From the moment a physician relays the news that a patient has multiple sclerosis, a variety of emotions begin to surface. You – or a loved one – may be wondering how life will continue, what type of symptoms you may face and most importantly, your treatment options.
Here, at Care Indeed, we not only provide high-quality in-home and hourly care for clients coping with diseases such as MS, we also provide resources you need to navigate your journey with this illness.
Navigating the Diagnosis
Before treatment is even discussed, you will undergo a series of tests to confirm that you do, indeed, have multiple sclerosis. Physicians often conduct a medical examination and discuss your medical history. In addition, the following tests may be necessary:
While there is not one specific test used for a confirmed diagnosis of MS, many physicians use a variety of tests to rule out other diseases or illnesses.
Understanding MS Medications
Unfortunately, a cure for MS has yet to be discovered, but many patients lead a fruitful life while coping with the disease. The primary change is that you – or a loved one – may need to take medication, work with a physician closely and make lifestyle changes to help minimize MS symptoms.
Treatment options vary, but disease-modifying drugs are fairly common for people with multiple sclerosis. Medications cater to the type of MS you have been diagnosed with at the time. [Article #1 in MS series re: symptoms]
Medications help to prevent any flare-ups and, hopefully, slow down the disease’s progression. Primarily, MS medications are designed to curb the immune system to prevent an attack on the myelin that surrounds your nerves.
Some of the medications for MS may need to be administered via an injection into a muscle or under your skin. A few of the types of medications for MS include, but are not limited to:
Pill-form medications are also commonly used to treat multiple sclerosis, such as teriflunomide, fingolimod and dimethyl fumarate. According to WebMD, some patients report side effects that may, or may not, include:
Treating the Symptoms of MS
Since there is not a cure for multiple sclerosis yet, treatment plans often focus around symptom control. For instance, if you are on medication that is not adequately controlling flare-ups, physicians may temporarily prescribe a high dose of steroids to minimize the symptoms of MS.
In addition, symptom control treatment options may include:
Utilizing Lifestyle Changes to Treat and Manage MS
Some patients opt to manage MS primarily with lifestyle changes, while others combine medication and lifestyle changes for enhanced results.
The National MS Society recommends trying these lifestyle changes to help minimize MS symptoms:
Consider Alternative Treatments
There are many gimmicks and fads on the market claiming to “cure” MS, but it is important to understand that you could be misled. However, some physicians recommend supplements to help you manage MS symptoms.
The Mayo Clinic asserts that the following alternative treatments are worth a try:
How Can I Find the Support I Need?
Whether you are newly diagnosed, in the midst of treatment or coping with daily living with multiple sclerosis, know that you are not alone. Both local and national agencies and organizations host support groups and offer resources that are valuable for patients and their loved ones.
You can also lean on the professional and compassionate caregivers from Care Indeed. Support and care are essential as you cope with a multiple sclerosis diagnosis. Care Indeed professionals are highly trained to assist with mobility, hygiene, transportation and companionship regardless of your condition or disease. We offer local resources for our clients and their families to help you understand the level of care you need. In addition, our professional caregivers are available to help you with daily tasks to ease the transition when MS progresses.
Life with any type of multiple sclerosis is challenging and learning how to accept the challenge is the first step in improving your overall quality of life. While you may struggle with the changes as a patient, caregiver or family member, the support you need is only a click away.
Care Indeed is committed to providing you the support and in-home caregivers who understand your challenges and daily struggles at work and home. Learn more about how to get the support you need while living with Multiple Sclerosis today.
At Care Indeed, we believe that when our caregivers, our clients and our clients’ family members are facing challenges, information and education are absolutely vital. That is why our Care Blog is focused on providing the knowledge needed to understand the ins and outs of common diseases, care techniques and even training opportunities.
We want to be able to support those who need help with day-to-day tasks with interesting tidbits and advice that help to provide peace of mind, know-how and an entertaining read. As you read through each one of our blogs, know that the support you need is just a click away. Whether an individual just wants a friendly face to catch up with over a cup of tea, or they need some more support due to a health diagnosis, our professionals are available 24/7.