Multiple sclerosis, also referred to as MS, is a central nervous system disease. It can range from mildly to severely disabling and interfere with daily functioning, as it can affect the walking, writing, and speech areas of the brain. Having multiple sclerosis may manifest such cognitive difficulties such as concentration, memory, judgment, and attention. The symptoms can be short lived or lasting and they often vary in degrees of frequency, as well as intensity. Multiple sclerosis is linked to heredity, viruses, the environment, and/or an autoimmune disorder although this has not been proven in a clear manner.
Symptoms of multiple sclerosis are numerous and may affect the areas of motor, coordination, bowel, bladder, sexual functioning, visual, cognitive and others as well. Outlined below are the symptoms that may occur and which area of the body that they would occur in.
Multiple sclerosis motor symptoms: Stiffness, pain and difficult range of motion caused by muscle tone loss, atrophy or muscle wasting, speech difficulties, twitching of the muscles, muscle contractures, tics, muscle weakness or paralysis.
Multiple sclerosis coordination symptoms: Disturbances in inner ear functioning, uncoordinated motion, slow response in regards to movement, nausea and vomiting, stuttering speech.
Multiple sclerosis bowel symptoms: Incontinency of the bowels and the need to expel with urgency, constipation.
Multiple sclerosis bladder symptoms: The need to expel urine in an urgent manner, urinary incontinency.
Multiple sclerosis sexual functioning symptoms: Unable to achieve sexual arousal and orgasm, impotency of both the male and the female.
Multiple sclerosis visual symptoms: Twitching or unstable movements of the eyes, pain in the eye, blindness, double vision, unsteadiness with the eyes, pupil reaction response disturbances, lights flashing before the eyes.
Multiple sclerosis cognitive symptoms: Dementia, bipolar symptoms, depression, instability of mood, memory difficulties, concentration difficulties, inattentiveness, speech problems with both expression and comprehension, anxiety.
Other multiple sclerosis symptoms: gastrointestinal reflux, heat tolerance disturbances, lethargy, seizures, swallowing disturbances, respiratory difficulties, impairment of the taste and smell senses, cold intolerance, and sleeping difficulties.
Treatment of multiple sclerosis is geared toward managing the symptoms. Numerous drug therapies are used to treat each specific symptom. Other forms of treatment are available as well. It is extremely important to work along with your physician’s guidance in dealing with your multiple sclerosis condition. In this way he or she can help you manage your symptoms to a tolerable degree so that you may obtain the best possible care and maintain the maximum quality of life.
National Multiple Sclerosis Society: About MS
MayoClinic: Multiple Sclerosis
National Multiple Sclerosis Society: Symptoms
Multiple Sclerosis Foundation: Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis
MedlinePlus: Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms, diagnosis, Treatment
University of California San Francisco: Multiple Sclerosis Signs and symptoms
University of Maryland Medical Center: Multiple sclerosis