Multiple sclerosis (or MS) is a disease that can disable the central nervous system. Your nerves are protected by a covering called a myelin sheath. With this disease, your immune system will begin to attack the myelin sheath and can eventually lead to permanent damage. Deterioration of your nerves can be particularly dangerous because it can affect your pain reception, ability to walk, and cognitive function.
MS can be difficult to detect; however, by paying attention to your health, you may be able to discover the early warning signs and consult with your physician.
Symptoms of MS include:
1. Vision problems
If the nerve damage is centralized in your eyes, you may begin to notice blurry vision. With time and if left untreated, this may escalate into partial or complete blindness. This will typically occur in one eye at a time, and you may feel pain while averting your gaze to different locations and elevations. You may not experience all of these symptoms at once, as degeneration of vision can be extremely slow.
2. Tingling and numbness
MS directly affects the central nervous system. The CNS is responsible for sending signals around your body for pain reception and bodily processes. When the nerves of your CNS are damaged, it may not be able to send signals at all, resulting in numbness. Tingling and numbness are often one of the first signs noticed when looking for MS.
3. Pains and spasms
Chronic muscle pains and involuntary spasms are especially common in individuals with MS. You may also experience stiffness or painful jerking movements within your arms and legs. Most individuals with MS reported that this was most common in their legs and back.
4. Weakness or fatigue
You may feel excessive fatigue even after an uneventful day. This will typically begin suddenly and escalate into a chronic condition before suddenly improving. Chronic weakness or fatigue is due to deteriorated nerves in your spinal column.
5. Balance problems or dizziness
Dizziness and balance issues are commonly associated with MS. Your physician or any medical professional might refer to these problems when describing your gait. Individuals with MS might feel faint, dizzy, or even experience vertigo upon standing up after sitting for a while.
6. Bladder issues
Bladder issues are less common and decisive in individuals with MS. You may feel the frequent urge to urinate or have trouble controlling your urges. Most often, these problems are manageable and can be treated with better diets, weight loss, or even exercising.
7. Cognitive problems
While the nerves in your CNS are deteriorating, your brain function may decrease. You might find it difficult to remember something that was said only a few minutes ago or struggle to stay focused on one task. In addition to memory and attention issues, you may also be unable to speak properly and learn new things. Mental disorders such as depression are especially common if you are experiencing cognitive problems.
MS can be a challenging disease to live with, and while there is no known cure, there are plenty of ways to seek treatment. Your best chance for treatment is speaking with your physician after you have noticed a few warning signs. If the disease is caught during its early stages, it can be managed and controll