The Ups and Downs of Relapsing and Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Having multiple sclerosis (MS), a disease which damages the nerves, can be quite a ride. A patient is in pain at a time then it becomes better at another.
There are different forms of MS, one of which is relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), the most common form, in which a patient can have sudden attacks followed by a period of stability. In this kind of MS, patients are most likely to experience flare-ups a month after the last attack happened. During a relapse a patient may have severe urinary problems, troubled sexual functions, and depression, among others. These symptoms may simultaneously appear during a relapse or may even be worse than the previous occurrence. It is also possible for a new symptom to arise.
Another type of MS which is progressive-relapsing ultimately gets worse over time. Although uncommon, this disease gives no assurance for remission. In contrast to other forms of MS, RRMS gives the patient some time to feel better. Symptom occurrences might be mild or severe but it will wear off eventually since after the experience of a relapse, there will be a remission. When MS remits, it means that the condition of someone with the said illness shows improvement. For people who have Relapsing remitting MS symptoms thus, chances for recovery are higher. At least during remission, a patient with RRMS feels stronger, with fewer or no attacks that can last longer than expected.
A remission does not guarantee though that a patient’s condition will no longer deteriorate. In due course, RRMS will develop into a secondary progressive MS wherein a relapse seldom happens while the disease becomes even worse.
Most RRMS patients are women and Caucasians and they start to experience a relapse at age 20, based on estimates. Doctors could not give a definite list of causes for having this disease but they associate the relapse with pollutants or lack of vitamin D which primarily aids in the absorption of calcium in the body. Specialists are open to the possibility that RRMS have something to do with genes although they do not deem it necessarily hereditary.
Due to the unpredictability of relapsing-remitting MS, a patient might feel dejected because any moment the pain will again strike. In the same manner, RRMS sheds light on the possibility of living like nothing had gone wrong during relapses. Upon remission, patients will experience how it feels again to be pain-free.
What could be the worse reaction of a patient with RRMS symptoms? Perhaps, sulking under the covers and failing to acknowledge that non-remitting sickness does not even give people the chance to live like how most normal people do.