Can Someone with Multiple Sclerosis Live a Long Life?


If you were recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, you might find yourself full of questions and concerns. One of the most common questions a newly diagnosed MS patient will have is, “How long can I live with this?” The answer is not always simple, as many factors are at play.

While multiple sclerosis is not considered to be a fatal condition, it can produce symptoms that impact your quality of life. Things like age and other underlying conditions can also play a role in your lifespan with MS.  Find out more about multiple sclerosis and its effect on life expectancy in the guide below:

Multiple Sclerosis and Life Expectancy

Most people with multiple sclerosis have a normal life expectancy. In fact, studies have shown that the average life expectancy for an MS patient in the United States is 76 years of age. This is only seven years shorter than the average life expectancy of someone without multiple sclerosis, which is 83 years in the United States. 

While MS will not shorten your life on its own, it is important to note that outside factors can contribute to the lifespan of an MS patient. Those who follow an unhealthy lifestyle or do not manage their disease may see a more negative prognosis than those who stay on top of their condition. 

Lifestyle factors like excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, and a poor diet can also impact your life expectancy with MS.

It is also important to consider the time of diagnosis. Most patients are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in their 40s or 50s. These patients typically live well into their 70s. 

People who are diagnosed at a younger age may only live into their 60s, but this does not apply in every case. Overall, patients usually live for 25 to 35 years after their diagnosis. 

Other underlying medical conditions can also have an impact on your life expectancy with MS. Research has shown that patients who have additional conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes, often see a shortened life span. 

How to Optimize Your MS Prognosis

In order to see a normal lifespan and have healthy longevity, it is essential that you manage your multiple sclerosis symptoms and try to prevent flare-ups. Many people find that their MS flare-ups can be triggered by certain things, such as stressful events, over-exertion, or poor dietary habits. 

A multiple sclerosis flare-up may present with the following symptoms:

  • Excessive fatigue
  • Muscle weakness
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Vision problems
  • Bowel or bladder dysfunction
  • Depression
  • Trouble walking
  • Cognitive issues

When you notice these symptoms increasing or appearing suddenly, speak to your medical team right away. Managing MS symptoms before they turn into a relapse will positively affect your overall prognosis. 

Regenerative options like stem cell therapy may also present benefits for your life expectancy with this disease. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are a type of adult stem cell that can differentiate into various cell types, including neurons and glial cells, and possess immunomodulatory and regenerative properties.

MSCs have been shown to modulate the immune system’s response, potentially suppressing the autoimmune attack on myelin, which is the protective covering of nerve fibers damaged in MS. They can secrete anti-inflammatory molecules, such as cytokines and growth factors, which can help reduce inflammation in the central nervous system. And they have the ability to promote the survival of neurons and support their growth. They can also stimulate the production of factors that enhance the formation of new blood vessels, which may help improve blood flow and oxygen supply to affected areas of the brain and spinal cord.

Discuss your options for treatment with your doctor or a regenerative medicine specialist to see if stem cell therapy may help you potentially manage symptoms or prevent further progression. 

This post was written by a medical professional at At Stemedix we provide access to Regenerative Medicine. Regenerative medicine has the natural potential to help improve symptoms sometimes lost from the progression of many conditions.

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