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   Living with MS
The assured diagnosis of MS is a shock for all patients in the beginning. The world is collapsing and the future plans seem to be in far distance. The visions are dreary and fear is coming up.

In this situation of hopelessness it is necessary to have people who help you and encourage you. Increasing desperateness has to be antagonized with any supposable possibility there is.
Especially since there is a solid basis for hope:
A part of the MS-patients have the luck of a fortunate course of disease. In these cases there is a
definite diagnosis, but these patients grow old without any noteworthy incidents. They can continue living their every-day life without major changes.
Most of the patients have at least in the first years or decades of their disease an attack shaped course
of disease. This means short phases of active ailment are followed by longer or long phases of spontaneous calmness. Attacks can normally be treated very efficiently. Possible malfunctions can be controlled with suitable therapies.
The attack shaped stadium is often followed by the chronic progression of the ailment. Both courses of
disease can be realistically controlled with the extensive dietary and metabolism therapy. For the majority of the patients it is possible to pause the course of disease and to prevent the progression of MS. For about half of the patients durable improvements can be achieved, sometimes “moderate”, quite often spectacular or incredible. .
The findings of molecular biology open up new horizons also for the knowledge of MS. New therapies
which will be available for clinical use in a few years will emerge in the common medicine.
The scientific accepted therapies with Interferon, Copolymer or Immune Globulin can at least partially
benefit the delay of the ailing.
The therapy of MS will reach new dimensions within the coming years and will give all patients a reason for new hope.
               
The patient and his doctor

Trust is the basic of every interpersonal relationship. This is especially important for the relationship between doctor and patient. The doctor has to be sensitive with the diagnosis and he should not inform the patient about the facts before he has confidently assured his diagnosis.

After that the patient needs to receive all available information. The more and better he is instructed the less afraid he will be. The request of the doctor should be in partnership and motivating.

It is not always easy to find a doctor of confidence. Because of that you should not resign too fast during your search. Professional competence is just as important as the coexisting human devotion. One thing should not be forgotten: A doctor is also “just” a human being and can not work wonders! He is reliant on your cooperation.

               
Surrounding: Family and work

The surroundings are of an immense value for the accomplishment of the ailing and of tremendous relevance for the course of disease. A positive surrounding helps immense, a negative one harms very much. The family may have to learn to be considerate of your restrictions. But also you have to beware of tyrannizing your family with your disease. You should be glad about devotion and love and you should not meet your fellow men with false distrust.

MS does not need to hinder any family planning. The disease is based on a congenital disposition but the part of the congenital burden on the course of disease is rather low. The risk that your children will contract MS is only marginal higher as it is for children of healthy parents.

Female patients with a high activity of attacks or very instable situation of the disease are being dissuaded from getting pregnant. Extreme and long-lasting stressful situations should be avoided in the private as well as in the work life. If your colleagues are informed about your disease, you should not try to demonstrate your full worth with 150% effort. You have to deal more carefully with your reserves than others.

               
MS and fitness

Unless you feel any constrictions in your motion function, there is no difference between your motion demand and the one of your fellow men. Keep on doing sports as long as you have fun and feel good. Only your physical fitness is decisive for the degree of strain.

Especially recommendable are sports which do not only build up your muscularity but also train your balance and condition your circulation like e.g. biking, swimming etc. Situations of exhaustions which require a long time of regeneration should under all circumstances be avoided.

If your motion functions are already restricted, please use the available margin. Physical therapy and physiotherapy are helpful and useful.You have to decide about the degree of strain yourself and do not let your therapist lead you with eventually excessive demands.
               
Mental balance

The highest bid is to stay optimistic, although this seems to be hard in the beginning. Do not constantly think of your disease. Search for – small or big – events which you can look forward to and aim at. It is important not to isolate yourself from your fellow men, try to act as open and easygoing as possible.

Take part in the social life. It may happen that “good friends” will disappear. This hurts but you will make new friends, who will like you how you are now and not how you were. For many patients self-help-groups are a good way to find contacts and honest help.

MS-patients have to learn to relax. This is a learning process which may last years. Therefore relaxation therapies like autogenous training, yoga etc. may help. Use your vacation for relaxing whereby you should avoid extreme climatic strains. Please choose temperate zones. It is essential to avoid unnecessary stress.
               
General Tips

An adequate protection provided by vaccination is important for everybody. Nevertheless should the risks which vaccinations for MS-patients - during phases of an active disease or during immunosuppressive therapies - may bring be weighed up against each other.

An often discussed topic is the heavy metal exposure and in this correlation the amalgam which is nearly in everybody’s mouth. Heavy metal contamination may damage the nervous system, at the Myelin sheath as well as on the nerve fibres.

Because amalgam does not necessarily need to cause an endangerment with all the partially expensive consequent action, an examination on such a heavy metal contamination is by any means advisable.

If a removal of the amalgam plumbs be necessary, you should first of all talk to your dentist about the material with lowest possible exposure.

On the other hand the modulation of chronic inflammations is compulsory because these inflammations can definitely accelerate the progress of MS.

Please regard the above tips just as tips and in no case as reprimands. If you practise several small cautions, you may save yourself from some big constrictions.

                    
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