Travel insurance for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) sufferers can be arranged by World First who are international travel insurance specialists. World First offer cheap holiday insurance for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) suffererers and annual travel insurance for UK residents with medical conditions who find it difficult to buy travel insurance with cover for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and associated medical problems elsewhere. For more information about travel insurance for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) sufferers and a quote for your holiday insurance call World First for FREE on 0800 096 46 02.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a progressive condition, which affects the nervous system, for which there is no cure.
MS is the most common neurological disorder among young adults, which affects about one person in 600 in the UK. There are approximately 85,000 people diagnosed with MS in the UK. MS can occur at any age, but it is rare before puberty and after 60. In most cases symptoms are first seen between the ages of 20 and 40. Women are affected more often than men with approximately three women to every two men being diagnosed.
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Nerve fibres are normally insulated with a protective sheath of fatty tissue called myelin. In multiple sclerosis, there is patchy loss and scarring of this myelin sheath (demyelination) Sclerosis means scars. This means that where the myelin is damaged the nerve messages cannot travel normally from the brain to different parts of the body through the central nervous system, affecting many functions of the body
Although the exact cause is unknown there is some evidence to suggest that factors involved include an environmental factor, such as a virus, and an autoimmune factor (the body attacks and destroys its own tissue).
MS shows up differently in each person. Some people have an attack and then are free of symptoms for up to ten years or longer. MS can affect some people only very mildly, while others can deteriorate very quickly.
There are four main types of MS:
Benign MS that starts with a small number of mild attacks followed by complete recovery.
Primary progressive MS, affects around 12% of people with MS. From the start, the pattern isn't of relapses and remissions but symptoms gradually develop and worsen over time.
Relapsing-remitting type is the most common type. About 80% of people with MS have this type at onset. This means the person has relapses (a flare up of symptoms), followed by remissions (periods of recovery). These tend to be unpredictable and their cause is unclear. They can last for days, weeks or months and vary from mild to severe. Many people who start out with relapsing-remitting MS later develop a form known as secondary progressive MS.
About 50% of people go on to develop secondary progressive MS during the first 10 years. This means that the disability does not go away after a relapse and progressively worsens between attacks, or that the cycle of attack followed by remission is replaced by a steady progression of disability.
Each person with MS has a different set of symptoms.
They change from time to time and vary in severity and duration. Most people will have more than one symptom but will not experience all the following symptoms. The wide range of symptoms include:
Fatigue-debilitating and out of proportion to activityVisual disturbances - blurred or double vision, permanent or transient loss of vision or colour, blind spots, pains behind or in the eyes, jerking eyes Altered sensations - pins and needles, numbness, tingling, itching or a burning feeling Bladder and bowel problems - Frequency and/or Urgency when passing water, incomplete emptying or urinary incontinence. Also constipation, a slower digestive system, and bowel incontinence. Cognitive difficulties short- term memory problems, concentration problems, reasoning and judgement problems, mood swings, untypical emotional outbursts, impaired ability to learn Speech or swallowing difficulties Muscle spasm, weakness, loss of coordination, unstable walking, clumsiness Loss of Balance, dizziness, vertigo, temor.
The course of MS is unpredictable for each person. Generally, the younger you are diagnosed, the more gradually disability develops. The damage at diagnosis repairs itself and there may then be a long remission. However, in many people after 10-15 years, remissions decrease and disability becomes increasingly more evident. If you are however diagnosed at an older age it is unlikely there will be a complete recovery after the first attack and further attacks are likely to follow.
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