Do you know people suffering from Multiple Sclerosis (MS) tend to have their first mild symptoms between the age of 20 and 40? Usually, some symptoms get better with time but often come back while some just come and go while making the situation worse. However, researchers and medical experts are still clueless and do not know what triggers multiple sclerosis the most. Another fact is no two people can have the same symptoms. Now, this is a major concern for people having MS that could get worse within weeks or even months.
This blog will discuss some of the early signs of multiple sclerosis that both males and females experience during their lifetime.
What is Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?
MS or Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic disease that usually affects the central nervous system such as the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. Medically, it is considered as a potentially disabling disease and immune-mediated disorder that directly attacks the protective sheath known as myelin including other parts of the body.
This disease has the potential to manipulate many parts of your body that are naturally designed to keep you healthy and fit. The latest statistics by the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) revealed that around 25,0000 to 350,000 people are living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) alone in the United States.
The 13 Most Common to Complicated Signs of Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
There is no such cure to lessen the cause of MS but it’s quite easy and possible to manage the symptoms at the early stage. Learn more about the early signs of multiple sclerosis to minimize the risk factor.
- Vision-Related Issues
Vision problems are often one of the first symptoms for many people with MS. Visual disturbances can affect one or both eyes. These problems can come and go or get worse over time. They can also be completely resolved. Some common vision problems related to MS are optic neuritis which can cause pain or blurred vision in one eye, diplopia or double vision, nystagmus or involuntary eye movements, and blindness too.
- Tingling & Numbness Around the Body
MS affects the nerves in the brain and spinal cord (the body’s message center). This means that it can send mixed signals through the body. Sometimes no signals are sent. This creates numbness. Tingling and numbness are some of the most common warnings. The sufferer can witness the tingling and numbness in various parts of the body such as the face, arms, legs, and fingers.
- Emotional Changes
Severe depression is common in people with MS. The stress of MS can also cause irritability, mood swings, and what is known as pseudobulbar affect. This includes uncontrollable episodes of screaming and laughing. Dealing with symptoms of MS, along with family or relationship problems, can make depression and other emotional disorders even more difficult.
- Hearing Problems
About 6 percent of people with MS reports have hearing problems, according to the NMSS. In rare cases, hearing loss can be the first symptom of the disease. Hearing loss in MS can be related to damaged nerve pathways in the brain and brainstem. It is important to note that hearing loss is very rare in MS, and most acute episodes get better over time. Be sure to speak to your doctor to determine what is causing your hearing impairment.
- Sexual Troubles
In Multiple Sclerosis, some people have difficulties in orgasm or getting aroused while getting physical with their significant ones. People with MS are most likely dealing with minor to major sexual problems. It can diminish natural vaginal lubrication because it makes intercourse more painful for women. People with MS can also have sexual problems because of other MS symptoms, such as muscle spasms and stiffness, changes in mood or self-esteem, fatigue, etc.
- Speech Disorders
According to the NMSS, around 25 to 40 percent of people with MS report language problems as a result of injury or damage to different parts of the brain. These symptoms, also known as dysarthria, tend to appear later in life depending on your illness and when you are very tired. If you have language problems due to MS, a speech therapist or language skills can help, as well as aids such as Smartphone apps.
According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS), about 80 percent of people with MS report fatigues. The tiredness that comes with MS can make your daily chores difficult.
- Common Bowel Problems
Some researchers believe that MS has greatly affected and made the bowels uncontrollable like constant constipation, diarrhea-related issues, including bladder problems, muscle stiffness, and involuntary muscle spasms because of the neurological damage the condition causes.
- Muscle Weakness
Muscle weakness is another sign to predict MS at the first stage. This happens when MS directly hits nerve fibers that end up making the muscles quite weak.
- Difficulties in Eating & Swallowing
You may have difficulty eating and swallowing (dysphagia) if you have MS, especially in the latter stages of the disease. This can happen when the nerves that control the muscles of the mouth and throat are damaged. Numbness of the mouth and throat or dry mouth due to medication are the early cause of MS.
When you have MS, the nerves in your central nervous system that carry sensory information can be damaged. This damage can make it itchy, even if you don’t see irritation. Because the cause is neurological and not physical like an insect bite or rash, topical skin creams won’t help.
- Changes in Taste and Smell
Research has shown that many people with MS experience changes in the taste and smell of food. It’s not common, but other people with MS have reported hyperosmia or an abnormally increased sense of smell or sensitivity to smell.
- Trouble Walking
Difficulty while walking can occur due to numbness in the legs or feet, impairment of balance, muscle weakness, muscle spasms, visual disturbance, and more. Difficulty in walking can also lead to injury if you fall.
There is currently no cure for multiple sclerosis, but various drugs and complementary therapies can usually help control symptoms and even slow the progression of the disease. Anyone with worrying symptoms must consult a doctor/physician to get a correct diagnosis.