Types of MS
There are four different types of MS.
This is the most prevalent type which comprises about 85% of the MS population. RRMS is characterized by periods of remission, between attacks (relapses), where the MS does not progress. During periods of remission, a person will still present symptoms but the intensity of the symptoms may or may not lessen. Periods of remission may be short or they can last for years on end. Relapses can occur at any time and it is during a relapse that present symptoms can worsen and new symptoms can arise.
Secondary-Progressive MS (SPMS)
This type of MS is characterized by the worsening of symptoms over time irregardless of whether they experience more relapses or remissions. Many people with RRMS may transition into this type of MS over time.
Primary-Progressive MS (PPMS)
PPMS occurs in about 10% of the MS population. These people will experience a steady worsening of their symptoms from day one with no relapses or remissions.
Progressive-Relapsing MS (PRMS)
This type affects about 5% of the MS population. In these people, the disease worsens continually from the onset. They will experience acute relapses with no remissions.
Just because you have MS, does not mean that your condition will worsen over time. It also does not mean that you will necessarily progress from one type to another. I am bothered by the fact that some doctors feel it is necessary to tell their newly diagnosed MS patients that they should begin converting their homes to handicap accessible because they should expect to end up in a wheel chair. This is preposterous! I have many clients who have heard this and who live in fear of the impending doom! First, it is simply not true in so many cases. Secondly, why would someone put this added stress upon a person who has just found out that they have an incurable disease...a disease that stress exacerbates!
Your MS may never progress. You may never have another relapse. Your present symptoms may lessen over time as you work on managing them. No one knows!
Regardless of what type of MS a person has, it is crucial that they engage in a regular regimen of exercise and maintain a nutritious and well balanced diet. These two things work together to keep a person strong and as healthy as possible so as to better fight the disease and to achieve and maintain the best quality of life that on can.