I have wondered about this too. When you find out that you have MS one of the first questions which came to my mind was, "Am I going to die from this?" It seems that the answer which is most given is that you don't die from MS but that you can die from the complications of MS, for example, respiratory failure due to bronchopneumonia.
In The Free Health Encylopedia on-line, I found this quote about mortality rates and MS:
"Less than 5 percent of people with MS have a severe progressive form of the disease that leads to death within five years. At the other extreme, 10 percent to 20 percent have a benign (relatively harmless) form with very slow or no progression of symptoms. On average, MS shortens the lives of women with the disease by about six years and men by about eleven years. Suicide is a significant cause of death in people with MS, especially among younger patients.
Most people experience the severest disabilities of MS within five years of diagnosis. After that point, disabilities do not continue to worsen significantly. If no disabilities appear within the first five years, they are unlikely to occur at all."
So it seems that MS can shorten one's life but the literature is not always clear as to how. I am personally hopeful that with all the new research and new drugs coming down the pike, that many of us will not have to endure the end stages of MS.
Lastly I am going to give you a link to a doctor's answer specific to discussing what constitutes the "end stage" of MS.
It isn't a topic which is pleasurable to discuss but I am sure it is on everyone's mind who has MS or has a loved one who has this disease. Thank you for your question. I know you had asked this some months ago. I just came aboard recently and am trying to answer any unanswered questions.
Hope this helps.
I saw your posts while looking for the symptoms of the last stages of MS. My sister have been diagnosed around 6 years ago and since she degenerated very fast. The doctor say that her MS is agressive. She is in ICU right now with difficulty to breath on her own. Being bed bond for at least 2 years and depression have made her slow and sometimes irresponsive. That did not help. We have still believe that she is going to get out of this because we found clinical trial that became a hope for her and all of us. We were going to Chicago this month for the evaluation but unfortunetely she got really bad. I just though about sharing this information with all of you. Who knows it can still be good for you. I found the website of this man that participated of this same trial in this same hospital around 10 years ago. the address is www.allyoumed.com. After the trial he became MS free. The John Hopkins was doing it two but they closed it. No one wants to finance cure in this country. Please check this guy gives good info and I was preparing my sister to go for the evaluation as I said. I have faith that it is still going to happen for her. I feel for all of you as I see her fight. Hope I could add something to this tread. Take care.
My brother has been bed ridden for three years. Also, in and out of the hospital because he was septic from bladder infections. His heart stopped once in an ambulance but by the grace of god he is still here. Hes had MS for ten years and he is 36 years old. He hasnt been able to feed himself for the last two years. His wife and the rest of our family take care of him round the clock.
His MS initially got real bad four years ago after the passing of our father. He was depressed and his effort for improvement decreased. It showed in his physical thearpy and other theraputic events. Then he got sick and then came the bed soars. He just gave up. However, I know he fights today to see his seven year old daughter grow up..
As I read your story my heart breaks- my mom has struggled with MS for 20 years. She has been wheel chair dependant for about 10 years and is now struggling to eat and talk. She has times where she just stares off into space and is basically unresponsive. She will also just suddenly nod off while in her chair. These episodes only last a few seconds to a few minutes but she is slow to recover. I can find no information on this. Has anyone else had this experience? Please help!
Hi, my mum was diagnosed with ms roughly 12 years ago when i was 9 although the doctors think she may have had it longer. My mum suffers from primary progressive ms. I cant really remember what my mum was like before this disease and i wonder all the time about the type of person she was, i have a feeling the woman i see today is a shadow of the woman she was. She has been wheelchair bound for the last 5 or so years and things are getting worse she can no longer do even the most simplest of tasks without assitance, she has recurring urinary tract infections and is starting to lose control of her bowels. My dad is her main care giver although me and my siblings help. I feel so stuck and helpless the way things are my dad works long hours and is often away on business trying to provide for our family. I feel the stress of everything radiate of him and i feel so sorry for him, i feel like i should be doing more but i dont know what i can do. He never gets a break, hes such a kind man and i love him so much. I have this gnawing guilt all the time because i feel so frustrased and annoyed and constantly have the "why us" "why my mum" feeling. I know i should be stonger and more accepting of this disease but i just can't. I hate that this disease has taken my mum away from me. I feel like a terrible daughter most of the time. Thanks
Hi the is smomdukes, do not feel bad. I was DX with MS in 2004, I was told that I had it all my life, it just chose to reat it's head in 2004. For that I am greatful, my girls were through HS by then and finished with marching bband, cheerleading, debate and all those other HS things. I have the mildest form of MS that there is so for that I am blessed, I am not sure what it is called. I have trouble walking, and the trouble is with my knees they are weak, and I have the usual problems the trouble with fatique. I take the B12 but only when I really need it because he body gets use to it and soon it will not work, so I use it only when really needed, the same thing with Progivil. You just have to learn your body, then you will be able to judge what you can and cannot do. Like it has been said, MS cannot kill us, it is the symptoms from something else that can come along with MS such as pnomina, and other stuff like has be said before. Do not borrow troubles, you have a long life ahead of you, keep yourself healthy, excerise, laugh do not worry about tomorrow, I don't!
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