Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a potentially debilitating disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s protective nerve coverings. As nerve damage occurs, the communication between the brain and the body becomes disrupted. Symptoms, which typically develop between the ages of 20 and 40, can range in type and severity from one person to the next.
If you’ve begun experiencing new, unexplained symptoms, a quick internet search may have led you to believe you could have MS. Yet, the condition is still considered rare, with roughly 309 people for every 100,000 being affected by it. Moreover, MS also shares the same symptoms as many other conditions, so experiencing them isn’t a certain indication that you have it. Only a doctor can diagnose the condition, but the following Multiple Sclerosis symptoms should be discussed with a medical professional no matter the root cause.
Any sudden vision changes always warrant a prompt visit to the doctor’s office. Uncontrollable eye movements, blind spots, and double vision are all symptoms of MS, but some of these issues could also be a result of age-related vision problems, such as glaucoma. Blurred vision is another hallmark characteristic of MS, though it’s always possible you could simply need a new eyeglass or contact lens prescription.
People with MS often report feeling as if the room is spinning, a sensation known as vertigo. This is a result of the damaged areas within the pathways that coordinate vision and brain activity which support the equilibrium. If you find yourself stumbling and have a sudden, severe case of dizziness, be sure to seek immediate medical attention, as this is could be a sign of a stroke.
Numbness or Tingling
The nerve damage that occurs in MS often manifests as a numb, tingling, or pins-and-needles sensation. It may appear in the extremities or face, typically on one side of the body. The symptom can come and go, seemingly without explanation.
Like some of the other symptoms on this list, slurred speech is both a symptom of MS and stroke. In people with MS, however, speech may not only be slurred, but it could also sound nasally. There may also be extended pauses between words. These symptoms develop because MS impacts the area of the brain responsible for speech.
Pain & Muscle Weakness
MS causes nerve damage which leads to neuropathic pain, and may feel like brief, intense, electric-shock-like sensations. In other cases, the discomfort may feel like a squeezing sensation around the torso, known as the “MS hug,” which is caused by spine damage. Beyond neuropathic pain, MS can also cause musculoskeletal pain, which comes from stiffness, weakness, and other mobility challenges.
Fatigue is an especially challenging symptom to define, as most of us feel tired throughout different stages of our lives. Yet, the fatigue that accompanies MS goes beyond feeling as if you didn’t get enough shut-eye; it persists even when you have ample sleep and can come on suddenly. You may find yourself feeling too drained to simple tasks, like walking the dog.
Keep in mind that while these symptoms could point to MS, they could also be explained by other health issues. For instance, exhaustion may stem from an iron deficiency, and widespread pain can be caused by conditions such as arthritis and fibromyalgia. All these symptoms should be assessed by a medical professional, who can perform tests to provide an accurate diagnosis.
If exploring options on how to manage symptoms, stem cell therapy has shown positive results for those with Multiple Sclerosis symptoms as a management therapy. Please contact us for a complimentary assessment for how regenerative therapy may be beneficial for you or a loved one.
This post was written by Becky Palmer, a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. At Stemedix we provide access to Regenerative Medicine for multiple sclerosis, also known as stem cell therapy for multiple sclerosis. Regenerative medicine has the natural potential to help improve symptoms sometimes lost from the progression of many conditions.