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Is MS on the cards for some of us

Since having MS I know my memory is pretty pants but I can remember older things up to a certain point. I realised yesterday when my sister posted a photo of us all from ten years ago in New York getting on a helicopter that I have no recollection of any of the trip. According to my health my MS started after having my first baby in 2006. Was my MS there waiting for the trigger which in my case was having a child? :-/

Becca

Hi Becca,

I don’t think MS is predestined in any of us from birth, because studies of identical twins show that where one has it, the other does in less than one third of cases. Therefore it cannot be pre-programmed from birth, or genetically identical people would always both have it (or neither).

However, I personally believe the disease process has already started long before any symptoms become apparent. There is no evidence that having children (in women, of course - no idea about the men ) is a risk factor for MS. There is evidence that pregnancy tends to be protective in women who already have MS, but it’s common to relapse not long after the birth.

Overall, having children neither hastens nor delays the progression of MS, nor changes the number of relapses. What you gain on the swings, you lose on the roundabouts, so to speak.

So I think it’s highly probable that you did have MS before even becoming pregnant - but not in a way that showed itself yet. If anything, being pregnant may have delayed the onset of symptoms for that nine months, but then you had a sort of rebound relapse.

I do NOT believe having a child caused your MS. But I also don’t believe Fate dealt you an unalterable hand at birth, that meant you were always going to get it.

We don’t know what causes MS, but we do know it isn’t having babies.

I think it is a combination of genetic predisposition (a few dozen genes associated with risk have already been identified), and one or more environmental factors such as a childhood illness (but which childhood illness has never been identified, despite multiple theories).

Tina

x

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Thank you Tina. It’s nice to have someone who listens, understands and knows x

i have always been a medical mystery.

really strange things kept happening which the gp couldnt identify but which went away soon afterwards.

these things started when i was 17.

but life went on and being 17 was mostly good.

i had my first baby when i was 28 and the second when i was 30.

then i went to uni passed my degree with a 2:1 and qualified as a teacher.

i seemed to have endless energy at that point and my brain was working ever so well.

i got diagnosed at age 50 with just one mri and LP.

so my path to diagnosis wasn’t the usual one.

makes me think i might have had ms since a young age (17) recovered extremely well after the birth of my boys.

had a huge relapse at 50 and dx with ms.

so i really don’t have a clue!

just be happy and enjoy your children

carole xx