When you have a short-term illness such as a cold or flu, you know that you’ll be healthy again within a week or so. However, it is different when a person under hospice or palliative care in Los Angeles has a long-lasting condition such as multiple sclerosis. It can influence life in several ways.
Nevertheless, the medical team providing care for Los Angeles hospice patients tells us that it shouldn’t stop you from being happy. In fact, having a positive attitude can be one of the best ways to cope with the changes MS can cause. Also, Multiple Sclerosis should not define who you are, and many caregivers believe it just gives patients an extra challenge in their day-to-day life.
What’s Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease that could stop the proper function of the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system).
When a person under Los Angeles hospice suffers from MS, the immune system attacks the protective sheath (myelin) that covers the nerve fibers and results in communication issues between your brain and the entire body. Over time, the disease can lead to permanent damage or deterioration of the nerves.
The signs and symptoms of MS range widely and depend on the quantity of nerve damage and which nerves are affected. Some individuals with severe MS getting palliative or hospice care in Los Angeles may lose their ability to walk on their own. In contrast, others may experience long periods of remission without any new symptoms.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for multiple sclerosis. Nevertheless, treatments can help quicken recovery after attacks, change the course of the disease, and manage symptoms.
What Are The Symptoms Of MS?
The signs and symptoms of multiple sclerosis range significantly from one individual to another, and it depends on the location of the affected nerve fibers. Typically, symptoms influence motion, such as:
- Numbness or weakness in one or more limbs that usually happens on one side of your body at a time or on your legs and trunk
- Electric-shock sensations that happen with particular neck movements, particularly bending the neck forward (Lhermitte sign)
- Tremor, loss of coordination, or unsteady motion
Also, vision problems are prevalent, including:
- Partial or total loss of vision, normally in one eye at a time, usually with pain during eye movement
- Blurry vision
- Prolonged double vision
Multiple sclerosis symptoms may also consist of:
- Slurred speech
- Pain or tingling in parts of your body
- Problems with sexual, bowel, and bladder function
What Happens When A Person Is Living With MS?
When a person is diagnosed with MS, he/she will have relapsing-remitting MS. This kind of MS results in flare-ups where symptoms increase, followed by some moment of recovery. Those with primary or secondary progressive MS will notice their symptoms slowly worsen over time.
Although managing MS symptoms can be difficult, many people with MS live an active, productive life for many years by working with their physicians to control and handle symptoms. Even though MS usually shortens a person’s life expectancy by five to ten years, MS treatments have advanced to prolong people’s lives further.
Even though MS itself is rarely fatal, complications from MS can become life-threatening. Some of these complications include:
- Bladder infections
- Bacterial pneumonia
- Chronic urinary tract infections
- Muscle stiffness or spasms
- Paralysis of the legs
Late-Stage MS: What to Anticipate
In late-stage or advanced MS, the symptoms of MS continue until the individual can no longer care for themselves on their own. Some of the symptoms of late-stage MS consist of:
- Difficulty breathing
- Trouble speaking
- Incontinence, constipation, and urinary tract infections
- Impaired vision
- Decreased mobility
- Muscle spasms, stiffness, and cramps
- Trouble swallowing
- Nerve pain
- Cognitive issues
What Are The Causes of Multiple Sclerosis?
No one understands what causes multiple sclerosis, and it is believed to be an autoimmune disease that makes the body’s immune system attack its own tissues. When it comes to MS, this immune system failure breaks down the fatty substance that coats and protects nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord (myelin).
The protective myelin is faulty, and the nerve fiber is uncovered, the messages that travel beside that nerve fiber may be delayed or blocked. No one understands why MS develops in some people and not others. A mix of genetics and environmental factors seems to be responsible.
What Are The Risk Factors?
These factors may escalate your risk of developing multiple sclerosis:
- Age. MS can happen at any age, but onset typically occurs about 20 and 40 years of age. Nonetheless, younger and older people can be affected.
- Family history. If one of your parents or siblings has had MS, you will probably develop the disease.
- Sex. Women are at a higher risk than men to have relapsing-remitting MS.
- Race. White people, especially those of Northern European descent, are at the highest risk of developing MS. Individuals of Asian, Native American or African descent have the lowest risk.
- Specific infections. Several viruses have been linked to MS, including Epstein-Barr, which causes infectious mononucleosis.
- Climate. MS is far more prevalent in countries with temperate climates, including Canada, the northern United States, New Zealand, southeastern Australia, and Europe.
- Vitamin D. Having low vitamin D levels and low exposure to sunlight is linked with an increased risk of MS.
- Particular autoimmune diseases. You have a slightly higher chance of developing MS if you have other autoimmune disorders such as thyroid disease, psoriasis, pernicious anemia, inflammatory bowel disease, or type 1 diabetes.
- Smoking. Smokers who experience an initial event of symptoms that may indicate MS are more likely than nonsmokers to develop a second event that leads to relapsing-remitting MS.