Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological condition that affects the brain and the spinal cord and can potentially be disabling. Although there is no cure for the condition, numerous treatments are available to help manage symptoms, slow disease progression, and recover more quickly from attacks.
Doctors are not currently required to report new MS cases to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which makes determining the actual number of MS cases challenging. However, it is thought that there are around 300,000 to 400,000 people in the United States with MS and approximately 2.5 million people living with the disease worldwide.
Everyone's experience of MS is different, but healthcare professionals can help you to find a treatment strategy that is best suited to your particular situation.
MS societies, associations, and blogs can connect you with individuals that share common life experiences for support, mutual aid, and education. Medical News Today have selected the 10 best multiple sclerosis blogs.
MS Conversations is the official blog of the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA). The MSAA's mission is to help improve and enrich the quality of day-to-day living for people with MS, as well as that of their families and caregivers, through vital services and ongoing support.
The MSAA offers services and programs nationally, such as helpline consultations, MRI diagnostic funding, equipment distribution, public awareness campaigns, and resource assistance. They also provide educational information about managing MS and its symptoms through award-winning literature and videos.
MS Conversations has blog posts that work to break down physical, social, and emotional barriers, and build hope for those who are physically challenged. Recent content includes posts on cognitive changes that may be associated with MS, Penelope's account of MS feeling like an earthquake inside her body, and dealing with constipation in MS.
MS Connection is the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's blog. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is a gathering place for those with MS, their friends and families, volunteers, fundraisers, donors, healthcare providers, advocates, and community leaders, to come together.
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society's vision is for the world to be free of MS. While the society is working on stopping MS in its tracks, restoring abilities that have been lost, and ending MS for good, they are supporting individuals with MS to live their best lives.
MS Connection features an MS discussion forum, online support groups, listings of one-on-one peer supporters and volunteer-led support groups, and a blog. Blog posts include personal accounts and stories, such as a father's description of riding Bike MS with his son, Frank detailing the love, partnership, and support he receives from his wife, and Nicole's journey to motherhood.
Modern Day MS
Beth Prystowsky created Modern Day MS to provide a positive, simple, real, and non-overwhelming place to learn, understand, and connect with people with MS. Beth is a wife, mom, yoga teacher, and writer who was diagnosed with MS when she was 35 years old.
"Living with MS puts everything in perspective," said Beth. "All the petty conversations and decisions seem like nothing once you are forced to live with a chronic disease." With all the ongoing MS research, Beth hopes that future generations will not need to suffer from MS.
Modern Day MS features inspiring posts including whether or not MS can be cured, meeting real people with MS (such as Cecila, who received an MS diagnosis at age 20), and some funny examples of brain fog.
Girl with MS
Caroline Craven is the Girl with MS. Caroline was diagnosed with MS in 2001, after experiencing symptoms during a trip to Guatemala with her friends. Caroline's MS diagnosis inspired her to begin writing, study nutrition, and engage in public speaking.
As a freelance writer, motivational speaker, and life coach, Caroline promotes healthier living with MS through healthy eating, stress management, and a positive attitude, so that people can learn how to say "TakeThatMS" - which is Caroline's Twitter hashtag. Caroline hopes to hear individuals with MS say, "I was diagnosed with MS, but I know I will be O.K. because of all the great resources out there and the examples of other people thriving with MS!"
My New Normals
My New Normals is the creation of Nicole Lemelle. Nicole is a writer and activist, and she is living with MS. Nicole was diagnosed with MS while at nursing school in 2000.
My New Normals is a personal blog and website that records the experiences of those living with MS. Through the blog, Nicole aims to educate individuals who do not understand MS, reassure people who have received an MS diagnosis, raise national awareness, and inspire everyone with the disease to take control of their lives.
The blog provides an outlet for people with MS, together with their families, friends, and caregivers. Latest content on the blog includes posts titled "You are not alone," "Chasing ghost," "Tell me I am pretty," and "Never give up."
BBH with MS
Meg Lewellyn is the face behind BBH with MS. Meg received a diagnosis of MS in 2007. First and foremost, Meg is a mom and tries not to be defined by the disease. Meg chose to embrace everything life dealt her with humor, laughter, openness, and acceptance. This attitude has helped her family, and especially her children, to cope and support her.
Meg says that while the title of her blog may seem an odd title choice, for her, it was a funny and powerful reminder always to be strong, look for the positive, and find reasons to laugh and smile. Long story short, BBH stands for Boobs, Boots, and Hair - you will have to visit her blog to see why!
BBH with MS has articles covering MS sleep issues and how Meg managed to get a decent night's sleep, coping with depression and not letting it win or get the best of her, and what she tells her kids about her use of marijuana.
Ashley's Life with Multiple Sclerosis
Ashley Ringstaff is the founder of Ashley's Life with Multiple Sclerosis. Ashley was diagnosed with MS at the age of 22, after experiencing facial numbness for 6 months. Ashley has volunteered for MSWorld as a chat host and went on to become their Social Media Director, and, later, their Content Management Director.
MS has taught Ashley that if you live your life with negativity and spite, then that is all that will surround you. However, if you embrace life for what it is and make the most of every day, then you know that you are doing everything that you can. "Not only for yourself, but also for those surrounding you to make this life the best it CAN be."
But You Don't Look Sick
But You Don't Look Sick is written by blogger Lisa Marie. Lisa lives with transverse myelitis and MS, and while she says that her conditions have flipped her once very active lifestyle upside down, she refuses to let them keep her down.
Lisa's blog addresses all the issues that come with experiencing transverse myelitis and MS, and it aims to provide answers, and maybe a few laughs, for people living with the conditions.
Lisa's pregnancy has been featured on the blog - she is currently in week 35 - and the content will reassure anyone with MS who is pregnant. Lisa has also covered subjects such as how to overcome the summertime blues and how to speak with your child if they are worried about becoming sick with MS in the future.
It's Only a Bruise
It's Only a Bruise (and it's okay to ask me about it) is run by Cat Stappas. Cat was diagnosed with MS in 2013 and began her blog to help conversation about MS flow between her and her friends.
Cat's honest, positive, and sometimes tongue-in-cheek posts have the goal of making the Internet a little less scary for those who have MS and anyone that loves and cares for them. Cat provides real talk from a real person with the condition. She shares her experiences and advice, and exudes positivity.
Recently posted on the blog is an account of caregiving through the eyes of Cat's husband, Cat looking back at symptoms she experienced years before her diagnosis, and a log of her trip to San Francisco.
Well and Strong with MS
Well and Strong with MS is the work of Angie Randall. Angie is a health and wellness enthusiast and loves cooking, staying fit and active, and enjoying family time. Angie also has relapsing-remitting MS. Angie refuses to let MS slow her down.
Angie admits that she has rough days with the disease, but thanks to new treatments and living a healthy lifestyle, she has learned to manage the disease while continuing to do all the things she loves. Angie's mission is to flip the negative view of MS upside down by showing people the normal life that can be lead with the condition. "MS no longer needs to be mean, weak, and sick - instead, you can be Well and Strong with MS."
Angie's empowering posts include raising more than $80,000 for MS research, Angie's appearance on three television shows for the National MS Society, and Angie's letter to her daughter, Chloe, on her 1st birthday.