Every Health Issue is Not Related to MS

MS Blogger, Lisa Dasis, explains that it can be frustrating and unfortunate for every health issue experienced by those living with MS to be attributed to the disease.

If having been diagnosed with MS isn’t bad enough and knowing that symptoms are always different in a lot of people; my questions is could you be experiencing pain or symptoms that are NOT MS related? The answer is yes. It doesn’t seem fair to have another disease or disorder going on that must be treated besides the dreadful MS but it does happen.

Look at Ann Romney; she has had breast cancer along with MS. I have read several postings from people who listed things that they are experiencing and wondering if it was related to their disease. Although many of us do experience a lot of the same things, MS is believed to be an autoimmune disorder. Autoimmunity means that the immune system is reacting against normally-occurring antigens in the body in which the antigens are considered foreign. In MS, the immune system attacks the central nervous system. This is where it gets tricky because researches are not sure what antigen is present in MS that causes it to do that. Some other diseases also autoimmune related are Myasthenia Gravis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosis, and Type 1 Insulin-Dependent Diabetes.

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Even one of the side effects of the experimental medication, CAMPATH, which I am taking, is the possibility of developing a different autoimmune disorder. The chances are low as with developing Goodpasture’ Syndrome but the chances are still there. Although developing another disease or disorder that is serious is slim, please be aware that it is not unheard of. The medications we take can affect us in so many ways. Developing a Thyroid condition is one I have to be monitored for on an every 3 month basis along with a complete blood count monthly.  An example of having symptoms that could or could not be MS related would be having a Thyroid disorder. They present with a lot of the same type symptoms like increased fatigue, headache, shakiness/tremors, weight loss or gain just to name a few. It is so easy to say it’s just my MS acting up but is it really? It could very well be your Thyroid acting up. I can say this about so many other problems that present themselves like pain, fatigue, etc.

I just want to say don’t write everything off as being related to our disease. Listen to your body and keep a log of any new or different type of symptoms that you might be experiencing. Make sure you have a good Primary Care Physician and see him at least once a year for an annual work-up and more often if you find necessary. Do your monthly breast checks, yearly eye exams, keep a check on your recent weight gain or loss, blood pressure and your lab results. Know your body and recognize any changes that might have occurred which is “Different” from what you normally experience. Have your physician or family member to check your skin out for changing moles is size and color, report any injured area that is having difficulty with healing.  All our medications have side and adverse effects which is important to know what they are. Our MS physicians are busy people and we don’t get to spend a lot of time with them. It is so important that when we do, we provide a list of things that are going on with us and how we are doing with our medications. If he doesn’t seem to be listening or you feel that things are not going well on your current therapy please get a second opinion. It is very important that he knows what other health issues you are experiencing as well, although he may not be the primary care physician for that problem. Your PCP, (Primary Care Physician) needs to keep your MS Specialist informed on your general health. You can do this by requesting that your medical records be sent to your specialist. Be sure to use the same Pharmacy when using multiple physicians in which medications prescribed from everyone can be monitored by the same Pharmacist to avoid problems.

Take care of yourself and LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! Not all problems are MS related.

Why?  Because MSLISASAYS…

 

Resource:

Healthline: http://www.healthline.com/health-news/ms-sanofil-adds-lemtrada-aubagio-multiple-sclerosis-treatments-070513

MS Blogger and Multiple Sclerosis Activist shares her journey living with MS, tips for others living MS and her husband, Steve, offers his insight as a caregiver for MS.