Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an immune-mediated condition that is progressive. The body releases antibodies against other body parts that are instrumental in the normal physiological processes. Nerve cell coverings get destroyed, diminishing the roles of the peripheral and central nervous systems. MS symptoms are unpredictable and vary broadly, with some people experiencing reduced brain activities, loss of vision, paralysis, numbness, and fatigue.
Common early symptoms of MS are
1. Numbness and Tingling
Multiple Sclerosis interferes with nerves in the central and peripheral nervous systems. Damage leads to an interruption in the signaling pathway. The nerves’ integrity is compromised. At times, no signal gets transmitted, leading to a numb sensation. The numbness and tingling sensation occur on the fingers, legs, arms, and face
2. Weakness and Fatigue
There are unexplained weakness and fatigue in the initial stages of multiple Sclerosis reported among 80% of patients with this condition. It progresses to chronic fatigue after the spinal nerves are seriously damaged. The weakness emerges unexpectedly, and it takes some weeks before improvement. It is commonly felt in the leg region in the initial stages
3. Sight Problems
Visual difficulties are among the most popular signs of Multiple Sclerosis. Inflammation interferes with the central vision and damages the optic nerve leading to vision loss, double vision, and blurred vision. You may not notice the vision problems early enough as the degeneration could be slower and gradual. There may be pain as one looks to the side or up. However, there are better ways of coping up with vision problems that are MS-related
4. Spasms and Pain
Muscle spasms and severe pain are associated with MS. About 50% of patients having multiple sclerosis experience chronic pain. Apart from spasticity, patients may also experience pain at the extremities and joint problems. Legs are mostly affected, but there could also be pain in the back
5. Cognitive Challenges
MS interrupts cognitive abilities in most people. These include:
- Language difficulties
- Shortened attention
- Memory loss
- Mental problems, including depression
Coordination problems and dizziness reduces mobility among patients with MS. Patients may also experience vertigo in an upright position
7. Bowel and Bladder Dysfunction
These are also present in 80% of patients having multiple Sclerosis. Symptoms of a dysfunctional bladder include a strong urination urge, frequent urination, and difficulty in holding the urine. Uncontrollable bowel, diarrhea, or constipation rarely occurs
8. Emotional Issues
MS-related stress may lead to pseudobulbar, mood swings, and irritability. Together with other social challenges, MS symptoms may worsen. More symptoms include difficulty swallowing, distorted speech, breathing difficulties, seizures, and hearing loss, and they vary from patient to patient. Differing symptoms may occur in attacks or relapses
MS has no cure, but treatment plans are available. Treatment focuses on managing the symptoms and slowing MS’s progression. The available MS treatment options include:
- Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs (DMARDS): These drugs reduce the severity and frequency of the episodes. They are available as oral pills, infusions, and injectables. Drugs under injectables are Avonex, Extavia, Copaxone, and Rebif. Approved infusion drugs include Ocrevus, Tysabri, Mitoxantrone, and alemtuzumab. Those for multiple Sclerosis are Mayzent, Cladribine, Dimethyl fumarate, Fingolimod, and Teriflunomide. Mayzent is appropriate for the relapse MS treatment. Diroximel fumarate and Zeposia are oral capsules active against the relapsing forms of Multiple Sclerosis as well.
- Natural and Complementary Therapy: The therapies involve diet, exercise, and Physical therapies.