVDs or playing board games). Make sure they know how to help when you're going through a flare. Focus on What You Can Do: Maybe you can't play ball with your children in the backyard, but you might be able to do arts and crafts with them. Find something fun that you can do together as a family on a regular basis. Delegate: Partners, older children and other family members should pitch in around the house and take an equal share of the chores. Even young children can be given some age-appropriate chores to do, such as putting away their toys or making their beds. This will allow you more time and energy to spend doing fun things with the family.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor If You’re Newly Diagnosed

Illustration of doctor an patient talked
We consulted some of our community contributors at MS News Today and came up with 12 questions people should consider asking their doctors after an MS diagnosis.

Check it out by clicking here.

Dancing Doodle

Did you know some of the news and columns on Multiple Sclerosis News Today are recorded and available for listening on SoundCloud? These audio news stories give our readers an alternative option for accessing information important for them.

Listen Here