Seven Signs and Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis to Watch Out for From the Beginning

Having multiple sclerosis (MS) means the body has problems with the immune system that attacks the central nervous cells, especially in the brain, spinal cord, and eye nerves. This disease has a variety of symptoms so that a person is often not aware of this disease. Some experience one symptom, then months or even years later, different symptoms develop. A study says, from the onset of symptoms to the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis takes seven years. So, what are the symptoms of multiple sclerosis?

Signs and symptoms of multiple sclerosis

1. Visual disturbance

If you experience blurry eyes after staring at a computer screen for too long, this is normal. However, if the vision tends to be dim, blurry, causing double vision, even to the point of loss of vision, especially in only one eye, then this condition is called optic neuritis.

Optic neuritis is a common symptom of multiple sclerosis which causes inflammation of the optic nerve. Patients tend to feel pain when moving the eyeball or decreased vision in bright colors. For example, red will look more faded and dull to a grayish red. However, optic neuritis is not always associated with multiple sclerosis because it can also be caused by infection, vitamin deficiency, or other autoimmune diseases.

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2. Balance problems and headaches

One of the early symptoms of multiple sclerosis is vertigo or a severe headache that makes your head feel like it’s spinning. Patients feel like they are in a moving room or are in a swinging boat, resulting in nausea, vomiting, and unable to move or move.

Attacks of vertigo or dizziness are not always associated with multiple sclerosis. It may also be caused by problems with the inner ear, anemia, low blood sugar, hypotension, or taking certain medications. So, ask your doctor to find out the exact cause.

3. Chronic fatigue

Be aware when you feel fatigue that tends to be severe and does not subside for weeks. The reason is, this can be one of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis which is eating away at your spinal cord. Chronic fatigue makes it difficult for sufferers to do things, even the simplest activities.

Symptoms of chronic fatigue can also be caused by thyroid complications, vitamin deficiencies, anemia, and other serious medical conditions. So, do not take it lightly if you feel this continuously and immediately visit a doctor for further treatment.

Related Article: Are muscle twitches a symptom of multiple sclerosis?

4. Tingling and numbness

Tingling and numbness that is felt for days is an early symptom of multiple sclerosis that needs to be watched out for. This is a sign that the central nervous system in the brain and spinal cord is starting to damage so that the brain is unable to send movement signals to other parts of the body.

The part of the body that experiences tingling is usually felt in the face, arms, hands, and feet so that the sufferer becomes difficult to walk. Some of them feel the sensation of water dripping all over their bodies or like insects crawling on their skin.

5. Decreased bladder and bowel function

Decreased bladder function is one of the symptoms that occurs in 80 percent of people with multiple sclerosis. According to Kathleen Costello, a nurse practitioner and deputy midwife for access to health at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, many sufferers complain that they go back and forth to the bathroom more often because they can’t hold urine ( urinary incontinence ), especially at night.

Some sufferers also have problems with bowel function, including constipation, diarrhea, and uncontrolled bowel movements.

6. Cognitive and emotional problems

Reporting from WebMD, half of people with multiple sclerosis develop several cognitive problems, including memory problems, language problems, sleep disorders, memory problems, multitasking difficulties, and problems concentrating or paying attention. This is because the nervous system in the brain is disturbed, making it difficult for the sufferer to control himself to carry out body functions regularly.

When they reach symptoms emotionally, people with multiple sclerosis tend to become irritable, depressed, and have drastic mood swings that can lead to sudden tears or laughter.

7. Stiff muscles and spasms

According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, half of people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis experience chronic pain accompanied by spasms, limb weakness, and muscle stiffness. Stiffness is most common in the leg muscles because it is the part that supports the overall body weight.

If you experience one or more of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis above, consult your doctor immediately. Your doctor will likely do a number of tests to confirm your symptoms, including:

1. Blood tests to look for other problems with symptoms similar to multiple scleroses, such as Lyme disease.
2. An examination to measure the speed of signals in the nerves of the body.
3. An MRI scan to see areas of damage to the brain.
4. Examination of the spine to check the condition of the fluid flowing in the brain and spinal cord.

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