Multiple sclerosis (MS) is one of the disabling neurological condition of young adults around the world. It can affect at any age, but most people receive diagnoses between the ages of 20 and 50. Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease of the CNS characterized by chronic inflammation, demyelination, gliosis (scarring), and neuronal loss. That means in MS, the immune system attacks the protective sheath (myelin) that covers nerve fibers and causes communication problems between your brain and the rest of your body. Eventually, the disease can cause the nerves themselves to deteriorate or become permanently damaged.
Approximately 350,000 individuals in the United States and 2.5 million individuals worldwide are affected by multiple sclerosis. About 200 new cases are diagnosed each week in the United States.
MS can be relapsing-remitting or progressive. Lesions of MS can develop at different times and in different CNS locations.
Symptoms may be severe or seem so trivial that a patient may not seek medical attention for months or years. Symptoms of MS are extremely varied and depend on the location and severity of lesions within the CNS. If you face these sypmtoms you can be suffering from multiple sclerosis.
1. Chronic fatigue
If you feel tired even after proper rest and diet this may indicate that multiple myeloma is destroying the nerves in your spinal column. People with MS describe their fatigue as overwhelming, making even simple tasks difficult.
Vitamin deficiencies, anemia, obesity can alos be the reason behind you feeling tired more than usual. You should always discuss with your physician “If you’re experiencing a new increase in your fatigue level”.
2. Bladder problems
People with MS may face bladder urgency or may need to use the restroom more frequently. Sometimes they are even awakened during the night by the urge to urinate. The inability to hold in your pee is often accompanied by constipation, diarrhea, and uncontrollable bowel movements as well.
If you are sure that you are suffering from urinary tract infections, have weak pelvic floor muscles, are on diuretics, You should talk to your physician.
3. Impaired vision
People with MS can suffer from periorbital pain. You may also experience a dimming, blurring, decreased colour perception, doubling, or complete loss of vision especially in one eye (optic neuritis).
Optic neuritis can also happen on its own—without necessarily being associated with multiple sclerosis.
4. Weakness or numbness of the limbs
Weakness or numbness of the limbs is one of the most important symptom of MS especially when faced in the one side of bod. There will be loss of strength, speed, or dexterity. Exercise-induced weakness is a characteristic symptom of MS. There can be spasticity, especially in the legs and lack of coordination that causes unsteady gait.
5. Tremor and tingling in parts of body
Numbness and/or tingling that is persistent—lasting more than a few days—is an early symptom that deserves investigation to identify the cause. Multiple sclerosis patients typically experience prickly, tingling, dulled, or lost sensation in their arms, hands, feet, legs or face. Some may even compare the sensation to the feeling of water dripping down their limbs or of insects crawling on their skin. Speech may be unclear and slurred as well.
Who are the risk of getting MS?
- Whites has higher risk for MS than Asians or Africans.
- MS is not considered as inherited disorder. But there are researchers believe there may be a genetic predisposition to developing the disease for example 1 in 3 If an identical twin has MS and 1 in 15 If a fraternal twin has MS.
- The strongest susceptibility signal involved is HLA-DRB1 gene and accounts for approximately 10% of the disease risk.
- Women are about twice as likely as men are to develop MS.
- People who smoke has more chance of getting MS.
What can be the complications of MS?
People with multiple sclerosis also may develop:
- Muscle stiffness or spasms
- Paralysis, typically in the legs
- Problems with bladder, bowel or sexual function
- Mental changes, such as forgetfulness or mood swings