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People asking questions regarding MS

What are the biggest myths about MS?

MYTH:

Most people with MS are diagnosed at an advanced age.

fact:

Most people are diagnosed with MS between the ages of 20 and 50. Though less common, MS can also appear in young children and teens, as well as much older adults.

MYTH:

MS leads to severe disability for the majority of patients.

fact:

Most people with MS do not become significantly disabled. In fact, two-thirds of people with MS remain able to walk.

MYTH:

MS affects everyone the same.

fact:

The nature of MS is that it is unpredictable, so different people may experience different symptoms and different levels of severity.

MYTH:

There is nothing that can be done for MS.

fact:

While MS is not currently curable, there are treatments available that can help. Everyone with MS should talk to their doctor to find a treatment that is right for them.

MYTH:

MS is caused by excessive alcohol consumption, mercury fillings, poor diet or aspartame.

fact:

There is no evidence that any of these things cause MS. While the cause of MS remains unknown, scientists believe a combination of factors may be involved, including processes related to the immune system and genetic factors.

MYTH:

MS never causes pain.

fact:

It is common for people with MS to experience pain associated with their disease. In one study, 55 percent of patients had "clinically significant pain" at some time, and almost half (48 percent) were troubled by chronic pain. The good news is that most pain in MS is treatable.

MYTH:

Women with MS can't or shouldn't have children.

fact:

Several studies of large numbers of women have repeatedly shown that pregnancy, labor, delivery and the likelihood of fetal complications are no different in women who have MS than in women without the disease. In general, pregnancy does not appear to affect the long-term clinical course of MS. Women with MS who wish to have a family can usually do so successfully with the help of their neurologist and obstetrician.

MYTH:

People with MS can't work.

fact:

People with MS often continue working, even years after diagnosis.

MYTH:

MS is a death sentence.

fact:

MS is not a fatal disease, except in rare cases. People with MS can be expected to have a normal or near-normal life expectancy.

MYTH:

People with MS should not exercise.

fact:

Not only is exercise essential to general health and well-being, but it is also helpful in managing many MS symptoms. Several studies have confirmed the benefits of exercise in MS for things like cardiovascular fitness, strength and improved bladder/bowel control. Any exercise program needs to be tailored to each individual patient's needs and limitations. Just remember to talk to your doctor before you start any exercise routine.