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Multiple Sclerosis Life Expectancy: What's The Latest

According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, “multiple sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body.” Upon getting a diagnosis, MS life expectancy can be quite concerning. In this post, we will answer your questions about MS and life expectancy with MS.

Types of Multiple Sclerosis

There are three main types of MS. These include:

  • Relapsing-remitting. Affecting about 85% of individuals with multiple sclerosis, RRMS involves clearly defined attacks of new or increasing neurologic symptoms. These are then followed by periods of partial or complete recovery or remissions.

  • Primary progressive. This type affects about 10-15% of people with MS. Symptoms gradually worsen over time rather than suddenly appear.

  • Secondary progressive. Usually occurring after RRMS, secondary progressive MS involves a build-up of a disability independent of any relapse.

Causes of Multiple Sclerosis

While it is not clear what causes MS, there is some scientific evidence to support that some environmental factors can cause MS. These include:

  • Genetics. However, this is rare. More than 200 genes can affect your chances of getting MS. There is a 1.5% chance of a child developing MS if their parent has it and a 2.7% chance if their sibling has it.

  • Viral and bacterial Infections. Epstein Barr virus, which causes glandular fever, has been linked to MS but not all people with the virus develop MS.

  • Low levels of vitamin D. These vitamins are absorbed through the sun and through foods such as eggs, oily fish, breakfast cereals, and spreads. A blood test can determine if your vitamin D levels are low.

  • Smoking. Chemicals in cigarette smoke can negatively affect your immune system.

  • Childhood obesity. This might be because overweight people are often low in vitamin D. Additionally, obesity can cause inflammation in your body and make your immune system overactive.

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Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis

Life with MS can involve numerous symptoms. These include:

  • Bladder and bowel issues

  • Fatigue

  • Learning, planning, and thinking difficulties

  • Mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression

  • Sexual problems

  • Speech issues

  • Swallowing difficulties

  • Mobility and muscle issues

  • Numbness and tingling

  • Pain

  • Vision problems

Living Life With Multiple Sclerosis

Life expectancy with multiple sclerosis varies from patient to patient, but the average lifespan is 25 to 35 years after diagnosis. The most common causes of death in MS patients result from secondary complications such as chronic urinary tract infections and compromised swallowing and breathing. However, with the right level of care, one can live a long, healthy life with MS. This includes taking steps to promote good physical and mental health, such as getting regular checkups, exercising, eating healthy, and getting flu vaccines every fall. Speak to your doctor to determine the best methods for you.

FAQs About Life Expectancy of Multiple Sclerosis

How Long Do People with MS Live?

Multiple sclerosis life expectancy is difficult to determine because it varies from patient to patient, but the average lifespan is usually 25-35 years after the diagnosis. Usually, most causes of death result from secondary complications of MS.

Can You Live a Normal Life with MS?

You can live a long, healthy life with MS as long as you care for your health regarding the underlying symptoms. Speak to your doctor about proper care.