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Diagnosed with MS: What to Expect and How to Cope

By Daryl H. Bryant (470 words)
Posted in Living with MS on June 13, 2014

There are (2) comments permalink

Diagnosed with MS: What to Expect and How to Cope

Multiple sclerosis is an immune-based condition. The body’s immune system directs itself against the central nervous system (CNS), which is made up by the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. They communicate between themselves through electrical impulses, carrying information about the body and its surroundings through the nerves.

An important part of the condition is played by Myelin - a substance that surrounds the nerve fibers in the CNS and ensures that the signals are isolated and not disturbed on their way to the brain. In the case of MS, the immune system attacks these cells and causes damage, without completely destroying them. They become a kind of scar tissue, called sclerosis. With the tissue disrupted, the nerve impulses get distorted and this can result in a large range of symptoms. It is a condition believed to be based on genetically susceptible combinations of the individual that can be triggered by different environmental factors.

When diagnosed with the condition many people become very anxious about how to move forward, yet there is not a right or wrong way to do so. Everyone has his or her own way of responding, and there is no need to try and change it. An important part of it is to realize that many people with MS have managed to control their symptoms and live full, satisfying lives.

As with many other diseases, it is crucial to take measures as soon as you identify the condition. Coping with your own emotional and mental response to the news may take some time, yet it shouldn’t be in the way of starting treatment. The earlier treatment starts, the easier it will be to control future relapses, as well as slow down the progress of the condition.

Staying active, living well and doing the things you enjoy will keep you energetic and determined.  In many cases, it is the emotional response that does the most damage. It is important to consult your doctor in detail when trying to determine which activities you can keep doing. However, many people with MS have managed to continue their work and look after their families despite the condition. Keeping a positive attitude and being aware of your feelings plays an important role in maintaining the mental equilibrium necessary to thrive emotionally.

And, of course, there are the relations with the people close to you. The inclination to cope with the diagnosis alone is an understandable reaction and one that should be respected. Nevertheless, it is important not to push away the people you love, as their support can have a big impact on your lifestyle and the way you manage the condition. Some of the biggest difficulties when living with MS are the stress and the negative emotions. Remember that the people who know you best are often the ones most capable of helping you.



Comments (2)

Adam posted on: June 3, 2016

Nice to see a positive article on MS as so many are pretty scary and negative. Love your Facebook page and so have taken on many of the diet ideas as well as starting tecfiera - so far so good :-)

Daryl posted on: June 6, 2016

Hi Adam - so happy to hear like this post and my Facebook page. It's great to hear that you've incorporated some of the diet suggestions. I hope you are feeling well and having success with the management of your MS! Thanks for sharing.

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