Healthy Living

Understanding Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS)

Understanding Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS)

Most patients who are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis usually fall under the category of having RRMS. In most patients, relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis in the course of the disease changes after several decades and usually becomes worse, and the patient’s diagnosis is likely to progress to another form of MS.

What causes RRMS?

Relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis is caused from the damage to the nerves due to the immune system attacking the central nervous system. Like most diseases, RRMS has genetic factors that make some people more prone to the disease than others. In recent studies of the disease there is some evidence to support the disease being triggered by environmental factors in patients who have an elevated genetic risk of having MS.

Who is at Risk?

  • People who have had a dormant infection in the body for an extended period of time
  • People who are genetically susceptible to multiple sclerosis
  • People who smoke cigarettes

Symptoms of RRMS

  • Trouble Seeing
  • Numbness, mainly in the feet
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty thinking clearly
  • Depression
  • Urgent Urination
  • Trouble with balance
  • Lack of coordination

How is RRMS Diagnosed?

Multiple sclerosis is diagnosed through a series of test performed by your physician. First your physician may ask you simple questions about your symptoms and their onset and try to rule out the possibility of any other diseases. Your physician may also give you a physical exam checking your balance, vision, and other body functions to see if you have any signs of multiple sclerosis. Your physican may also recommend you to have a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain, to check for any possible damage to the brain.

How is RRMS Treated?

Multiple sclerosis is not a disease that is considered to be curable, which means the treatment primarily involves treating the symptoms. Medication can treat many of the symptoms relating to RRMS and help the patient better manage their symptoms in long term.

Medications are prescribed to treat symptoms such as:

If you are having flare-ups with your relapsing-remitting MS, your physician may prescribe you a steroid based medication to reduce the symptoms along with a medication designed to affect the immune system, to prevent damage to new areas.

Living with RRMS

In most patients, relapsing-remitting MS is mild, usually requiring the patient to use a cane or other mobility device. In some cases, RRMS could leave caring for yourself rather difficult.  There are steps you can take to help manage your condition.

Managing your RRMS

  • Physical therapy can help you manage your muscle spasms
  • Try to avoid fatty foods, and eat foods rich in omega-3, these nutrients help combat inflammation
  • Speak with a counselor if you have any feelings of depression, this can help you manage the psychological effects of MS
  • Getting a little exercise and proper rest can help reduce the risk of relapse

Multiple sclerosis affects a large number of people between the ages of 20 years old and 30 years old, with more women suffering from the disease than men. A majority of these people experience depression at some point. Understanding your risk for MS is essential for preventing the triggering of this disease. If you have any symptoms of RRMS or you’re concerned about risk, see your physician as soon as possible. The sooner you begin treatment of MS, the better your chances of slowing its progression and effectively managing your symptoms.