Early Signs and Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis

Early Signs and Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune inflammatory disorder, which affects the nerve tissues of the brain and spinal cord, leaving them damaged or destroyed. Multiple sclerosis is a progressive disease that is most commonly diagnosed in females between the age of 20 and 40 years. However, it may occur at any age and affect both genders. In most cases, multiple sclerosis symptoms are unpredictable and may vary in intensity. While some people experience weakness and fatigue, there may be severe cases of MS, causing vision loss, paralysis, and reduced brain function.

Some of the early symptoms of multiple sclerosis include the following.

Vision problems
This is one of the most common multiple sclerosis symptoms. The disease affects the optic nerve, resulting in a blurred vision or pain while looking around, often accompanied by a total vision loss.

Tingling and numbness
Often people experience a sharp pain-like feeling when they move their neck or head. This pain may travel down the spine into the arms and legs. Also, a numbness is generally experienced on the face.

Pain and spasms
Chronic pain, muscle stiffness, or involuntary muscle spasms are some common multiple sclerosis symptoms. Extreme pain may be experienced in the back or legs.

Fatigue and weakness
Excessive weakness and fatigue affect a large number of people during the early stages of the disease. The weakness is typically felt in the legs at first. In some cases, the nerves in the spinal column deteriorate, leading to chronic fatigue.

People suffering from multiple sclerosis often experience dizziness or feel as if the room is spinning. Also, they may have trouble walking or find it difficult to keep balance.

Bladder and bowel dysfunction
The disease often leads to a dysfunctional bladder with symptoms such as frequent urination, compulsive urge to urinate and in worst cases, urinary incontinence.

Speech and swallowing problems
Difficulty in swallowing and chewing food along with slurred speech are other common multiple sclerosis symptoms.

Cognitive and emotional problems
These include memory loss, depression, problems with balance, difficulty in reasoning, inability to focus, poor judgment, and dementia. The condition can also cause mood swings and irritability in patients, involving spells of uncontrollable laughing or crying.

The symptoms of multiple sclerosis may vary from patient to patient and can appear in any part of the body. Apart from the ones listed above, there are few other common symptoms such as:

  • Hearing loss
  • Breathing problems
  • Seizures
  • Uncontrollable shaking

In case you experience any of the above symptoms, make sure you consult an expert neurologist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.