Multiple sclerosis(MS) is defined as being an aggressive immune related disorder. What this basically means is that our immune system mistakenly labels a certain section of our body as a threat, which it attacks, similarly to how it would work to attack and eliminate viruses in the body. The problem with MS is that it leads the immune system to attack the organs as well as the protective layers (or myelin) of our nerve cells.
MS is described as unpredictable with an abundance of symptoms. However, there are several common symptoms of multiple sclerosis you should be aware of.
1. Weakness and fatigue
Statistics indicate that as many as 80% of all patients will experience extreme weakness and fatigue. This usually occurs if the condition has led to your immune system attacking the nerves around your spinal column. However, it’s important to note that weakness usually starts in your feet before it spreads to the rest of your body.
2. Spasms and pain
Another common symptom patients experience is involuntary muscle spasms as well as chronic pain. In fact, a study that was conducted by the National MS Society demonstrated that as much as 50% of all patients will experience muscle spasms or chronic pain. This occurs as a result of your immune system attacking the nerve cells in the body that’s responsible for transmitting information from the brain as to how a particular part of the body should move.
3. Vision loss
As the immune system mistakenly attacks various sections of our body, it can lead to inflammation within our optic nerves. This build up of inflammation essentially interferes with our optics nerve’s ability to transmit information which is crucial for our central vision. This leads to double vision, blurry vision and a gradual loss of vision.
4. Numbness and tingling
In some instances, the condition may attack the body’s message center, which consists of billions of nerves in your spinal cord and brain. By interfacing with the body’s messaging center, it essentially causes it to send mixed signals throughout the body such as a tingling sensation. In some instances, this disruption will cause signals to stop, which leads to numbness.
5. Emotional issues
A vast majority of patients with this disorder report that they experience major depression. Because of the various processes of the body that this condition targets, it can also lead to severe depression as well as mood swings and irritability.
6. Balance problems
Patients with multiple sclerosis, commonly report symptoms of dizziness and lightheadedness. This is especially true when they try to stand up after sitting for an extended amount of time. This is because the condition interferes with your body’s ability to coordinate and balance itself, This eventually leads to a severe loss of mobility.
7. Bowel and bladder dysfunction
Statistics indicate that as much as 79% of all patients with multiple sclerosis will experience bowel and urinary related problems, such as:
- Intense urge to urinate
- Inability to go long periods without urinating
- Inability to control bowel movements