Multiple Sclerosis, often referred to as MS, is a chronic and debilitating condition that affects the body’s central nervous system – including the optic nerves, brain and spinal cord. Multiple Sclerosis affects nearly 3 million people worldwide, and an estimated 100,000 Canadians.
Common symptoms of MS include fatigue, having a sensation of numbness or tingling, muscle spasms, pain, and vision problems. Itching, hearing and speech problems and difficulty swallowing are also possible symptoms of MS, though they are less common. While MS doesn’t cause death directly, complications of the disease can sometimes be fatal. In advanced staged of Multiple Sclerosis, individuals may develop infections such as pneumonia or urinary tract infections, epilepsy, and even paralysis. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and have not been examined, it is important to see a physician.
Dr. Ali Ghahary, a family physician based in Vancouver, currently works at Brentwood Medical Clinic and is available to see patients on a walk-in basis four days per week. You can visit http://alighaharyvancouver.ca/schedule to see his hours.
With World MS Day happening on May 31st, it is important for people to have an open discussion about Multiple Sclerosis in order to have a good understanding of the signs and symptoms associated with the disease, how it can affect the body, and how you can better prepare to deal with the diagnosis. Life with MS can not only be challenging for the patient, but for their friends and family as well, which is why the MS Society of Canada provides many different kinds of support and services via their website including educational workshops, recreational programs and self-help groups.
To take part in World MS Day, use the hashtag #LifeWithMS on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. You can share your own story, or simply be there as a support base for others who are dealing with this life-long, chronic illness.
For more information on MS, visit http://www.mssociety.ca.