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12 Things People With Relapsing MS Want You To Know

"It. Is. Not. Contagious."

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1. Everyone's MS is different.

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Symptoms and experiences vary from person to person, so don’t just google MS and expect it to be the same for everyone. Likewise, different treatment options are available; some treat MS, some treat related symptoms. People may use pills, injections, or other options.

2. It doesn't always just affect one's body.

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People with MS can also experience cognitive issues — or "cog fog," as they call it — such as trouble with spatial relations, problem-solving, or concentration.

6. Just because some days (or weeks, or months) are better than others doesn't mean they're "cured."

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RRMS, or relapsing-remitting MS, is the most common type of the disease. Though there is no cure, as the name implies, people who have it can feel partially or completely relieved of symptoms for varying amounts of time, but those symptoms often return or worsen in time despite treatments that can help. And though it may be frustrating for you to see a loved one "relapse" after feeling better, imagine how much harder it must be for them.

7. Canceling plans repeatedly isn't anything personal. Promise.

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For some people with MS, fatigue can be so extreme that normal social activities can feel totally and completely exhausting. If they cancel plans a few times in a row, don't give up on them — and try to be understanding.

9. Exercising sucks even more than usual, but it can keep people with MS from feeling worse.

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It can be hot and exhausting, but regular exercise can help people with MS improve their strength and has been linked to better bladder and bowel function, less fatigue, and a more positive attitude.

10. And their definitions of "tired" and "confused" and "fatigued" are different from yours.

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You might be tired after a long day of work, or splitting the bill among seven people at a restaurant could be confusing, but for many people with MS, these feelings can be debilitating and interfere with their everyday routine.

11. People with MS can live productive lives, thank you very much.

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People with MS work, drive, travel, play sports, maintain meaningful family and social lives, contribute to the community, and pursue their dreams with as much passion as anyone else.

12. The person is not the disease.

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They're still your friend, brother, sister, mom, dad, son, or daughter who's funny, unique, talented, driven, and human — don't look at them and see just the MS. Though it will always be a part of their day-to-day life, it's not who they are.

Additional thumbnail images via iStock.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS), Rebif® (interferon beta-1a) could be an option to speak with your doctor about.

Brought to you by EMD Serono, Inc., the marketer of Rebif in the US.
This information is intended only for residents of the United States.
Copyright ©2017 EMD Serono, Inc. All rights reserved. | EMD Serono, Inc., One Technology Place, Rockland, MA 02370
US/REB/0717/0139

Indication

This information is being shown to you because the post you're viewing contains information about a drug or medical device.

We are required by the FDA to show this information to you, but we also think it's important for you to see it.

Rebif® (interferon beta-1a) is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis. It contains interferon beta-1a. Rebif will not cure MS but may decrease the number of flare-ups and slow the occurrence of some of the physical disability that is common in people with MS.

Important safety information

Before taking Rebif, tell your healthcare provider about your use of alcohol and other medicines, past or current liver, thyroid, or bleeding problems, mental illness including depression and suicidal behavior, blood clots, low blood counts, or seizures (epilepsy). If you are female, let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or plan to get pregnant or breastfeed.

Rebif can cause serious side effects. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you experience behavioral health problems including depression and suicidal thoughts, serious allergic and skin reactions, injection site skin damage, liver problems or worsening of liver problems including liver failure. Symptoms may include changes in urine, stool, and skin color, tiredness, confusion, and bleeding. Rebif can also cause low red and white blood cell and platelet counts. Symptoms may include infections, problems with bleeding, and bruising.

Common side effects of Rebif include flu-like symptoms, injection site redness, pain, and swelling, changes in liver blood tests, and stomach pain. These are not all the possible side effects of Rebif. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.