Medically Reviewed by Dr. Unsa Mohsin
Multiple Sclerosis or MS is a chronic disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. It is a potentially disabling disease in which the body’s immune system attacks the nerves of the body, more specifically the protective covering of the nerves. Due to this attack on the nerves the communication between the brain and the rest of the body is disturbed, which leads to a number of common symptoms listed below:
- Numbness and Tingling – MS patients suffer from altered sensations, such as the sensation of burning, numbness, tingling, and possible pain.
- Balance and Coordination Problems – The most common symptoms relating to MS are those of balance and coordination, including but not limited to Tremors, Loss of Balance, Lack of limb coordination, Unstable walking called Ataxia, and Weakness of the legs.
- Vision Problems–People suffering from MS may face certain visual impairments including double vision, blurring of vision, involuntary or rapid eye movement or Optic Neuritis.
- Chronic Fatigue – Fatigue is another commonly reported symptom of MS. It can significantly interfere with a person’s ability to function at home and at work.
- Stiffness and Spasticity – Muscle stiffness, altered muscle tone and spasms (spasticity) can affect mobility and walking of a person suffering from MS.
- Bladder Dysfunction – Bladder related symptoms include the urgent or frequent need to empty the bladder, especially at unexpected times.
- Bowel Dysfunction – Bowel issues include constipation or loss of bowel control.
- Excessive Yawning – Repetitive yawning and sleep problems are symptoms of MS.
- Dizziness and Vertigo – Dizziness or light-headiness can be a symptom of multiple sclerosis. A more severe feeling that surroundings are spinning is referred to as vertigo.
- Depression – Depression in its various forms is one of the most common symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis. Studies suggest that clinical depression, which is the most severe form, is more frequent among people with MS than it is in the general population or in many other chronic illnesses.
- Anxiety – According to the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America, “Anxiety is perhaps the most taxing and under-treated psychological effect of living with MS.”
- Cognitive Dysfunction – Cognitive impairment occurs in 40-65% of MS patients, typically involving complex attention, information processing speed, memory and executive functions.
- Heat or Cold Intolerance – Exposure to extreme temperatures can cause the disease to worsen for some patients.
- Brain Fog – Brain fog affects mental processes such as memory and concentration. Think of it as if your brain simply goes blank.
Other symptoms of MS include temporary blindness, emotional changes, restlessness, speech and voice disorders, as well as difficulty swallowing.
Could You Have MS?
If you are between the ages of 18 – 44 years and suffer from one or more of the symptoms listed above, you could have MS.
The Society for Multiple Sclerosis Patients in Pakistan has been helping patients suffering from MS in Pakistan live better and healthier lives. Visit www.smspp.org.pk to find out about Multiple Sclerosis.
Show your solidarity for MS patients by wearing Orange on World MS Day on Wednesday, 30 May 2018
NOTE: This post is being shared as a public service message to increase awareness about MS