Multiple Sclerosis: Recognizing the Early Signs

Multiple Sclerosis: Recognizing the Early Signs by Kim Bayne #TheWellnessUniverse #WUVIP #MultipleSclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis simply means multiple scarring.

Scarring of the sheaths of nerve cells on the brain and spinal cord which interfere with the transmission of nerve signals. MS, is an auto-immune dis-ease, meaning the immune system malfunctions and attacks itself.

How do you develop MS?

There are many factors that can lead up to developing MS. Some of these factors include:

  • Infections such as Measles and Epstein Barr Virus. Even a viral cold could trigger MS.
  • Genetics can play a huge role. If you have a family member such as a mother or father who has MS you are more likely to develop it. Some scientists believe that people who have MS are born with a genetic susceptibility.
  • Environment, the lack of Vitamin D can increase the risk of developing MS. Vitamin D benefits the immune system if a person doesn’t get the required amount of Vitamin D the risk of developing MS increases.

Now that you know some of the possible causes of MS, I will share some of the early signs with you.

Here are 5 Common Early Signs of Multiple Sclerosis:

  1. Vision Changes:

Often diagnosed as Optic Neuritis. With Optic neuritis, damage occurs between the Optic nerve and your brain. Symptoms include, blurred vision, pain in the eye, and colors may appear dull.

  1. Dizziness and/or Balance Issues:

Lesions/scarring interfere with the signals of the central nervous system that controls balance. Vertigo, the sensation of movement when there is none, can cause severe dizziness, nausea, balance issues, lightheadedness, motion sickness, and spinning sensations.

  1. Numbness/Tingling:

This is often the first symptom of MS. Numbness or tingling usually occur in the face, the arms, hands, and legs. This can make daily activity very difficult, as it can also cause weakness in the affected areas. This most often is a result of lesions or scarring along the spinal cord.

  1. Muscle Spasticity/Spasms:

Stiffness and muscle spasms are very common in MS patients. This happens because of an imbalance in the electrical signal coming from the brain and spinal cord due to damage of the nerves. This can make the muscles contract making them tense and painful.

  1. Bladder Issues and/or Incontinence:

This happens when the nerves that send signals to your bladder are damaged, causing an overactive, leaky, bladder and issues with not being able to empty the bladder completely. This same damage can cause issues with the bowels as well.

While these symptoms aren’t the full list, they are the most common of symptoms.

Here is a list of other symptoms:

  • Sexual Dysfunction.
  • Twitching.
  • Cognitive Issues.
  • Anxiety.
  • Depression.
  • Hearing Loss.
  • Breathing Problems.
  • Chest Pain (also called the ‘MS Hug’).
  • Trouble Swallowing.
  • Slurred Speech.
  • Fatigue.
  • Forgetfulness.

Multiple Sclerosis can be a very difficult dis-ease to diagnose and manage.

It is estimated that it can take around seven years from the first symptoms to a complete diagnosis of MS because many of these symptoms can mimic other auto-immune diseases. There are varying degrees of MS from Progressive to Relapsing and Remitting. Managing MS can be made easier with the help of a great Neurologist, positive thinking, support from family and friends, understanding your symptoms, being ready and accepting the symptoms as they come, and last but not least, loving yourself through this challenging time, this is more important than anything else.

It is good to remember that no two people diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis are the same, and the degree of symptoms can vary greatly.

The symptoms are unpredictable, MS attacks can last for a few days, or weeks, some symptoms may stay while others may completely disappear.

The MS Monster:

My life is crazy you see

As MS thinks it owns me.

This Monster has tried to rob me of my sight

But MS does not own me.

This Monster has tried to rob me of my energy

But MS does not own me.

This Monster has tried to rob me of my legs

But MS does not own me.

This Monster has tried to rob me of my memory

But MS does not own me.

This Monster has tried to rob me of my life

But MS does not own me.

I have good days and I have bad days.

MS has tried to destroy me in many different ways

MS does not own me!

I ‘OWN’ me!

I may have MS,

but MS does not have ME!

– Kim



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