Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition that affects the spinal cord and brain. The symptoms of MS can range from mild to severe, and they have a tendency to come and go. Additionally, the symptoms of MS can very easily be attributed to other medical conditions. Only a physician is qualified to make an MS diagnosis. Below are sixteen of the symptoms that are commonly associated with MS:
It is estimated that 80 percent of people with MS experience fatigue. In many cases, this fatigue interferes with a person’s ability to complete his or her daily activities.
Numbness is often one of the first symptoms that people with MS experience. This numbness can affect the body, face, legs, or arms. It may also interfere with walking and chewing.
Tingling is a sensation that is very similar to numbness. It can occur in the fingers, toes, and arms.
Coordination And Balance Problems
MS interferes with nerve conduction. It can also damage the cerebellum, which is the part of the brain that controls balance.
Spasticity causes involuntary muscle contractions and stiffness. It most commonly affects the legs.
Vision problems are also an early sign of MS. Blurred vision, eye pain, and double vision are some of the most common vision problems that MS patients report.
The vast majority of patients will experience pain related to their condition. Nerve damage triggers the pain. Impaired gait can also cause nerve damage.
Some people have a difficult time emptying their bladder. If the urine stays inside the bladder for too long, then a person may experience discomfort and infection. Others feel like they always have to go.
Constipation is the most common bowel problem caused by MS. MS interferes with the nerves’ and muscles’ ability to keep things moving. Additionally, many people who experience bladder dysfunction reduce their water intake, which may contribute to constipation.
Dizziness And Vertigo
Dizziness and vertigo are not as common as many other symptoms. However, the people who experience these symptoms often describe them as truly awful.
Loss of vaginal lubrication, loss of sensation, and inability to get an orgasm are often related to MS. People who have MS often are reluctant to have sex because of their bladder problems.
MS can cause chemical changes in the brain that trigger depression. Living with an unpredictable, chronic condition can also cause a person to feel depressed.
Cognitive dysfunction affects approximately 60 percent of MS patients. People with cognitive dysfunction often have trouble multitasking or focusing.
Many people who experience anxiety often experience depression. In some cases, anxiety may be debilitating.
Ten percent of people with MS experience the pseudobulbar affect. This is a neurologic change that causes emotional changes. A person may laugh at inappropriate times and cry when he or she is not sad.
Speech And Voice Disorders
Speech and voice disorders affect approximately 40 percent of MS patients. A person may poorly articulate words and speak too softly or loudly. One may also notice that his or her voice becomes more nasally or hoarse.