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First Questions

First Questions

Here are some common questions those undergoing testing or recently diagnosed with MS may have.  

How can I adapt to life with MS?

If you have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis you may be struggling with your diagnosis or wondering how you can adapt to life with MS. Adapting can take some time, and each person will react differently and be affected differently by their condition. If you require support or would like to talk to someone about the changes to your life, you can contact the MS Society helpline on 0808 800 8000, available weekdays 9am to 9pm.

Can I carry on driving?

Most people diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis are able to continue driving as normal, however you will need to inform the DVLA about your diagnosis.

What are the stages of MS?

Unfortunately there are no specific stages of Multiple Sclerosis as each person will have different symptoms at varying degrees of severity. Symptoms can be mild or severe, and can be acute or longer lasting. This all depends on the area of the nervous system affected.

Do people die from MS?

People don't die from Multiple Sclerosis directly, however the risk of death from a complication of MS is increased for those who are severely affected. There is some research which suggests that the life expectancy on average of those with MS is slightly lower than that of the general population, however this is no indicator of how Multiple Sclerosis will affect you personally or your life expectancy. 

Beacuse of the great varieity in the type, occurence and severity of symptoms of those with MS, it is not possible to predict exactly how MS will affect each person individually. Research does suggest that due to better healthcare, the life expectancy of people with Multiple Sclerosis is improving.

Will I end up in a wheelchair?

Again, due to the unpredictability and variety of Multiple Sclerosis, it is impossible to say how your mobility will be affected and if you will require a wheelchair. If your mobility does become impaired by MS and you do decide to start using a walking stick or wheelchair, you may find that this can improve your quality of life and allow you to retain your independence. Although this may be a difficult decision, there is plenty of help, support and advice for those who find themselves in this situation.

Do I have to stop working?

MS affects everyone differently. Whilst some people may find that having the condition prevents them from working, others are able to continue working with support and by making suitable ajustments to their working life.

The type of job you have is a factor to consider, as some people find that stress exascerbates their symptoms. Similarly, fatigue is a common symptom of MS and may affect your ability to work.

Some of the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis may be long term, whilst some may be short lived. The impact of MS on your life will not be immediately apparent and whilst you may find you need to reassess or reajust your lifestyle along the way, there is no need to rush into any decision. 

Can I have children? 

Multiple Sclerosis does not affect fertility and there is no reason that having MS would prevent you from becoming a parent. 

Will my children get MS?

Whilst genetic factors are thought to be a contributing factor to Multiple Sclerosis, it is not a defined as a genetic condition and it is not directly inherited. The chance of a child developing MS as a result of the parent having the condition is very low, at around 2 percent. 

 Before a Diagnosis