Posted on 25/04/2016

Living with Multiple Sclerosis

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Living with Multiple Sclerosis

This week, people across the UK will be raising awareness of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) for MS Week 2016.

Around 100,000 people in the UK have Multiple Sclerosis – a neurological condition that affects the central nervous system – and it affects three times as many women as men.

MS is a complex condition of which there are different types. Symptoms vary from person to person and are also dependent on the type of MS you are diagnosed with. If you have been recently diagnosed, or know someone living with MS, and would like more information and advice on how to continue living as independently as possible, then the short guide below should help you understand the condition better.

Types of MS and associated symptoms

Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis are unpredictable and might include problems with bowel movements, speech, swallowing, mobility, vision, balance and fatigue. Multiple Sclerosis can also affect memory, thinking and emotions.

There are 4 different types of MS:

  1. Relapsing-Remitting – People with this type of MS have specific flare-ups (often referred to as relapses) which are episodes of acute worsening of neurologic function, followed by partial or complete recovery periods (remissions).
  2. Primary-Progressive – Those living with this type of MS experience a slow but nearly continuous worsening of their condition from the onset, with no distinct relapses or remissions.
  3. Secondary-Progressive – If you have this type of MS, you’ll likely experience an initial period of relapsing-remitting MS, followed by a steady worsening of your condition. Many people whose Multiple Sclerosis begins with a relapsing-remitting course eventually transition to this form of MS.
  4. Progressive-Relapsing – This type of MS grows steadily worse from the onset and those living with this condition will have clear acute relapses with or without recovery. In contrast to relapsing-remitting MS, the periods between relapses are characterized by continuing disease progression.

Easing the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis

Being diagnosed with a long term condition can be difficult but there are a number of products available to assist with everyday tasks.

Eating and drinking

  • Built up cutlery is useful if you have poor grip or a lack of strength in your hands or fingers.
  • Tenura and Dycem matting increases safety during food preparation by holding objects in place, such as chopping boards, which helps to reduce discomfort in the joints. The jar opener in particular has many different uses as it can be used to open pill containers and twist door knobs too.
  • Our cup, beaker and mug ranges offer ergonomic designs to make drinking easier for those living with reduced hand function.

Household aids

  • Using a perching stool can help manage fatigue during daily tasks, such as washing up at the sink, ironing, or improving personal hygiene in the bathroom.
  • Furniture raisers fit onto the bottom of chairs and beds to minimise the amount of effort used when standing. A small change which makes a big difference to increasing independence.
  • Rise and recline chairs are very useful – particularly for those experiencing a reduction in mobility. Button control chairs enable the user to raise the footrest independently to the backrest for increased comfort when sitting.

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