Multiple sclerosis, commonly referred to as MS, affects the central nervous system. This is a chronic disease that for some is manageable, and for others, debilitating. Find out about the signs and symptoms of MS and decide if you need to visit your doctor for a diagnosis.
Possible signs of MS
Autoimmune disorder The thought of being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis can be frightening. This disease affects the nervous system and can lead to very serious symptoms, especially as the disease progresses. As the body's own defence system causes damage to nerve fibres, this may be an autoimmune disorder. There is not a known cure. However, by recognising the early signs, getting an MS diagnosis and starting treatment, can help sufferers manage and cope with this disease. What are the early signs of MS? Early symptoms may include a tingling sensation or pain in localised areas of the body, numbness, and weakness of the limbs. Another typical symptom is troubled vision. With multiple sclerosis, not only are the brain and spinal cord affected, but the optic nerves are also at risk. Unexplained blurry or double vision, sometimes accompanied by pain, may be a sign of this disease. Most people who are first diagnosed experience more mild symptoms and have periods of remission, in which symptoms do not occur and the disease does not progress. As the disease progresses, the symptoms of MS can intensify and the progression becomes steady. People are often sensitive to heat, with symptoms intensifying with exposure to warmth. Cognitive difficulties, fatigue, trouble walking, trouble talking and swallowing and dizziness are other common symptoms. In severe cases, MS can lead to loss of vision and paralysis.
Do you have MS?
If you may be experiencing the symptoms of MS, be sure to see your doctor. While this disease can be very difficult to deal with as more damage is done to the nerves, many people cope with multiple sclerosis for years. There are very helpful MS treatments which can address symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. Make an appointment to find out what is causing your symptoms, discuss treatment options with your doctor and keep in mind that each case of MS is unique. There is no reason to fear what may never happen. References: National MS Society (Nationalmssociety.org) Mayo Clinic (Mayoclinic.com) WebMD (Webmd.com)