Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease affecting the central nervous system. The insulating covers of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord become damaged causing scarring and lesions to develop. This condition has been known to have hereditary factors, but research is still being done to better understand environmental factors along with other infections that may cause or contribute to this disorder.
MS is a debilitating disease that has symptoms that vary widely from person to person, however, common early warning symptoms may include the following:
1. Vision problems
Inflammation affects the optic nerve which may cause the following symptoms: double vision, blurred vision, dulling of colors, pain when moving, and sometimes vision loss. It is imperative to find an experienced ophthalmologist to monitor these symptoms.
2. Tingling and numbness
Usually one of the first indicators of MS. Nerves send conflicting signals in the body or none are sent at all. This can vary from having an extremity going from being completely numb to feeling like you are receiving electrical shocks.
3. Pains and spasms
Caused by damaged nerve pathways, shaking and stiffness as well as pains and spasms can be uncontrollable at times with the legs and back being commonly affected.
4. Weakness or fatigue
The weakness and fatigue are brought on by the deconditioning of unused muscles. Rehabilitation and mobility aids can help.
5. Balance problems or dizziness
Vertigo, lightheadedness, and disturbances in your equilibrium when standing are all due to muscle weakness. Physical therapy is known to help alleviate some of these symptoms.
6. Bladder issues
Unfortunately some numbness and desensitization can occur causing frequent and strong urges as well as sometimes an inability to hold urine. Urinary Tract infections are also very common for those living with MS. With the right treatment plan from an urologist, this issue can be mitigated.
7. Cognitive problems
Brain function decreases with time, lessening the ability to organize and remember new information as well as creating a short attention span. This is very frustrating because it is imperative to receive the proper diagnosis for this condition. Neuroimaging and lumbar punctures are a couple of the tools used to receive a proper MS diagnosis. It is important to go over all of the treatment options with your doctor. Mayzent is an oral disease modifying treatment for secondary-progressive MS. In clinical trials Mayzent has been shown to slow down the advancement of symptoms for those taking it.