What is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory, immune-mediated disease that attacks nerves coated with myelin in the brain. Myelin acts much like the rubber coating of electrical wires to keep the electrical signals from escaping and moving forward. Destroying the myelin and the nerve producing varying degrees of physical disability and psychological problems within 20–25 years in more than 30% of patients. MS can be asymptomatic for months interspersed with debilitating episodes that can last many weeks and affect different anatomic locations.
Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is a long-lasting auto-immune disease that can affect your brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves in your eyes. It can cause problems with vision, balance, muscle control, and other basic body functions. The effects are often different for everyone who has the disease. It is often called the ‘great imitator’ because it is often confused with other conditions before it gets diagnosed.
The cause of multiple sclerosis is unknown. It’s considered an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues. It has been hypothesized that MS results from an environmental agent, exposure, or event such as a viral or bacterial infection, exposure to chemicals, or lack of sun exposure, combined with a genetic predisposition to immune dysfunction. Risk factors for MS include higher altitudes and low sun exposure, thought to result from Vitamin D deficiency.
Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms and Complications
Classic MS signs and symptoms are as follows:
- Sensory loss like numbness or tingling is usually an early complaint
- Spinal cord symptoms such as muscle cramping due to spasticity. Back muscles spasms can lead to trouble walking upright
- Spinal cord symptoms from nerves supplying bladder, bowel, and sexual organs
- Trouble speaking and tremors
- Optic nerve inflammation that can cause blindness
- Facial weakness or facial pain
- Irregular twitching of the facial muscles
- Eye symptoms such as double vision, blurred vision or gazing off to the side
- Heat intolerance
- Fatigue (70% of cases) and dizziness
- Pain: Occurs in 30–50% of patients at some point during their illness
- Cognitive difficulties: problems with attention span, concentration, memory, and judgment
- Unusual happiness which is less common than depression
- Bipolar disorder or frank dementia
- Pain or loss of control below the level in the spinal cord known as particla acute transverse myelitis
Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis
Treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) is twofold: immunomodulatory therapy (IMT) for the immune disorder and those to relieve or modify symptoms. IMT is to reduce the frequency of relapses and slow the progression. For the long-term and progressive relapsing MS, Mitoxantrone is the approved treatment.
A clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) (a single episode of neurologic symptoms) with immune modulators has not become standard practice but one study showed evidence that treating CIS with the drug teriflunomide delays the progression to MS.
How Multiple Sclerosis Effects the Bladder
Urinary symptoms are very common in MS. Bladder problems are a source of significant distress, affecting the person’s family, social, psychological, and work responsibilities. Urinary or bladder dysfunction can be a failure of urine storage, failure to empty, or both. Patients with impaired urinary storage have a small, spastic bladder with excess contractions of the bladder muscle. Symptoms may include urgency, frequency, incontinence, and excess nighttime urination. Urinary tract infections can result from MS-related bladder dysfunction.
How Catheters Help with Multiple Sclerosis
Urinary catheters help by keeping the bladder empty so that it doesn’t spasm and cause leakage or because the bladder cannot empty on its own and overfills. Both spasms and overfilling can lead to urinary incontinence. It is important to fully empty the bladder in order to prevent infection, bladder stones, and kidney damage, among other things. Many people have found intermittent catheters to be the best way to do so. While there are many different types of catheters, those who choose intermittent self-catheterization choose so for the freedom, independence, and convenience it grants them.
Once people get the hang of it and establish an effective bladder program, users are able to self-cath in a variety of places, not just limited to a bathroom. This routine becomes the new norm!
CompactCath Can Help with Multiple Sclerosis!
For MS patients, CompactCath eliminates all possible worries when it comes to self-cathing with MS. Not only is CompactCath portable, but it’s easy to use. It’s made out of state-of-the-art PVC plastic that does not kink when coiled. It also comes pre-lubricated, so the hassle and mess of lubrication is not even a concern. Finally, CompactCath comes with funnel-control, leading to minimal urine spill and mess, all while fitting in your pocket. Request your free samples of CompactCath below.