MS Symptoms & You

MS Symptoms & You

How MS symptoms can affect your daily life1,2


MS symptoms can impact your life in a variety of ways including1,2:

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Feeling limited when carrying out activities

work

Having to reduce daily work activities

feeling exhausted

Feeling fatigued or exhausted

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Functioning at work, around the house, helping your children and leisure activities

imposing practical

Imposing a practical, emotional and financial strain

feeling embarrassed

Feeling embarrassed

What is the impact of your invisible MS symptoms?

Your ‘invisible’ symptoms may not be obvious to people around you. How you experience these ‘invisible’ symptoms (such as fatigue, cognitive problems, pain and bowel and bladder dysfunction) may lead to a discrepancy between how you appear outwardly, and how you are feeling internally, which may be difficult or distressing for you in a number of ways.3,5

Don’t forget, the ‘invisible’ symptoms of MS are just as important to how you feel as the ‘visible’ symptoms.3

You may prefer not to discuss all of your ‘invisible’ symptoms or you may try to keep them hidden, either to preserve a sense of control, to avoid feeling like you are not validated or believed or because you are embarrassed. This can place a heavy burden on you and leave you suffering privately.3,4

Be open and honest about all your symptoms - misunderstandings can put a strain on both your emotional well-being and your relationships.3,5

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MS symptoms can be challenging to manage

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Some of the symptoms of MS can be managed with medication, rehabilitation and other management strategies. This may involve a team of healthcare professionals with different areas of expertise who can help you to manage your symptoms.6

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Being able to consider all of the MS symptoms that you are experiencing can help you, and those around you, to identify the support you need.2,3,5

  1. Ysrraelit MC, Fiol MP, Gaitán MI, Correale J. Quality of Life Assessment in Multiple Sclerosis: Different Perception between Patients and Neurologists. Front Neurol. 2018; 8: 729. Published 2018 Jan 11.doi:10.3389/fneur.2017.00729.
  2. Mortensen G, Rasmussen PV. The impact of quality of life on treatment preferences in multiple sclerosis patients. Patient Prefer Adherence. 2017; 11: 1789-1796. Published 2017 Oct 19. doi:10.2147/PPA.S142373.
  3. Parker LS, Topcu G, De Boos D, et al. (2020). The notion of “invisibility” in people’s experiences of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis: a systematic meta-synthesis.
  4. de Sa JC, Airas L, Bartholome E, et al. Symptomatic therapy in multiple sclerosis: a review for a multimodal approach in clinical practice. Ther Adv Neurol Disord. 2011; 4(3): 139-168. doi:10.1177/1756285611403646.
  5. Green R, Cutter G, Friendly M, et al. Which symptoms contribute the most to patients’ perception of health in multiple sclerosis? Multiple Scler J Exp Transl Clin. 2017; 3(3): 1–6.
  6. National MS Society/ Symptoms and Diagnosis/MS Symptoms. Accessed June 29, 2020. https://www.nationalmssociety.org/ Symptoms and Diagnosis/MS Symptoms.
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