Multiple Sclerosis sounds like a terrible condition and one that you certainly would not want to be diagnosed with. But what is it exactly? If you were to get the verdict that you were suffering from the disease would it mean calling a priest for the last rights and quickly checking your will or is it a whole lot less serious than it sounds? What is obvious is that MS is not something with which people are familiar Ã¢â¬ like chickenpox or cancer or coronary artery disease. Yes, is fair to say that MS is a bit of a mystery to most people. So, with that in mind here are some answers to questions that you might have about the disease.
Can it kill you?
The short answer to this is that it can eventually kill you. Statistics suggest that about twenty thousand people a year die from the condition. That is obviously twenty thousand people too many but taken in the context of the fact that there are close to three million people suffering from the disease globally it goes to show that MS life expectancy is not bad and that it is quite possible to live for a long time with the condition.
How rare is it?
On a planet with a population of 7.7 billion people, approximately 2.5 million people have been diagnosed with MS. Most of these people live in North America and around two-thirds are female. The answer to the question is thus that while it is not hugely common, there are a significant number of people living with the disease globally.
What is it exactly?
Multiple sclerosis is an auto-immune condition that attacks the myelin sheath that surrounds nerves and the spinal column. A result of the damage to the sheath means that balance, sight, and touch are affected. Sufferers will frequently battle with memory issues and balance and there may even be psychiatric symptoms.
Will it change my lifestyle?
Most people who are diagnosed with the condition tend to make lifestyle changes. For many, it is a wakeup call that they could be more-healthy or live better. While MS is not thought to be a lifestyle disease, with many sufferers appearing to have received the condition through genetics, the impacts and symptoms of the disease can be managed or mitigated by making changes to lifestyle.
Is it curable?
There is no specific cure for MS, but it is something that comes and goes. Once you have been diagnosed with it, it is with you forever, but the symptoms tend to come in waves, sometimes severe and other times seemingly less serious. These periods of less and more symptoms are known as relapses and remissions.
Who else has had it?
There are many notable celebrities who have lived with Multiple sclerosis. These include the actress Selma Blair, the comedian Richard Pryor, the father of former First Lady Michelle Obama and reality television star Jack Osbourne. Pryor lived with the condition for a long time before passing away from a heart attack, a health issue that was completely unrelated to his MS.