Multiple sclerosis is a chronic illness that damages the nerves over time. Numbness, speech impairments, lack of muscular coordination, blurred vision, and fatigue are symptoms of this debilitating disease.
Getting a proper diagnosis is important, but after that, the thought of what life with this new title settles in. What does living with this disease look like, and what changes?
We will aim to help answer the questions of newly diagnosed patients and give them tips on things they may have yet to think about. Diagnoses are life-changing, but knowing how to navigate insurance and everyday life will make sure the changes are for the better.
To start with, we will look at life insurance with multiple sclerosis in particular.
Frequently Asked Questions About Multiple Sclerosis
Many questions come up when someone is initially diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Let’s look at some of the most common questions out there and answer them in as much detail as we can.
What are the causes of multiple sclerosis?
The cause of this disease is unknown at this time. Multiple sclerosis is considered an autoimmune disease that attacks the body through the brain and spinal cord nerves. Experts are still looking into the causes of this chronic illness.
What is the life expectancy of someone with multiple sclerosis?
Studies have shown that the life expectancy of someone with multiple sclerosis is roughly seven years shorter than someone who is healthy. Many times, people with this illness die early from other health complications, but multiple sclerosis does not affect your life expectancy in a significant way.
What are some treatment options for multiple sclerosis?
There are many treatment options for multiple sclerosis, but there is no absolute cure. Injections, oral medications, and infusion treatments are your best bet to slow down the progression of this disease. It’s even been shown that chemotherapy helps with slowing down multiple sclerosis.
Physical therapy is also a great way to help ease some of the pain that comes with this chronic illness. A physical therapist can help you strengthen your weak muscles and give you some stretching techniques.
What are some ways that I can live with multiple sclerosis?
Below are five ways that can help you deal with this debilitating disease. We will look at each of them in detail.
#1 – Rest as Much as You Can
Obstructive sleep apnea could prevent you from getting the sleep you need. This kind of sleep apnea is caused by muscles relaxing and closing your airways. If this is the case, consult a sleep doctor and see what treatment or medication you can take to help you sleep at night. It’s important to get as much rest as you can.
Sleep is a powerful way to heal the body, and it has many benefits. Some of those benefits include boosting your immune system, helping with blood pressure, and increasing cardiovascular health.
Not getting enough sleep could cause exhaustion, pain, and even danger to other people if you have to drive regularly; the worst drivers in America are those who drive distracted or tired.
#2 – Get Some Exercise
Working out might seem like the last thing you’d want to do with a condition like this, but exercise is beneficial for you. Taking care of your body through exercise is one of the best ways to stay healthy.
You can go on a 15-minute walk or use a treadmill — whatever works for you. Just make sure that you’re getting some physical activity in your day. You could also go swimming, which is not as harsh on the joints as walking.
If you find it challenging to exercise alone, consider getting an accountability partner that will walk with you or go to the gym with you. Personal trainers can be helpful, too.
#3 – Stay Cool
When you’re overheated, your symptoms get worse. Make sure you stay cool by drinking water and wearing cool vests and scarves. Avoid prolonged exposure to heat if you can, especially during the summer months. Protect yourself as much as you can.
#4 – Eat Well
Eating well just means eating a balanced diet. Don’t eat too many sugary foods or anything that increases inflammation in the body. Eating these will increase your pain and discomfort. Some good anti-inflammatory foods include fish, green leafy vegetables, nuts, and fruit.
#5 – Reduce Stress in Your Life
Meditation and yoga are great ways to reduce stress in your life. Other ways to reduce stress include journaling, listening to music, and doing anything that requires repetition. For example, playing with clay is a fun and relaxing method to reduce stress. Playing an instrument is also a great way to soothe your mind.
Answering these questions should prepare you for dealing with your diagnosis. Consult your doctor if you have any other questions or concerns.
Life Insurance and Multiple Sclerosis
Being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis means it will be difficult for you to get life insurance, but not impossible. Your best option for insurance will be term life insurance if you apply.
Insurance providers will determine whether you are eligible for their policy based on the rate of your progression with this disease, how proactive you are about seeing your doctor, and what medications you’re taking.
You must stay on top of your health and keep your relapse rate as low as possible. When providers see that you are working towards being healthy and getting treatment, they will be more inclined to insure you.
Don’t Give Up Hope
Multiple sclerosis — or any chronic illness for that matter — can feel like a death sentence, but it’s really not. Don’t give up hope. There might not be an absolute cure now, but there may be one in the future. Keep persevering through the pain and strive to live your best life. It will inspire those around you, and you will grow to be more confident about your condition.
Find support groups you can join to help you cope with this disease. Find a therapist that can help you with the mental challenges that come with chronic pain and illness. Whatever you decide to do, please don’t quit.
If you know others that struggle with this chronic illness, please share this information with them. Camaraderie and community are so important. Connect with others as best as you can.