MS MobilityStrength Multiple Sclerosis

MS MobilityStrength Multiple Sclerosis
As a person with MS, I bring a personal commitment to the work I do.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

MS Educational Series

   MS Active Source is helping you live well with MS with their ongoing MS educational series.

MS ActiveSource is a registered trademark of Biogen Idec.
Helping you live well with MS
   I attended a program on Wednesday, February 27,2013 entitled Find answers to your relapsing MS questions & learn more about a relapsing MS treatment. This therapy was Tysabri. 
    I am currently using Avonex and am very happy with this MS therapy. 
    The scheduled neurologist discussed Understanding the benefits and the risks of Tysabri and the risk of PML.
    We also heard from an MS advocate about her journey with MS. Most everything she spoke of I could relate to. I also learned how she handled her obstacles. 
    I have had the opportunity to attend these Ongoing MS Educational Series. These educational events can help you 

  • Get the latest news and tips on healthy living from experts in MS treatment
  • Share insights with others living with MS
  • Participate in live Q&A sessions
 This free program can help you achieve some of your goals for living will with MS.

To learn more visit: MS ActiveSource  Search for MS ActiveSource in search box at top of  Biogen Idec page.

Questions about PML or TYSABRI?  Click here for Information Look under therapies for Tysabri and click.

Visit my website:  MS MobilityStrength Multiple Sclerosis
Become a member and be added to the email list for updates.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Struggling With MS-related Fatigue

Morning, Noon and Night I struggle with Fatigue a common symptom of MS.


Fatigue in Multiple Sclerosis

Fatigue is the most common symptom of multiple sclerosis (MS). It occurs in 75 percent to 95 percent of patients with MS. Fatigue can occur at all stages of the disease. The symptom is not related to the severity or to the duration of MS. At times, fatigue interferes with function and is an important symptom to manage. There are a variety of ways to combat fatigue in MS.

What causes fatigue in patients with multiple sclerosis?

The exact cause of MS-related fatigue is still unknown. There are several theories on the subject:
  • One theory is that fatigue is related to the general activation of the immune system. Chemical messengers are called cytokines; these levels are higher in patients with MS and may be higher still in patients with fatigue. One way of describing this is that you may feel like you have a virus all of the time.
  • Another theory is that people with MS may have to use more parts of their brain to do the same task as someone without MS; in essence, they are working harder.
  • Another theory is that fatigue is related to reduced electrical transmission of signals in the brain.
Whatever the theory, we know that fatigue from MS is a very real part of the disease.

What are symptoms of fatigue?

There are two major types of fatigue in MS. These two types of fatigue are probably separate problems related to the MS.
The first type is a general feeling of tiredness. It may feel as if one has not slept the night before. This feeling may be worse in the afternoons or after activity. People may feel that they are unable to do as many tasks without getting tired as they did before.
A second type of fatigue is muscular. In this type, there is increased weakness after repeated activity. Often, this occurs with walking. People may find that they are dragging one leg or are more unsteady.

Are there other causes of fatigue besides the MS?

Obviously, people with MS can be tired for other reasons. For example, they may have sleep disorders that interfere with restful sleep. People with MS may have a condition called restless leg syndrome, where they feel that they have to move their legs to get relief. They may also have periodic leg movements, which is when legs kick involuntarily during sleep. Another condition affecting sleep is sleep apnea, which is also common among the general population.
Certain medications may affect sleep or cause fatigue. Alcohol or drug use may alter sleep or cause drowsiness. Sometimes, people have other medical conditions, such as infections, anemia, or a reduced thyroid function, which can increase fatigue.

Are there non-medical treatments for MS-related fatigue?

There are non-medical treatments for fatigue related to MS:
  • A number of studies have shown that regular exercise, usually with some aerobic (cardiovascular) component, helps with MS-related fatigue. Regular exercise is also good for balance, endurance, weight loss, and well-being.
  • It is important to use the principle of energy conservation. For example, you can use "the best time of the day" by shopping in the morning and resting in the afternoon. A brief nap may be very helpful to recharge your batteries.
  • Avoid over-filling your day.
  • If you are taking medications that are causing fatigue, discuss these with your doctor; together, you and your doctor may consider reducing or eliminating these drugs.
  • If you are drinking too much or abusing drugs, consider working on stopping these behaviors.
  • Some patients are heat sensitive and have more fatigue when they are in a hot environment or are over-heated. Having air conditioning in the summer may be very helpful. Some people may also find cooling vests to be useful.

What are some medical treatments for MS-related fatigue?

In general, if possible, it is good to avoid using medications. People with MS often take several medications. Limiting the number of medicines is good medical practice. It is also important in reducing costs. However, if fatigue continues to interfere with activities, medications may be useful. These medications may include:
  • Aspirin: A recent well-designed study showed that two regular (325 mg each) aspirins taken twice a day significantly reduced MS-related fatigue and was preferred by patients over placebo. Aspirin is inexpensive and readily available over the counter. However, some people are sensitive to aspirin, and others may find it causes stomach ulcers. A trial of aspirin therapy for fatigue may be a reasonable first step in medication management. Usually, the effect can be seen after a month or two. The cost runs about $4 per month.
  • Amantadine: Amantadine (Symmetrel®) is an antiviral medication that has been used in a number of studies in MS-related cases. The drug’s effect is moderate, and side effects for some people may include nausea or a skin rash. Amantadine is given as an oral dose of 100 mg twice a day, usually in the morning and again at mid-day. One to two months is long enough to get a sense of how well this medicine is working. The cost runs about $30 to $60 per month.
  • Modafinil: Modafinil (Provigil®) is a medication which has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration to treat a sleep disorder called narcolepsy. Two studies have been done to test modafinil in treating patients with MS. One study showed a significant effect on fatigue, but the other did not. This medication costs about $150 to $200 per month. It may not be covered by prescription plans.
©Copyright 1995-2009 The Cleveland Clinic Foundation. All rights reserved.
Can't find the health information you’re looking for?
This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition. For additional written health information, please contact the Health Information Center at the Cleveland Clinic  216.444.3771 or toll-free  800.223.2273 extension 4-3771 or visit This document was last reviewed on: 3/27/2008...#14136

MS A Chronic Illness and Depression

All it took was a comment from my son; "Why didn't you get more excited when I shared with you that we are having our first baby?"

One symptom of depression is Apathy ~ Lack of feeling or emotion. Before Multiple Sclerosis I had no problems with feelings or emotions. My kids new that I would be emotional over the littlest things.
Read the article below on Chronic Illness and Depression. 

Depression is common in people who have a chronic illness.

Chronic Illness and Depression

What is a chronic illness?A chronic illness is one that lasts for a very long time and usually cannot be cured completely. Examples of chronic illnesses include diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, kidney disease, HIV/AIDS, lupus, and multiple sclerosis. Many of these conditions can be improved through diet, exercise, and healthy living, in addition to medication.
Why is depression common in people who have a chronic illness?Depression is one of the most common complications of chronic illness. It is estimated that up to one-third of individuals with a serious medical condition experience symptoms of depression. People diagnosed with chronic illnesses must adjust to the demands of the illness as well as to its treatment. The illness may affect a person’s mobility and independence, and change the way a person lives, sees him- or herself, and/or relates to others. These requirements can be stressful and cause a certain amount of despair or sadness that is normal.
In some cases, having a chronic illness can trigger clinically significant depression, a potentially serious but treatable illness itself. The challenge for the doctor and the patient is to decide whether symptoms of depression are just a normal reaction to the stress of having a chronic medical condition, or so intense or disabling that they require additional specific antidepressant treatment.
Which long-term illnesses lead to depression?Any chronic condition can trigger depression, but the risk increases with the severity of the illness and how much disruption it causes in one’s life.
Depression caused by chronic illness can in turn aggravate the illness, causing a vicious cycle to develop. Depression is especially likely to occur when the illness is associated with pain, disability, or social isolation. Depression in turn can intensify pain, fatigue, and the self-doubt that can lead to avoidance of others.
The rate for depression occurring with other medical illnesses is quite high:
  • Heart attack: 40%-65%
  • Coronary artery disease (without heart attack): 18%-20%
  • Parkinson’s disease: 40%
  • Multiple sclerosis: 40%
  • Stroke: 10%-27%
  • Cancer: 25%
  • Diabetes: 25%
  • What are the symptoms of depression?Patients and their family members often overlook the symptoms of depression, assuming that feeling depressed is normal for someone struggling with a serious, chronic illness. Symptoms of depression such as fatigue, poor appetite, impaired concentration, and insomnia are also common features of chronic medical conditions, adding to the difficulty of deciding whether they are due to depression or to the underlying illness. When depression is present, it is extremely important to treat both the depression and the chronic medical illness at the same time.
    Common symptoms of depression include:
  • Depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities
  • Significant weight loss or weight gain
  • Sleep disturbances -- sleeping too much or not able to sleep
  • Problems with concentration
  • Apathy (lack of feeling or emotion)
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Repeated thoughts of death or suicide
  • What can be done to treat depression?Early diagnosis and treatment for depression can reduce distress as well as the risk of suicide when it exists. Those with a chronic medical condition who get treatment for co-existing depression often experience an improvement in their overall medical condition, achieve a better quality of life, and find it easier to follow through with their treatment plan.
    Sometimes improved treatment of the chronic medical condition will alleviate the symptoms of depression that it caused. When this is the case, specific treatment for depression is unnecessary. Some medications can cause depression; in these cases, the best thing to do is reduce or eliminate the offending agent. However, when depression becomes a separate problem, it should be treated on its own.
    The success of antidepressant treatment – like any other treatment – cannot be guaranteed, but the majority of individuals treated for depression will recover. Recovery is often more rapid and complete when both antidepressant medication and psychotherapy ("talk therapy") are combined. Many antidepressant medicines are available to treat depression. How these drugs work is not fully understood, but they affect brain chemicals that are believed to be involved in depression.
    Psychotherapy, or "therapy" for short, actually refers to a variety of techniques used to treat depression. Psychotherapy involves talking to a licensed professional who helps the depressed person:
  • Focus on the behaviors, emotions, and ideas that contribute to his or her depression.
  • Understand and identify the life problems or events--such as a major illness, a death in the family, the loss of a job, or a divorce--that contribute to depression and help them understand which aspects of those problems they may be able to solve or improve.
  • Regain a sense of control and pleasure in life.
  • Tips for coping with chronic illnessDepression, disability, and chronic illness form a vicious circle. Chronic illness can bring on bouts of depression, which, in turn, can lead to a rundown physical condition that interferes with successful treatment of the chronic condition.
    The following are some tips to help you better cope with a chronic illness:
  • Learn how to live with the physical effects of the illness.
  • Learn how to deal with the treatments.
  • Make sure there is clear communication with your doctors.
  • Try to maintain emotional balance to cope with negative feelings.
  • Try to maintain confidence and a positive self-image.
  • Get help as soon as symptoms of depression appear.
  • © Copyright 1995-2007 The Cleveland Clinic Foundation. All rights reserved

    This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition. For additional written health information, please contact the Health Information Center at the Cleveland Clinic  (216) 444-3771 or toll-free  (800) 223-2273 extension 43771 or visit

    Saturday, February 9, 2013

    MS Dizziness

       dizziness~ A sensation of feeling off balance or lightheaded.

    Balance problems and in-coordination are common problems in people with multiple sclerosis (MS).
       When I have potty calls in the middle of the night I do not jump out of bed. I sit on the side of the bed for a few seconds then slowly stand up. Well this morning after slowly standing and starting to walk, my body headed off in a different direction which took me right into the wall. I tried righting myself only to keep walking into the dresser. Finally getting to the bathroom I was feeling light headed with no sense of balance. Getting back to bed was such a relief. I am still feeling that sense of off balance but not walking into the walls.

    Saturday, February 2, 2013

    Overcoming Mobility & Strength Obstacle

        I am Beverly and I have Multiple Sclerosis. I was diagnosed with this chronic illness in the Fall of 1997. I was angry that I was given this lifelong illness. I have decided to channel this anger into my website MS MobilityStrength Multiple Sclerosis
       Early in my diagnosis I was raising my children and working part time. I was dabbling with a website and then decided to get serious about it. The kids are all grown and out of the house. It is now just my husband, my Westie and me. I am on disability and have the time now to develop my website.
    I Know what I am doing!
    I Believe in what I am doing!
    I Love what I am doing!

       Please visit my website become a member to receive important updates and sign my guestbook to say HI! And to let me know what you think and ask any questions.
      MS MobilityStrength Multiple Sclerosis

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