Articles

How to Ease the Pain of Pressure Sores in Multiple Sclerosis

Decubiti, also called pressure sores or decubitus ulcers, are breaks in the skin caused by too much pressure over a period of time. They are only an occasional problem in people with multiple sclerosis, but they are considered a medical emergency when they do occur. If they are managed well when they first develop, they usually resolve without problem; if they are left to increase in size, they may become life-threatening.   What Causes Pressure...

Stretching to Help with Spasticity in Multiple Sclerosis

Because many of the nerves in the brain and spinal cord regulate movement and any of them may be affected by multiple sclerosis, spasticity (stiffness) is a common problem in people with this disease. The major ways in which spasticity is reduced include stretching exercises, physical therapy, and the use of medications.   Developing a Stretching Program An independent stretching program based on some of the principles used in physical therapy may be...

The Family and Medical Leave Act and Multiple Sclerosis

Although in some of its provisions the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) uses Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) definitions, FMLA’s “serious health condition” and ADA’s “disability” are different concepts and are related to different legal goals. Because a person with multiple sclerosis (MS) who works may be protected under both laws at the same time, it is important carefully to analyze how to make the best use of the protections and benefits that each provides. Whether...

Older People and Falls: Avoiding and Responding to Them

Falls are associated with getting older and they have a certain stigma that doesn't come with other unforeseen medical emergencies. Based on talks with my older patients, falls come with much less warning than one might think there would be. Fall persons typically blame themselves, making the aftermath of a fall—especially a fall with significant injury—that much worse. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC; falling is not a disease, but they still keep statistics...

“Nonmedical” Deductions Available to People with Multiple Sclerosis

Taxes seem to be involved in almost every aspect of our lives. Therefore, it is not surprising that the person with multiple sclerosis (MS) will want to think carefully about the tax consequences of the changes that may occur in his financial situation. If it becomes necessary for you to buy equipment or to make changes to your house or apartment to cope with your condition, you may be able to deduct their costs. This could be true of such things as crutches, a wheelchair, or a mobility scooter,...

Web Resources for Women with Diabetes

Here are some great resources for women with diabetes: American Association of Diabetes Educators American Diabetes Association American Dietetic Association Americans with Disabilities Act ...

Love, Sex, and Diabetes

I fell in real love for the first time when I was 23. He was a tall, dark, and handsome Southern boy who called me babe. No one had ever called me babe before. I started dating him right around the time that I started working on getting my blood sugars tighter. The results of the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DDCT)—a major clinical study conducted from 1983 to 1993, funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, which showed how keeping blood glucose...

When the Costs of Multiple Sclerosis Lead to Debt

The issues of debtor/creditor rights loom large if you have lost your job and income, are faced with rising medical costs, have been deserted by a spouse and left with minor children, or are receiving collection letters and dunning calls. Our purpose is not to suggest that anyone should avoid paying lawful debts. Despite the advice of some popular financial advisers, you should avoid burdensome debt and try to live within your means. But disasters such as disabling illness do strike and may cancel...

Multiple Sclerosis and Your Romantic Life

Normal sexual function changes throughout one’s lifetime, but having multiple sclerosis (MS) can profoundly affect an individual’s sexual experience in a variety of ways. The most frequently reported change in men is diminished capacity to obtain or maintain an erection (impotence), while the most frequent change reported by women is partial or total loss of libido (sexual desire). Symptoms that can affect sexual activity include: Fatigue Muscle weakness Spasticity Hand...

Caring for Multiple Sclerosis Medication Injection Sites

Recent studies have shown that disease modifying therapies alter the natural course of multiple sclerosis (MS) and slow the progression of disability. These medications are injectable either subcutaneously or intramuscularly. So while it is important to stay on treatment for as long as your health provider recommends it, it is important to take care of your skin. Some people who are using disease modifying therapies, experience discomfort during the injection or a site reaction after the injection....