misc image

Living With Multiple Sclerosis

Mar 10, 2024

misc image

Living With Multiple Sclerosis

Published by Claudia Giunta. 

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most common disabling neurological disease in adults aged 20-40 years old. Nearly one million people in the United States live with MS. A MS diagnosis can be frightening and isolating. Still, the reality is many people navigate life with the disease, and symptom management has drastically improved. With new drugs, techniques, and lifestyle information, people with MS are learning to improve their symptoms and not let the disease prevent their health goals. 

In support of MS Awareness Month in March, we’re diving into what patients, families, and caregivers should know about living with this disease and how new treatments and modern technology can support your journey. 

Nova Vita Solutions

At Nova Vita, we strive to help each individual overcome their health obstacles, no matter how severe. Living with MS may mean you have to adapt certain lifestyle choices and some symptoms may prevent you from doing what you love. We’re here to help you live healthily with MS with our NAD+ therapy and Glutathione IV infusions. NAD+ has been found to support nerve function and protect against nerve damage, both of which are important for managing MS symptoms. NAD+ is a molecule that plays a critical role in cellular metabolism and energy production. Recent studies have shown that NAD+ may have therapeutic benefits for many different health issues that involve inflammation, including MS. Our Glutathione infusion helps to counteract the brain’s high vulnerability to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can cause tissue injury in the central nervous system in neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis. 

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition that occurs when the immune system attacks the central nervous system, affecting the brain and spinal cord. This can inflame and scar the central nervous system and damage the myelin that surrounds nerve fibers. Inflammation and damage to the nervous system impair communication between the brain and body, setting off a multitude of symptoms. 

MS is a lifelong condition that can sometimes cause serious disability, although in most cases it can be mild. While there is no cure for the disease, symptom management has drastically improved. 

Symptoms of MS

Depending on what type of MS you have (relapse or gradual progression), the symptoms of MS will vary widely from person to person and can affect any part of the body. The main symptoms may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Double/blurred vision
  • Loss of vision in one eye
  • Difficulty walking
  • Numbness or tingling in different parts of the body
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle stiffness and spasms
  • Problems with balance and coordination
  • Cognitive impairment

The symptoms can mimic other neurological diseases and will vary depending on where the inflammation or nerve fiber damage is and its level of deterioration. Depending on the type of MS you have, your symptoms may come and go or steadily worsen over time. 

It can be easy to overlook symptoms of MS or confuse them with symptoms of another health concern. It’s important to notice if any unusual symptoms last more than 24 hours. For example, if your hand is numb when you wake up but goes away after a few minutes, it’s probably not MS. However, if numbness or tingling, balance or vision issues, or any other MS symptoms last for 24 or more hours, you should consult a neurologist. 

Who is Most at Risk of Developing MS?

The cause of multiple sclerosis is unknown, however, it’s considered an autoimmune condition in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues. Infections can impact changes in the immune system that cause MS. Additionally, environmental factors, smoking, and low vitamin D may increase the risk of MS. It’s most commonly diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40 but can be diagnosed at any age. MS is three times more common in women than men.

How is MS diagnosed?

Your doctor may analyze your full health history report, analyze previous symptoms, and perform a neurological exam to diagnose MS. Your doctor may also conduct an MRI to examine damage to the central nervous system or do a spinal tap to look for evidence in a person's cerebrospinal fluid. 

Treatments for Multiple Sclerosis

While there is currently no cure for MS, many treatments can help control the condition and alleviate symptoms. Treatment plans may include a combination of medications tailored to each patient. Steroids are often used to reduce inflammation after an attack. Other medications such as disease-modifying therapies are used to reduce the number of attacks and slow disease progression

Physical therapy, speech therapy, and exercise can help with balance or speech issues, and occupational therapy can assist with cognitive issues. Many other therapies aiming to treat progressive MS continue to be researched.

A lifelong disease will require lifelong treatment. Everyone with MS should be treated early and commit to certain lifestyle changes their doctor recommends. People who adhere to their treatment plan will help reduce their risk of a relapse. 

Living with MS

Your day-to-day life may change if you’re diagnosed with MS, but with the right care, resources, and support you can lead a long and healthy life. The following lifestyle tips will help you navigate your journey with MS:

  • Healthy eating and exercise: A balanced diet can help you manage any fatigue, reduce your risk of health problems, and increase your energy levels. Research has shown that regular exercise can benefit people with MS by reducing fatigue and improving strength, mobility, flexibility, and bowel and bladder function. 
  • Regular check-ups: Yearly appointments with your care team are a great opportunity to discuss your current treatment, discuss any new symptoms, and work through further needed support. Your doctor may also inform you of any new treatments you can add. 
  • Emotional Support: MS patients need a support system to work with them through their isolating illness. Family and friends can help patients stay on track with their treatment plans and ensure they’re taken care of themselves.  
  • Staying Educated: The National MS Society is a great resource to stay up to date with new clinical trials in your area. Trials allow researchers to determine whether new treatments are safe and effective. 

The Bottom Line

When you get an illness such as the flu, you are confident you’ll be feeling normal after a few days. A lifelong condition such as MS is different and will require you to handle changes that affect your life in many different ways. Living with MS doesn’t have to keep you from a healthy, long, and happy life. While some days may be difficult, it’s still possible to live well with MS by implementing some of the above changes into your life. Research is ongoing and newer treatments can slow the progression of the disease and restore functions and abilities that have been lost. Nova Vita’s Glutathione infusion and NAD+ therapy can help to improve your quality of life with MS. Get started on your wellness journey by contacting us today!