Myths about MS causes

Myth: MS is contagious.
Fact: MS is not contagious. You cannot catch MS by being in contact with a person who has the condition. And if you have MS, other people will not catch it from you. MS is believed to be caused by the body's immune system attacking the fatty insulating (myelin) cover on the nerve cells, leading to nerve damage.

Myth: Heavy metal poisoning can cause MS.
Fact: Current evidence does not suggest that heavy metal poisoning can lead to MS. Heavy metals include substances such as mercury (found in some dental fillings), lead (found in older pipes and water supplies), or manganese. Although heavy metal poisoning can cause nerve damage, this is not the same type of damage that occurs with MS.

Myth: Men and women are equally likely to develop MS.
Fact: Women are about 2 to 3 times as likely to get MS as men. Why? No one knows for sure. But new research suggests that it may be due to genetic factors. Women are more likely to have a gene variation that causes their bodies to produce too much of a substance called interferon gamma. While other interferons, such as interferon beta, can be used to treat MS, interferon gamma may increase the risk of developing MS.

Myth: MS is directly inherited.
Fact: MS is not directly inherited, but genetic factors may be involved in determining a person's risk of MS. There is no single MS "gene" that can be passed from parent to child, but having a parent with MS may slightly increase a child's risk.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2021. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/MS-Facts-and-Myths

Myths about MS symptoms and progression

Myth: Everyone with MS ends up in a wheelchair.
Fact: Most people with MS (about two-thirds) do not end up in a wheelchair. They are able to continue walking – often with a cane, crutches, or a walker. People who are capable of walking may choose to use a wheelchair occasionally if they are tired or are having balance problems.

Myth: MS will shorten your lifespan.
Fact: For most people, MS does not mean a shorter lifespan. The condition is not considered fatal, since most people with MS will have a normal (or near-normal) lifespan.

Myth: Doctors can predict what will happen with your MS.
Fact: MS is an unpredictable condition. Knowing which type of MS you have may give you some idea of what course you can expect the disease to take, but there is no way to know for sure what will happen with your MS in the future.

The 4 main types of MS are:

  • Relapsing-remitting: This is the most common type of MS. People with this form of MS experience flare-ups followed by recovery periods where the symptoms decrease or go away entirely.
  • Primary-progressive: This type, which affects only about 10% of people with MS, causes a gradual and steady worsening of symptoms from the time of diagnosis, with no clear flare-ups.
  • Secondary-progressive: This type of MS starts out as relapsing-remitting, and then becomes progressive (symptoms worsen gradually but steadily with no recovery periods). Current data suggest that 50% people with relapsing-remitting MS eventually develop secondary progressive MS. However, it is not yet known whether the class of medications called disease-modifying drugs will decrease this risk.
  • Progressive-relapsing: This type, which affects about 5% of people with MS, causes a gradual and steady worsening of symptoms plus flare-ups.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2021. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/MS-Facts-and-Myths

Myths about life with MS

Myth: People with MS can't have children.
Fact: People with MS can still become parents. The condition usually does not affect your fertility. And pregnancy does not make MS worse – many women find their symptoms improve during pregnancy. However, in the first 6 months after delivery, the risk of an attack may increase. The physical symptoms of MS may make parenting more of a challenge, so people with MS should plan to have a good support system (through family, friends, or social programs) in place before starting on the road to parenthood.

Myth: Exercise is dangerous for people with MS.
Fact: Exercise has many benefits for people with MS, and it can be done safely. In fact, an exercise program is an important part of many MS rehabilitation programs. Not only can exercise improve your overall health, but it can also help you cope with MS. Exercise can help improve your strength, bowel and bladder function, coordination, and energy levels. And the benefits are more than physical – exercise can reduce your risk of depression too! People with MS do need to be careful to choose an exercise program that's tailored to their needs and abilities, to avoid overheating while exercising, and to consult a doctor before starting a new exercise regime.

Myth: You must tell your employer you have MS.
Fact: Whether or not you inform your employer about your MS is up to you. You are not legally required to do so. However, if your condition is making it difficult for you to work, you may consider telling your employer so that you can team together to find ways to make it easier. Adjusting your job hours, working from home, or using assistive devices are all ways of making accommodations (workplace or job changes that allow you to continue doing your job). As an employee, you have a legal right to ask for reasonable accommodations on the job.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2021. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/MS-Facts-and-Myths

Treatment myths

Myth: MS can be cured.
Fact: There is currently no cure for MS. You may see websites or ads for herbal products, supplements, or other treatments that claim to cure MS. Unfortunately, there are no treatments available that can actually cure the condition. However, this does not mean that MS cannot be treated. Medications, exercise, and counselling can all help you to live well with MS. And there is hope for the future – researchers are getting closer every day to discovering a cure.

Myth: MS medications do not slow the progression of the disease.
Fact: Some MS medications can slow the progression of disability for people with relapsing-remitting MS. The group of medications known as disease-modifying drugs can slow down the progression of disability. Disease-modifying drugs work best to help stop or delay disability when started soon after you are diagnosed with MS.

Myth: People with MS shouldn't have flu shots.
Fact: Flu shots are considered safe for people with MS. Studies have shown that flu shots do not increase the risk of having a relapse, and they do not cause the disease to progress. But getting the flu could trigger a relapse – about one-third of people with MS experience more symptoms after having the flu. Before getting a flu shot, speak to your doctor about whether it would be appropriate for you.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2021. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/MS-Facts-and-Myths