What You Need To Know About #LifeWithMS
Did you know that Multiple Sclerosis affects three times more women than men? So how much do you know, and what do you need to know about the disease?
Multiple Sclerosis, meaning ‘many scars’, is the most common neurological disease of young adults. It affects more than 9,000 people in Ireland and is usually diagnosed between 20 and 40 years of age.
MS affects the motor, sensory and cognitive functioning of the body, but the presence, severity and duration of all MS symptoms vary considerably from person to person.
Some of the most common symptoms of MS include:
- vision problems
- numbness and tingling
- muscle spasms, stiffness and weakness
- mobility problems
- problems with thinking, learning and planning
- bladder problems
- speech and swallowing difficulties
Most people with MS only have a few of these symptoms. See your GP if you're worried; but be aware that the symptoms can be similar to several other conditions, so they're not necessarily caused by Multiple Sclerosis.
MS sufferer Aoife Kirwan has said: “I knew something wasn’t right, but I couldn’t quite figure it out. I had googled my symptoms and knew MS was a possibility, but it seemed to be diagnosed in people older than me, I now know this is not the case! … Life has changed in little ways. As a mother life is hectic, I need to make more of an effort to get the rest I need. But as my six year old tells me; ‘Some people wear glasses, and some people’s electricity doesn’t work.’ He has it in a nutshell, he wears glasses and that is something he has to live with each day, while I have to deal with disruption to my electrical conductivity."
Managing symptoms is not just about drug treatments; and many people find a healthy lifestyle also helps. A balanced diet, appropriate exercise and keeping stress at a minimum can give the body and mind the best chance to deal with symptoms.
You can find out more about life with MS, and find out how to get involved with the charity's work, by visiting www.ms-society.ie. The theme for MS Day 2018 is #BringingUsCloser which is all about connecting people affected by MS with those involved in MS research, including scientists, students, nurses, fundraisers, volunteers, and more. It’s a chance to come together to celebrate what has been achieved in MS research so far, and share hopes for the future.
Members of the public with any queries relating to MS are invited to call the MS Information Line 1850 233 233. Open Monday- Friday 10am- 2pm. Calls are strictly confidential.
To support World MS Day please Please text KISS to 50300 to donate €4 to the #KissGoodbyeToMS campaign. For more information visit www.kissgoodbyetoms.ie. Please visit www.ms-society.ie for more information on World MS Day 2018 events.
* Text costs €4. MS Ireland will receive a minimum of €3.25.