June 15, 2024

Vitavo Yage

Best Health Creates a Happy Life

What It Is, Symptoms & Treatment

3 min read

What are the early symptoms of multiple sclerosis?

Early signs and symptoms of MS include:

  • Changes to your vision (optic neuritis, double vision, vision loss).
  • Muscle weakness (usually affecting one side of your face or body, or below your waist).
  • Numbness or abnormal sensations (usually affecting one side of your face or body, or below your waist).

What are the symptoms of multiple sclerosis?

Common symptoms of MS include:

  • Fatigue.
  • Clumsiness.
  • Dizziness.
  • Difficulty with bladder regulation
  • Loss of balance and coordination.
  • Difficulty with cognitive function (thinking, memory, concentration, learning and judgment).
  • Mood changes.
  • Muscle stiffness and muscle spasms (tremors).

These symptoms vary from person to person and may fluctuate in severity from one day to the next. You may have a few of these symptoms but it’s unlikely you’ll experience all of them at once.

Do you ever feel normal with MS?

This can be challenging to predict because everyone perceives “normal” in their own way. With MS, you may have periods of remission where your symptoms go away, and you feel more like yourself. You might even forget you have MS until symptoms flare up (return) again. This feeling of normalcy, and the degree of normalcy, can vary by type and stage.

What causes MS?

Demyelination, or the destruction of myelin, causes multiple sclerosis. Myelin is a protective cover (sheath) around nerve cells (neurons) in your brain and spinal cord. It moves messages (signals) between your brain and the rest of your body to control functions like vision, sensation and movement.

Your immune system’s job is to protect your body from things that can harm it, like bacteria or viruses. With MS, your immune system becomes overactive and mistakes healthy myelin (and sometimes, the nerve cells below the myelin) as a threat to your body. Your immune system’s attack on the healthy myelin damages it. This is demyelination.

On an imaging test (an MRI), your provider can find evidence of myelin damage. They may refer to it as a scar, lesion or plaque. Messages don’t pass between nerve cells easily where there is myelin damage, which leads to the development of MS symptoms.

Experts aren’t sure why some people develop MS. Research suggests the following may contribute to an elevated risk of developing MS:

  • Smoking.
  • Toxin exposure, like secondhand smoke and pesticides.
  • Low levels of vitamin D.
  • Exposure to a virus (Epstein-Barr virus or mononucleosis).
  • Obesity during childhood.
  • Genetic predisposition (someone in your biological family has the condition or carries genes, which lead to you being more susceptible to developing the disease).

What are the risk factors for multiple sclerosis?

You may be more at risk of MS if you:

  • Are between ages 20 and 40.
  • Are of Northern European descent.
  • Are assigned female at birth.

MS can affect anyone. Rarer cases can affect children.

What are the complications of multiple sclerosis?

Worsening or progressive symptoms of MS may lead to complications such as:

  • Difficulty walking without assistance.
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control.
  • Memory loss.
  • Sexual dysfunction.
  • Depression and anxiety.

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