Multiple sclerosis afflicts some 400,000 people in the United States and some 2.5 million people around the world. It is a chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system that arises when the body’s immune system mistakenly targets the fatty substance that protects nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord.
Women are twice as likely to be diagnosed as men are, and they normally occur between the ages of 15 and 60. This guide will show you how to identify the tell-tale signs of the onset of multiple sclerosis:
1. Weakness and fatigue
Some 80% of people that develop MS develop unexplained muscle weaknesses. These usually start in their legs and then progress to other bodily areas. These weaknesses are also associated with chronic fatigue that lasts for weeks before improving.
2. Vision problems
MS can cause the optic nerve to become inflamed, which results in deteriorating eyesight. If part of your field of vision is becoming blurry or you’ve been having episodes of double vision, you should definitely talk to your doctor.
3. Pain and muscle spasms
People with MS also tend to develop relentless leg pain, stiff muscles and/or muscle spasms. Some 55% of all MS sufferers experience significant pain at some point during their illness, and pains and muscle spasms are more common in female MS sufferers.
4. Bladder problems
If you feel like you’re constantly running to the bathroom or are having difficulty getting there fast enough, it could be a sign of MS. Some tell-tale signs of MS can include frequent urination, strong urges to urinate and incontinence. Another potential symptom is bladder dysfunction.
5. Memory trouble
Due to its impact on the nervous system, cognitive problems can arise as a result of developing MS. These can be language or memory slip-ups, trouble keeping organized, or a shortening attention span. With that being said, only 5-10% of MS sufferers develop symptoms significant enough to have an impact on their daily lives.