Seeking Experts and Finding Treatment Answers

This blog post is sponsored by Med-IQ- working together to improve the lives of those living with MS

Treating multiple sclerosis (MS) takes more than a drug.  It’s a lifestyle change combined with teamwork.  These changes have made a huge difference in my life and I feel this information can help you live better. By combining self-care with guidance from medical professionals, patients are finding better ways to manage their MS.  

Health care professionals provide medical advice and recommendations.  Self-care empowers patients by helping them take charge of their lifestyle.  

Having access to current research, scientific findings, and professional expertise can make a difference in how health care professionals treat their patients. 

This is one reason why I chose to work with Med-IQ, an accredited medical education company that provides an exceptional educational experience for physicians, nurses, pharmacists, other health care professionals.
The second reason is because Med-IQis helping share my stories with those that can help others - the health care professionals who treat patients on a regular basis.   

The more our medical team understands and knows what we are living with, the better they can serve and help those with MS live a better life.  
They know the medical tools.  We know our symptoms.  Together we can make a difference!

Symptoms Versus Disease


There is strong evidence that treating MS as early as possible has its benefits.   

Whether you are newly diagnosed or living with MS for years, the question about which treatment is best never ends.  

MS is a complicated illness.  There is the demyelination of the nerves and the symptoms that result from this nerve damage.  There is no cure.  

But MS is more than the disease.  The resulting symptoms can cause havoc on someone’s quality of life.  

Because of the loss of myelin, nerves short circuit and do not communicate as they should, resulting in a broad range of symptoms such as extreme fatigue, pain, spasms, numbness, tingling, cognitive issues, bladder problems, vision problems, and more.    

Doctors may prescribe a variety of drugs to prevent future occurrence of the symptoms and help you live better. But, many of these drugs have side effects or are not tolerated by some patients.  

DMT Basics 


Today there are 15 disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) for MS patients, varying from less aggressive forms to bulldogs that have hefty side effects.  They are FDA-approved, clinically tested treatments to help slow down the progression of the disease and its associated disabilities. But which one is right for you? 

DMTs are designed to reduce inflammation by using a variety of factors that affect the immune system.  The hope is for fewer relapses, less severe relapses, slower progression, and reduced disabilities.  DMTs are notdesigned for symptom management.   

DMTs are divided into categories based upon route of administration: injectables, oral drugs, those taken intravenously with an IV.  The drugs range from less aggressive drugs with fewer side effects to aggressive medicine with more risks.  

The 15 approved DMTs as listed on the National MS Society’s website: 

Injectable
Oral
Intravenous

You can find a list of these medications on the National MS Society’s website, as well as risk and safety information for each (DMTs). 


DMT Risks and Side Effects 


It is known that treating MS early and aggressively has its benefits.  But how aggressively should it be treated?  

With the increased amount of aggressive MS treatments come greater risks and side effects.  Liver damage, hair loss, and even death may occur.  

In order to best minimize risk while attacking MS, it’s necessary to be in open communication with your doctor and nurses about the medicine, your lifestyle, your habits, and the risks you are willing to take.  There are options.  

Three Habits of a Proactive MS Patient

These three habits can support you in managing your MS.

1.     Create open communication with yourself, your family/friends, and your doctor and care team.  
2.     Attend doctor appointments and use MRIs & other measurement tools to track disease activity.
3.     Practice self-care: Love yourself with healthy actions.

Open Communication


It’s crucial that you are able to talk comfortably with your health care providers to find the best combination of medicine and to help minimize risks.   
  
Do you drink?  Smoke? Take your medicine on a regular basis? 

Scary as it may seem, being honest with your doctor and care team will provide the best outcomes.  This will only come if you are honest with yourself.  

While advances in research are getting closer to finding targeted drugs for individuals, at this time it becomes a trial and error game.  And this can be difficult.  

Be patient and kind to yourself during this time.  Be open with yourself and your doctors.  Ask questions, be smart.  Together you will find the right solution!  

Self-Care 


Every person is different and reacts differently to medicine, but there are actions one can take to minimize MS symptoms naturally.  

This is time to bring in self-care.  While the DMT is fighting your disease, bring in your own actions to fight thebattle.  

Take control of what you can: eat healthy, stop smoking, exercise, and practice life skills to manage stress.  

MS patients have a harder time with their disease when other comorbidities occur, such as diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure.  The better we can manage our own health, the better chance we have for controlling MS.  

Finding Quality of Life

MS is a manageable disease.  Through teamwork, honesty, and action, patients’ lives are fulfilled.  Quality of life is increased.  

Consult with your doctor.  Talk with family and friends.  And check out reliable sources of information like those listed below.  

And above all, know that you have this - that you are going to take action and do the best you can. 

That together, we are going to say, #takeTHATms!  


Resources

b.       Mayo Clinic 


Take the Survey

Help us learn more about your experience with MS and working with your care team experience by taking this survey.  The survey, which includes more education on this topic, will take less than 15 minutes to complete. Survey responses are anonymous and will be shared only in aggregate.  Your responses to these survey questions will provide Med-IQ with important information about your experiences with MS treatment and your care team, which will help us develop future educational initiatives for doctors to improve MS care.

The surveywhich includes further education on the topic, will take less than 15 minutes and upon completion, and you will be entered into a drawing to win 1 of 3 $100 VISA gift cards, with a total prize value of $300. 

The emails and names will only be used for awarding the winner.  They will not be kept!  



The information provided through this activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition.

Join the fun and #takeTHATms!


#multiplesclerosis #livebetter #spon #takeTHATms!



I was compensated by Med-IQ through commercial support from Genentech to write about MS.  All opinions are my own.

2 comments:

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Unknown said...

Been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2015, and I was a woman of 50. They put me on Rebif which I took until 2017 and was switched to Copaxone. I had two relapses on Rebif, none so far on Copaxone. I do notice my balance was getting worse, and my memory, as well as erectile dysfunction and spasms’ had no choice to sick for other solution and I was introduce to totalcureherbsfoundation.com  which I purchase the MS herbal formula from the foundation, the herbal supplement has effectively get rid of my multiple sclerosis and reversed all symptoms.