MS: Women Living with Multiple Sclerosis (cont.)

Judith Lynn Nichols Speaker? I don't know the answer to that. It just seems to be a common trend. I don't know the statistics on that, but I hope the connection will be made in enough time that there will be more research to indicate why this is happening with people with MS.

2fish_WebMD What are your views on natural or alternative medicine and MS? I have found quite a few that help like vitamins and massage therapy.

Judith Lynn Nichols Speaker? My opinion is that if you find something you're sure won't hurt you in any way, and if it makes you feel better and cope better, use it. It's best to check with your doctor and let him know all the supplements and alternative meds you're using.

kimfye_WebMD This is Kim?s husband. Is there anything that I can do to make this easier to live with for my wife?

Judith Lynn Nichols Speaker? I think you've started already, just by asking if there's anything you can do. That means you're willing to support Kim in whatever she has to go through. That's the best thing you can do. I wish my husband was here right now to tell you what he has done for the past 30 years.

mariposatoo_WebMD Do you find that doctors adequately address sexual issues and MS?

Judith Lynn Nichols Speaker No, I don't. I think the main problem is that people with MS don't feel comfortable discussing sexual issues with a neurologist. As far as I know, any neurologist is willing to discuss it or refer you to someone who will. With people having problems, there are solutions, so don't be afraid to ask your neurologist or gynecologist or any other professional qualified to help you with something like that.

mariposatoo_WebMD Is nutrition an important concern in the MS patient?

Judith Lynn Nichols Speaker? I think it is, even if only in the sense of keeping as fit as possible. It will probably make us better able to cope with MS symptoms. I don't know of anything specific that we should eat or stay away from, but there is a lot of info available through organizations like the National MS Society.

Women's Moderator? We are nearing the end of our discussion with author Judith Lynn Nichols. Please ask your final questions at this time.

tobytrack_WebMD Heat is bad for MS but good for FMS. Is there anything I can do to help with both?

Judith Lynn Nichols Speaker? I guess I can address the issue of heat and MS. My neurologist has told me that anything that raises body temperature can cause an increase in symptoms, and also permanent damage if the heat is extensive. Stay in air conditioning, out of the sun, drink cold fluids, do whatever you can to stay cool because it's important.

mariposatoo_WebMD How do insurance companies seem to treat MS requirements?

Judith Lynn Nichols Speaker? The biggest problem I think with insurance companies is going to the ABC drugs. Most insurance companies won't pay for treatment with one of those drugs unless you have a positive MRI. That can be a problem because in the early stages, the MRI can be negative but the disease present. Therefore, a person with MS at that stage could miss out on beneficial treatment. So this is an area where there is room for improvement and room for reform.

Women's Moderator Many of you are asking about how to become a member of the Group, Judy's group of online sisters.

Judith Lynn Nichols Speaker? If anyone is interested in forming a group like this, get to know others with MS on the message boards of online sites. There is another group similar to ours which started in the same way, and we correspond group to group now. So if anyone wants to start it on their own, it will grow from there.

Women's Moderator Members, please check out our two MS Member to Member Message Boards: Multiple Sclerosis: Medications & Research and Multiple Sclerosis Open Discussion.

tobytrack_WebMD I can only read a few pages of a book at a time, then my vision gets fuzzy. Could this be a sign of optic neuritis?

Judith Lynn Nichols Speaker? That's possibly a sign of optic neuritis. It could also just be a sign of vision changes occurring because the brain isn't sending correct signals. If there's any pain involved, it would be best to check with your doctor right away.

mariposatoo_WebMD Please accept our thanks for sharing. Is there enough money available for MS research toward a cure?

Judith Lynn Nichols Speaker? There are a lot of organizations trying to raise money for the cure. I think Montel Williams coming forth with his diagnosis, and his efforts to raise money will be a big help, but I don't think we can say there is ever enough money until we can find a cure.

Women's Moderator? Judy, thank you very much for joining us on WebMD Live. It has really been a pleasure. I hope you will consider coming back again to talk with the WebMD Members.

Judith Lynn Nichols Speaker I definitely will. I'd like to thank everybody for coming today, and I want to thank you for trusting me enough to help you with coping with MS. Please get peer support. We're all here to help each other. Thank you for letting me be here.

Women's Moderator Members, please check out our two MS Member to Member Message Boards: Multiple Sclerosis: Medications & Research and Multiple Sclerosis Open Discussion.

shiska_WebMD Thank you so much. Talking with you has been very educational and has offered a lot of insight into the problems associated with MS.

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