Living With Multiple Sclerosis HTML version

“Living with Multiple Sclerosis” by Piet Mesmer
Page 16 of 100
4. How Serious Is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis is a disease that may shorten a person’s life span
by six to seven years. Half the people that suffer from multiple
sclerosis die because of its effects. Suicidal tendencies are also very
high among people suffering from multiple sclerosis.
The severity is very unpredictable and the symptoms vary from
person to person. This disease affects the central nervous system
and the damage done to the nerves is extensive.
The major problems of multiple sclerosis are -
Fatigue: Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of multiple
sclerosis, affecting 75% to 90% of the patients. More than half of
them experience fatigue on a daily basis. Poor control over the
condition and the resultant acute sensitivity to physical sensation
may be the main cause of stress with multiple sclerosis.
Loss of mobility and spasticity (stiffened muscles): Each
person with multiple sclerosis loses control over their muscles and
suffer spasticity where their muscles resist stretching. Spasticity is
one of the main symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Mild spasticity may
improve muscle toning in the legs, which supports the patients’ leg
while walking.
Pain: About two-thirds of people suffering from multiple sclerosis
experience pain at some point of time. Multiple sclerosis may cause
acute or chronic pain syndromes; cramps, spasms, optic neuritis
pain, pain on the joints and the feeling of itching and burning.
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