Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis, or RRMS, is the most common type of Multiple Sclerosis. This means that most people who have Multiple Sclerosis have RRMS. In the United States, about 1 million people have Multiple Sclerosis, so a lot of them have RRMS. As it’s so common, it’s important how it’s caused, how you can recognize it, and maybe even more important, how it’s diagnosed & treated.
What Is Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis?
Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS) is a kind of health problem that affects the brain and nerves. Imagine the body’s system for sending messages through nerves like wires covered in protective coating. In RRMS, this coating gets damaged. This damage can make it hard for the body to send messages properly.
People with RRMS have times when their symptoms get worse, called “relapses.” These can be problems like feeling exhausted, having trouble walking, or feeling numb in parts of the body. Then, they have times when they feel better, called “remissions,” when the symptoms might improve or even go away for a while. This pattern of feeling worse and then better is a big part of what makes RRMS different from other types of Multiple Sclerosis.
Causes of Relapsing MS
The exact causes of Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis (MS) aren’t fully understood, but it involves the body’s immune system, which usually fights off infections, mistakenly attacking its own brain and spinal cord. This is what doctors call an autoimmune disease. There are several factors that might increase the risk of getting Relapsing MS:
- Genes: if someone in your family has MS, you might be more likely to get it too.
- Environment: certain environmental factors, like low Vitamin D levels or smoking, can increase the risk.
- Virus exposure: some scientists think that certain viruses might trigger MS, but this isn’t confirmed.
- Age and gender: it’s more common in people between 20 and 40 years old and is more likely to affect women than men.
Maybe the biggest question is, how you can recognize this type of MS. You’ll find the answer, and more, on the next page. So continue reading quickly.