Having multiple sclerosis (MS) means that the body has problems with the immune system that attacks central nerve cells, especially in the brain, spinal cord, and eye nerves. This disease has various symptoms so that someone is often not aware of this disease. There are those who experience one symptom, then months or even years after different symptoms arise. A study says, from the beginning of the appearance of symptoms until the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis takes seven years. So, what are the symptoms of multiple sclerosis?
Signs and symptoms of multiple sclerosis
1. Vision impairment
If you experience blurred eyes after too long staring at a computer screen, this is normal. However, if vision tends to fade, blur, cause double vision, even loss of vision, especially in only one eye, this condition is called optical neuritis.
Optic neuritis is a common symptom of multiple sclerosis which causes inflammation of the nerves of the eye. Patients tend to feel pain when moving the eyeball or decreased vision in striking colors. For example, red will look more faded and dull to grayish red. However, optic neuritis is not always associated with multiple sclerosis because it can also be caused by infection, vitamin deficiency, or other autoimmune diseases.
2. Balance and headache problems
One of the first symptoms of multiple sclerosis is vertigo or a severe headache that makes the head spin. Patients feel like they are in a room that is moving or being in a swinging ship, resulting in nausea, vomiting, and unable to move or move.
Vertigo or dizziness is not always associated with multiple sclerosis. It may also be caused by an inner ear problem, anemia, low blood sugar, hypotension, or consumption of certain drugs. So, ask your doctor to find out the exact cause.
3. Chronic fatigue
Be careful when you feel fatigue that tends to be severe and does not go away for weeks. Because, this can be one of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis which is eating away at your spinal cord. Chronic fatigue makes people feel difficult to do various things, even the simplest activities.
Symptoms of chronic fatigue can also be caused by thyroid complications, vitamin deficiencies, anemia, and other serious medical conditions. So, don't take it lightly if you feel this constantly and immediately visit a doctor for further treatment.
4. Tingling and numbness
The tingling and numbness felt for days is an early symptom of multiple sclerosis that needs to be watched out. This is a sign that the central nervous system in the brain and spinal cord is beginning to get damaged so the brain is unable to send signals of movement to other parts of the body.
Parts of the body that experience tingling are usually felt on the face, arms, hands and feet so that the patient becomes difficult to walk. Some of them feel the sensation of water dripping all over their bodies or like insects crawling on their skin.
5. Decreased bladder and intestinal function
Decreasing bladder function is one of the symptoms that occurs in 80 percent of people with multiple sclerosis. According to Kathleen Costello, a nurse practitioner and deputy health access midwife at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, many sufferers complain that they often go back and forth to the bathroom because they are unable to hold urine (urine incontinence), especially at night.
Some sufferers also have problems with their bowel function, including constipation, diarrhea, and uncontrolled bowel movements.
6. Cognitive and emotional problems
Reporting from WebMD, half of people with multiple sclerosis develop several cognitive problems, including memory problems, language problems, sleep disorders, memory disorders, multitasking difficulties, and problems in concentration or attention. This is because the nervous system in the brain is disrupted, making it difficult for patients to control themselves to perform bodily functions regularly.
When achieving emotional symptoms, people with multiple sclerosis tend to be irritable, depressed, and change their mood drastically so they can cry or laugh suddenly.
7. Stiff and spastic muscles
According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, half of people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis experience chronic pain accompanied by seizures, weakness in the limbs, and stiff muscles. Stiffness is most common in the leg muscles because it becomes part of the overall body weight.
If you experience one or more of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis above, immediately consult a doctor. The doctor will likely do a number of tests to ensure the symptoms are felt, including:
- Blood tests to see other possible problems with symptoms similar to multiple sclerosis, such as lyme disease.
- Examination to measure the speed of signals in the body's nerves.
- MRI examination to see areas of damage to the brain organs.
- Examination of the spine to check the condition of the fluid flowing in the brain and spinal cord.
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