The 7 Early Symptoms Of Multiple Sclerosis
Could You Have Them Already?
This devastating illness is far more common than most people realize, so discovering the early symptoms of multiple sclerosis (also known as MS) may assist in getting the help that is required, quickly.
While multiple sclerosis affects a lot of young adults, everyone is at risk, so it’s certainly something worth learning a little bit more about.
According to the M.S.F (Multiple Sclerosis Foundation), four hundred thousand people have MS, which is a stunning amount given it receive such little publicity. (1)
By learning these 7 early symptoms of multiple sclerosis in this article, you might just save valuable time and get treatment early.
To learn more please keep reading.
So, What Is Multiple Sclerosis?
Defining The Condition
Multiple sclerosis refers to a condition that can affect the brain and/or spinal cord, leading to several different symptoms, such as problems with vision, balance, and sensation, among others.
Multiple sclerosis is a lifetime condition that can sometimes lead to serious disability but can also be mild some of the times.
In addition, symptoms of this condition can be treated in most cases.
Multiple sclerosis is most common in people in their 20s and 30s, but one can develop the condition at any age.
It is also known to be about two to three times more common in women than men.
What Does This Mean?
This condition is a debilitating one that can affect anyone at any age.
What Are The Causes Of Multiple Sclerosis?
MS Risk Factors
The actual cause of this condition remains unknown to date. However, the condition is known to occur when your central nervous system happens to be attacked by your own immune system. This is why multiple sclerosis is thought to be an autoimmune disease.
So, What are the risk factors of Multiple Sclerosis?
There are a variety of causes for MS, but some are very prevalent in most cases.
The following are some of the risk factors of this condition:
As discussed in the opening paragraph, anyone of any age can develop MS, but there is a more significant risk at a certain age.
The condition is more common in people who are in their 20s and 30s meaning extra care should be taken to be aware of the early symptoms of MS and perhaps take a little more caution.
Unlike the majority of ailments which affect men more frequently, multiple sclerosis is known to affect more women than men.
This means women age 20-40 should take extra caution in being cognizant of MS.
The condition is known to affect more people of European descent when compared to people from other ancestries.
It is more common in Northern Europe and Northern America than in other parts of the world.
All this being said, people of all races can still contract MS.
One can inherit multiple sclerosis from one of the parents who happens to suffer from the condition. In addition, if you have a sibling or grandparent who suffers from this illness, you also have a high chance of developing it too.
Knowing all this, it stands to reason that if you are aware of someone in your family that suffers from multiple sclerosis, you might want to make a commitment to having regular check-ups because you could be at a higher risk.
Where You Live
People who live further away from the equator are known to suffer more from this condition than people who live near the equator.
The more sunshine you are exposed to, the more likely you are to have high levels of vitamin D.
This has led many people to believe that long-term exposure to sunlight might play a role in reducing the risk of multiple scoreless because it has the effect of increasing vitamin D levels.
There is some research that suggests taking vitamin d supplementation might be beneficial for those people who live in areas of little to no sun exposure.(2)
What’s The Bottom Line Here?
Even Though A White Women In Her Twenties Is More Likely To Get MS, Anybody Can.
What Are The Early Symptoms Of Multiple Sclerosis?
Signs Of MS To Look For
It is very important to learn the common early signs of multiple sclerosis.
Some of the early signs of this condition include:
1. Vision Problems
Do You Have Trouble With Your Sight?
This is the most common early sign of MS for most people.
Most of the times, the condition causes something called optic neuritis.
What Is Optic Neuritis?
This refers to a condition that causes damage to the nerve that connects the eye to the brain.
In most cases, optic neurosis affects one eye, but it can also affect both eyes, though this is quite rare.
The symptoms of this disease include:
Pain in the eye, especially when you are moving it
Colors that appear dull
Involuntary eye movement
It is important to note that these symptoms get better on their own in most cases within a period of a few weeks or months. However, if you have these signs, it is important to see your doctor immediately.
2. Dizziness and Balance Problems
Do You have Difficulty Maintaining Normal Balance?
Someone with multiple sclerosis will often experience dizziness as well as problems with balance and coordination.
This can decrease the mobility of the individual which can be quite impeding on their lifestyle, not to mention, very noticeable.
One will often feel lightheaded, dizzy, or as if his or her surroundings are spinning. These symptoms are often experienced when one is standing that are not unlike the change in blood pressure from hypertension.
Do You Feel Generally Tired And Weaker
Extreme fatigue is another very common early sign of multiple sclerosis.
One feels exhausted even when he or she has done very little.
Someone may even find themselves feeling tired immediately when they wake up in the morning.
This is quite a common symptom of many health issues which can make it more difficult to recognize and may not garner as much consideration being that someone might just think they’re developing a common cold or similar illness.
Do You Have Unusual Physical Issues?
Some of the earliest symptoms of multiple sclerosis may include some unusual sensations around your body. These include:
This could be like pins and needles or a lighter sensation.
The need to scratch can make someone very uncomfortable, upset and possibly agitated as a result.
A Feeling Of Tightness or Swelling
An individual might find themselves with a tight sensation in their muscles or may notice some swelling occurring.
Numbness, Especially On The Face
Not to be confused with Bell’s Palsy, paralysis or numbness of the muscles in the face are synonymous with the early symptoms of multiple sclerosis, though it may occur on other areas of the body too.
Experiencing a feeling similar to an electric shock when you move your head or neck. The feeling may travel down your spine or into your legs or arms.
5. Cognitive Problems
Do You Have Problems With Memory Or Your Mind?
About half of the people living with multiple sclerosis will develop some kind of problems with their cognitive function, including:
This could manifest as difficulty in grammar when writing or not being able to find the right word to say when speaking.
Someone may find themselves frequently forgetting important information which could become a problem.
Shortened Attention Span
This could be difficulty concentrating all the way through to the noticeably quick onset of boredom.
Finding It Difficult To Stay Organized
A person may find themselves unable to maintain a schedule or becoming haphazard in organizing simple tasks.
In addition, some people may suffer from depression as well as other emotional health problems.
6. Bowel and Bladder Dysfunction
Do You Have Problems With GoingTo The Bathroom?
About 80 % of the people with multiple sclerosis will have a dysfunctional bladder. This will include strong urges to urinate, frequent urination, or loss of ability to hold in urine.
In addition, some of the patients will have problems with their bowels, including diarrhea, constipation, or loss of bowel control. Luckliy, however, this is a rare occurrence.
7. Pain and Spasms
Do You Have Body Pain Or Are Your Experiencing Spasms?
These are also quite common signs that someone may be developing a case of multiple sclerosis.
One particular study associated with National MS society showed that about half of the people with multiple sclerosis experience chronic pain.
In addition, spasms (muscle stiffness) is also a common sign of multiple sclerosis. You may experience stiff joints or muscles, in addition to uncontrollable, painful jerking movements of your extremities such actions can lead to muscle tears and other injuries if they become violently spasmodic.
Your legs are usually the most affected, but back pain also common.
Leaving symptoms too long can result in an advanced form of the illness by the time it finally gets diagnosed, which could mean treatments are less effective.
What’s The Take Home Message Here?
Many of these symptoms warrant a visit to the doctor on their own, but together, they’re very concerning.
What Are The MS Treatment Options?
How Do They Treat Multiple Sclerosis?
To start with, there is no known cure for this condition up to the present day.
The treatments options that are available focus specifically on managing symptoms and suppressing the autoimmune response.
A lot of research is being done into finding an effective cure with some promising studies perhaps giving a glimmer of hope towards the future.
Some MS treatment Options may include:
There are several drugs that are used to slow down the progression of multiple sclerosis. They include the following:
These drugs are prescribed by your doctor to help reduce inflammation and suppress your immune system. They are mostly prescribed for acute flare–up of symptoms. Corticosteroids are the most frequently prescribed drugs for multiple sclerosis patients. (3)
Interferon Beta 1A Or 1B
These medications are meant to help slow down the progression of worsening symptoms that are associated with MS,
This drug is most appropriate for patients who cannot cope with other forms of treatments or failed to get any benefits from them,
This is usually prescribed for patients with advanced MS,
This drug is prescribed to help stop your immune system from attacking myelin,
This is most appropriate for adults with relapsing forms of MS,
This drug is used to help reduce pain, insomnia, and muscle stiffness.
Your doctor will be able to determine the most appropriate drug for your condition depending on his or her findings. Some of them are associated with adverse side effects and you should only be taken under close supervision of your doctor.
Rehabilitation is meant to help MS patients to maintain or improve their ability to function effectively at home or work. The most effective rehabilitation programs include:
Speech & Swallowing Therapy
3. Plasma Exchange
This is a process that involves removing whole blood from a patient, then removing the plasma from the blood, and replacing it with new plasma. The blood is then transfused back to the patient. (4)
The process is known to help treat a patient with MS since it takes out antibodies in the patient’s blood that are responsible for attacking parts of his or her body.
At the very extreme end, plasma treatment may be effective in helping those with MS, though this is likely to occur in individual’s who have a fairly advanced stage of this condition.
What Can We Learn From This?
There are a couple of effective treatments, including many prescription medications that are available for MS sufferers.
The 7 Early Symptoms Of Multiple Sclerosis
While there is no current cure for multiple sclerosis, there are treatments available that make life a little more comfortable for MS sufferers.
Like so many types of conditions, early diagnosis and treatment may help, so understanding the signs discussed in this article may give the right person enough motivation to seek help and get professional advice.
This article “The 7 Early Symptoms Of Multiple Sclerosis – Could You Have Them Already?” is here solely for informational purposes only and is not intended for the treatment, cure or diagnosis of any conditions. If you believe you have a health issue, please be advised to seek medical help from the appropriate professional.