Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a common disease in America and Europe, with millions of patients. It is transmitted genetically, though not every offspring of an MS patient will experience MS.
Like in all complex diseases, no two cases are the same. The symptoms vary from patient to patient, and often the symptoms for one person will even vary from day to day.
The symptoms also depend on where in the Central Nervous System the myelin is damaged, and how severe that damage is.
- Vision disturbances is a common symptom of Multiple Sclerosis. Things like blurred vision, optic neuritis, double vision and involuntary rapid eye movements are very common, and usually clear up either with or without treatment. Total vision loss is possible, but very rare.
- The most well recognized MS symptoms are those that effect coordination and movement. Many people have tremors, loss of balance, dizziness or vertigo, coordination loss and trouble walking due to weakness or numbness of the legs. Cognitive difficulties such as trouble concentrating, short term memory loss and difficulty reasoning. Emotions can be effected, also.
- Fatigue seems to be the most common symptom among those with MS. MS fatigue is different than just being tired, the person may feel overwhelmingly tired, limbs may feel heavy and impossible to move.
- A person with MS may experience tingling or numbness of any part of their body, a sensation similar to that of limb that has been a sleep, burning, or a needle like pain, anywhere in the body. Some people experience facial pain and muscle pain.
- Many people experience intermittent stuttering, or slurring of their words. The normal rhythm of their speech may change as well.
- Some people with MS experience urinary urgency, incontinence, and bowel control problems.
- Adults with MS may experience varying levels of sexual dysfunction. Decreased sensation, diminished arousal, and impotence are common.
- People with MS are often extremely sensitive to heat. All other symptoms tend to worsen when the person becomes overheated. They may become dizzy, or fatigued much faster in very warm temperatures.
Although the list of MS symptoms is long, it is unusual for one person to exhibit them all.
Medication and various therapies can help the MS patient cope with troublesome symptoms.