Woman Holding Orange Ribbon for MS Awareness

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an auto-immune disease. It’s a progressive disease that affects the brain and spinal chord. Your immune system begins to turn on your body, damaging the protective sheath around your nerve cells (myelin), leaving your nerves expose and causing a whole lot of complications, specifically regarding your brain’s ability to communicate with your body.

The specific cause of MS is currently unknown but there are certain risk factors that appear to increase your chances of having MS. Typically people of the Caucasian race are more prone to developing MS, as are those that live in more temperate environments. Smoking and having low levels of Vitamin D have also been linked to the development of MS.

People’s experiences with MS differ from case to case. There’s a wide range of different symptoms that can occur, ranging from mild to severe. Unfortunately, MS is a lifelong disease. Although scientists and Doctors continue to research Multiple Sclerosis for more effective treatments, at this time there is no cure.

Who can get MS?

People of all ages (children and adults) can be diagnosed with MS. However, typically people are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50. Regardless of your age, it’s important to speak with your Doctor if you are noticing any signs or symptoms listed in this article.

Signs and Symptoms

Most symptoms of MS are caused because of damage to the protective nerve covering known as myelin.

Regardless of your age, it’s important to speak with your Doctor if you are noticing any signs or symptoms listed below.

  1. Numbness and Tingling Sensations

  2. Weakness

  3. Lack of Coordination

  4. Pains/Muscle Spasms

  5. Vision Problems (Loss of vision, blurred vision, “seeing double”)

  6. Sexual Dysfunction

  7. Bladder Problems

  8. Fatigue and Dizziness

Although less common, some people who suffer from MS will experience uncontrollable tremors/shaking or seizures.

Cognitive Function

It can be extremely frustrating for someone who has been diagnosed with MS. In some cases, the sufferer (or their loved ones) will notice an affect on their cognitive function. Symptoms can include memory loss, lack of coordination, mood swings, depression, lack or attention, and general disorganization with their thoughts.

Because MS affects the brain, coupled with the stress and difficulty that the disease brings with it, people with MS are susceptible to major depression. It’s important that those with MS have support from others. In the case that they do not have loved ones close by(family, friends, or caregivers), there are MS support groups that one can join.

Relapsing and Remitting

People who suffer from MS may have flare ups of symptoms that come and go. The person with MS may develop more and more symptoms steadily over time, with periods of remission where their symptoms dissipate or temporarily disappear completely.

If you are concerned that you or someone close to you may be experiencing symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, it’s important to reach out to a Doctor.

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