Different types of Multiple Sclerosis

types_of_ms_chart_largeAs y’all already know, Multiple Sclerosis is a very unpredictable and for some debilitating illness of the Central Nervous System. With MS, the immune system eats away at the protective covering of the nerves. MS disrupts the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and body. Multiple Sclerosis does not discriminate and can attack anyone no matter race or gender, but it is diagnosed 2 to 3 times more often in women than men. Multiple Sclerosis does affect each person differently, so no single person even if they have the same type of MS will experience the same exact symptoms. With that said I would like to take this moment to give a description of the four different types of Multiple Sclerosis.

Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis, (RRMS) is by far the most common form. This type is 80-85% the initial diagnosis of MS cases.  RRMS involves clear episodes of inflammatory activity and well-defined attacks of new or recurrent symptoms. The patient will typically experience partial or even full recovery between the episodes. Symptoms do vary between each individual, but some well know traits are: tingling and numbness, visual loss or changes in one or both eyes, fatigue, weakness and balance problems. It is important to know what your baseline is on all these issues so you can communicate any changes with your specialist.

Primary-Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, (PPMS) is another type that is less common. Ms_progression_types.svgThis type is composed of only 10-15% of all MS cases.  With PPMS neurological functions are impaired and become more significant as the disease progresses. Patients will experience occasional plateaus in the progression, but symptoms can also worsen with no relapse between them. There is less damage done to the brain with PPMS, but more damage done to the spinal cord. Symptoms that can come along with PPMS are problems walking, stiff legs and trouble with balance. Like I have already said, it is so important to know what your baseline is with anything to do with your health, so when there are changes you are able to communicate those changes with your specialist.

Secondary-Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, (SPMS) is actually the next stage of Multiple Sclerosis. I have already shared with y’all that I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis when I was only 19 years old, so this year will make 19 years for me. Time flies because it feels like it was just yesterday when my specialist flipped my world upside down telling me I had this illness. Reports indicate that 50% of those with RRMS will develop SPMS within 10 years and 90% will develop in 25 years. SPMS is similar to RRMS, but may or may not involve the occasional relapse. Symptoms with this progressively worsen and may include bowel and bladder problems, weakness and coordination issues, stiff and tightness in legs, fatigue, depression and problems thinking.

MS SymptomsProgressive-Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis, (PRMS) is progressive from the beginning.  With PRMS there will be clear and acute relapses with and without recovery from the damages. The illness will continue to progress between relapses. Symptoms that are associated with PRMS are muscle spasm, weak muscles, chronic pain, vision changes, dizziness and decreased bladder functions.

All those years ago when I was first diagnosed I did a lot of research on Multiple Sclerosis. Now it was a long time ago, but I do not remember reading that RRMS can possibly progress into SPMS in a matter of time. Sadly it was not until recently I learned that I did not know everything I should have. It was not completely my doctor’s fault for not sharing this with me, it was mine for not learning and or remembering this information. Talk about being a little shocked when I found out it does not necessarily matter if I take the medication I am supposed to in order to slow the progression down. This illness has a mind of its own and can progress no matter how hard you fight it. Maybe that sounds a little negative, but I guess the truth is reality is not always positive. 

I know many of you already have a lot of knowledge regarding Multiple Sclerosis, but I have a goal to raise awareness for everyone! This is an illness that crept its way into so many lives, completely uninvited and just will not go away. I want to believe that fight for a curesomeday there will be a cure and our lives will improve drastically. I look forward to the day that I am not dealing with massive amounts of pain, headaches, numbness, that annoying tingling feeling and vision issues. Until that day comes though, I will continue to live my life and enjoy it as much as possible. I will continue to do my best to help and motivate others that are struggling with illnesses and other issues in life. I want to be able to bring positivity into the lives of others to combat the world of so much negativity. I would love to believe it only takes one person to change another person’s  life!

I hope y’all are enjoying your weekend and feeling well! Again the weekend went by pretty fast, but I was able to get my hair done and some cleaning done in my house, which was a fantastic feeling! It is so helpful being able to take short breaks in between cleaning the house because if I didn’t, it would make me feel absolutely horrible with additional pain!

Thank you for visiting my site today! As always I would love to hear your comments on what I have shared. Being able to read your comments and respond builds a great and supportive network that we all need. I hope the rest of your Sunday goes very well and you are able to rest up for the week ahead! Sending y’all much love and comfort!!

Love 2

 

Always, Alyssa

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65 thoughts on “Different types of Multiple Sclerosis

  1. Great read. I knew it was a possibility from the beginning and still thought I wouldn’t get to the point I’m at. Just goes to show ya, you just never know. I did most of the DMD’s and even Novantrone when it was new for MS. But it is what it is. Still grateful for all the positives in my life❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is such a good post and you even raised awareness for me, I had a rough idea and obviously know what I need to for now but I suppose I’ve never really looked deeply into how the path generally goes- maybe never wanted to think too much about it but you have explained and put it perfectly. So thank you for enlightening me. Take care x x x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Kim for this fabulous comment! I am so glad that this enlightened you. It is hard to look at the statistic and what can happen. No one ever wants to think about what could happen years down the road due to an illness. I always want to say that will never happen to me. But the truth is, we do not know what our futures really hold and sometimes we are not able to prepare for it! I hope you are having a good weekend and I hope you are feeling good!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant read. I only learnt of progressing from RRMS to SPMS due to Google, I do feel it’s something doctor’s should make you more aware of. I’ve only looked into things so far, probably more due to fear over anything else. Hope you’re well Alyssa 😊 xx

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    • WOW, thank you so much for your compliment! I know I was not prepared for bad news when I was diagnosed, but I do not remember my doctor warning me about this ever! Fear plays a big part in what we hear from doctors. I am honestly terrified about this because this year will be 19 years, so is my MS going to progress now? I try not to think that negative, but it is reality. How are you feeling? I hope you are having a good weekend and feeling well!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Fingers crossed that you’ll be looking well into the future, I mean the dates are only ever rough statistics aren’t they. So my fingers are crossed you’ve got a while yet before any more progression 😊 I’ve not been too bad, up and down but trying to remain more up! Xx

        Liked by 1 person

      • I do not think it is a good idea to get wrapped up in the statistics. They are just numbers and may never happen. Remaining positive will do well for anyone!!
        I am glad you have been doing well. Ups and downs are enviable, but leaning on the ups is a good plan!!!

        Liked by 1 person

    • I am so glad you enjoyed and were able to learn something from this post! My goals are to raise awareness but also to add some positivity to others lives! It makes me smile to know that I have showed at least one person the differences in the different types of MS!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What you didn’t mention, or perhaps are unaware of is that MS can completely disappear for no apparent rhyme or reason. And I have personally witnessed someone who was legally blind, walked with leg braces for nearly twelve years. And then one day she said, “You know what? I feel different today? But I can’y explain why.” Two weeks later he was in complete remission. Her eyesight went back to twenty twenty, she got back all of her feeling in her limbs, and walked with any assistance from braces or crutches. Her doctor was completely surprise but also said that in rare cases it has been documented that this can happen. After this she did relapse once or twice back into her previous state of disability but each time it cleared again after a week or two. When I last saw her many years ago she had finally gone several months with no relapses or disability. I hope she has stayed that way, obviously! There is also some evidence that MS can burn itself out as you get older. And I am pretty much, keeping my fingers crossed, living proof of that. I have been relapse free for about five years but still do have a number of symptoms. Read my post below for more on that:
    https://msandbeyond.com/2014/04/24/can-ms-burn-itself-out/

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    • You are correct that MS can go into remission for a while, but at the same point it can come back anytime. I was in remission for a while until my last flare up. I appreciate you sharing this and I do want you to know that I am not obvious to this. I was simply sharing the different types and will be working on more throughout MS Awareness Month.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I understand. I was just trying to add a positive thought that many with MS are not aware of! And yes, any remission can come back, but it’s been documented to also go completely away with no further flare ups!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I do try to always add a positive to all aspects of this illness, but at the same time this post was just being very real. Yes, there might not have been a positive added onto it, but it was not completely negative. Flare ups are inevitable with MS and it will come and go. I do believe that keeping a positive mindset does help, but as far as I know it does not really cure the illness. I do appreciate your comment!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh no worries, I just did not want anyone to think I was only writing about the negatives. I have been living with the ups and downs for a long time, so I do understand the MS can go into remission. Right now mine does not seem to be liking the remission and keeps acting mean. I did not view you as being disrespectful, I appreciate your comments!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I wasn’t offended Alyssa. We are both on the same team looking for the same answers. You are a beautiful incredible soul! Keep fighting and keep writing, we will win this in the end!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh my goodness, you are way too kind! Thank you so much!! My goal is to always find the positive in all situations because it takes more energy to be negative and it is just depressing! I am honestly so worried about my MS progressing. I am overly independent and never want to rely on anyone else. I have been pretty good at taking care of myself since I was young. But I do know there is no use dwelling on what could happen because it will not change the outcome! I am so glad that nothing I said was offensive because that is just not me! Thank you for your truly kind comment!!! Yes, we will WIN!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Let’s change the subject a bit, I saw an article a little while ago about all autoimmune diseases and the fact that science and researchers are really starting to home in on gut bacteria as a possible cause to all of these diseases, stay tuned, I’ll see if I find out more so I can update you and everyone else!

        Liked by 1 person

      • They actually have been looking at gut bacteria for a few years but can’t quite get enough proof to put it over the top. However, they did a study where they took samples of gut bacteria from both MS patients and non-MS people and inserted it into the guts of mice, poor mice, and the ones that got the MS bacteria all developed neurological symptoms and none of the non-MS mice developed any! Kind of makes you wonder huh!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • This is so interesting, but I feel bad for the mice! Did they do anything to help the mice? Oh now you can see where my heart lies and it is with animals. I think I sound like a crazy animal person at times!! On a serious note, thank you for sharing this.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m also a crazy animal person, but I believe that animals also have a place in heaven and will be rewarded for lives well lived, which includes making sacrifices even when they didn’t choose it!

        Liked by 1 person

      • It is so nice to meet another crazy animal person! Animals make me so happy! Our cats have an amazing way to know how we are feeling and always try to help us feel better. Animals have souls and you can see the love in their eyes! Animals definitely have a very special place in Heaven!!!! Thank you so much for this great comment!!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you so much for all the insight and knowledge you have given me today. I try to hide my pain and push myself all the time but it only makes things worse. I only wish friends and loved ones could understand the real struggle of MS. But you just made me aware of the fact that I don’t understand it myself. I never got my eyesight back in my left eye and lately I am having so many new symptoms that I didn’t understand until you shared with us. I am thankful for what I am still able to do even if I have to push my way through everyday with a fake smile on my face. I will have to show my loved ones this information you shared and hopefully they will learn more about MS as I did. Thank you so much for helping me understand my symptoms. You have certainly made my day so much brighter. I have more knowledge right now than I have had in years. You are a true blessing to all of us that never understand MS. Have a wonderful day and thank you so much for sharing.💗

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am really glad you found this post insightful and helpful! I am sorry you did not get the vision back in your left eye, but there is always a chance you will get it back! Have you talked to your doctor about it? If you do not mind me asking what new symptoms are you dealing with? I remember when I was first diagnosed I had lost vision in my left eye, but after a fun round of steroids it did come back. I do wear contacts or glasses because my vision is not great! I am really glad reading this post made your day brighter. Please never hesitate to reach out to me anytime and I will respond as quickly as I can. I completely understand how frustrating MS can be and really understand how aggravating it can be when it seems like no one understands. I hope you have a lovely day!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • My doctor is wonderful and he only specializes in nuero science for MS. He put me in the hospital for 7 days on IV steroids and it didn’t work. Don’t get me wrong I am happy I can see.

        Liked by 1 person

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