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LIVING: DOCTOR DAVID - Can MS patient stay well much longer?

QMY brother who is 10 years my senior was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 20 years ago. As yet he is not confined to a wheelchair. He is almost 59. How long can he go on like this?

JM, Birmingham A MULTIPLE sclerosis is a condition that is still fairly poorly understood. In some people the disease is rapidly progressive, leading to complications such as incontinence and confinement

to a wheelchair within months of the diagnosis. However, at the opposite end of the spectrum many sufferers, after the initial diagnosis, continue with an almost normal lifestyle for many years punctuated by flare-ups of varying severity. It is therefore difficult to say what your brother's future holds, but it would seem that he has a slowly progressive form of the disease and may remain relatively well for many years to come.

QSOME months ago I cut my upper lip with a razor. The wound took ages to heal and has left me with a widening scar. Is it too late to do anything about it?

WL, Hagley A UNLESS a cut is closed with stitches or medical adhesive within 24 hours, increased scarring will usually occur.

In the case you describe the best options would be injections of collagen to smooth out the scar, surgery or re-surfacing of the skin using a laser. Ring Lasercare on 0121 507 3535 for further details.

QCAN you suggest a diet that could ease the discomfort of irritable bowel syndrome?

S R, Shirley A IRRITABLE bowel syndrome is an extremely common condition characterised by changes in bowel habit, often with alternating diarrhoea and constipation and often associated with colicky abdominal pain.

Psychological factors are thought to be important in its development but in certain cases specific foods undoubtedly aggravate symptoms. It is often difficult to isolate these foods accurately and no specific diet has been found to be effective in all people. There are many medications available to ease the discomfort, which you should discuss with your GP if you have not already done so.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Jul 21, 2002
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