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Living with Multiple Sclerosis


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The symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis

Common symptoms in MS include fatigue, weakness, spasticity, balance problems, bladder and bowel problems, numbness, vision loss, temperature loss, and depression.
Not all symptoms effect all MS patients. No two people have the same complaints; and no one person develops all of the symptoms. MS is a individual disease in all persons.
The symptoms that define the clinical picture of MS are the result of nerve damage causing electrical conduction in one or more areas of the Central Nervous System, the nature of the symptoms that occur is determined by the location of the nerve damage/lesions, ie, Optic nerve damage may cause blurred vision; a lesion in the spinal cord may cause co-ordination or balance problems.

Depending on the location of the nerve damage, the following symptoms maybe experienced:-
Balance problems, speech problems, co-ordination, tremors
Motor nerve tracks muscle weakness, spasticity paralysis, vision problems, bladder, bowel problems,
Sensory nerve tract altered sensation, numbness,prickling,burning sensation

Numbness, Tingling, Burning sensations: Sensory complains occur in upto 55% of people and are often the earliest symptoms of MS.
Disturbances of feeling in the trunk such as tingling, crawling sensations, feelings of swelling or numbness. Numbness also depends upon its cause. If severe neurological damage to the myelin sheath takes place then numbness may remain.
Tremors; shaking or trembling of a limb or occasionally the head. Upto 50% report shaky movement or tremors which may come and go. This symptom of MS ompairs Mobility and often is associated with difficulty in balance and co-ordination.

Other issues consists of: memory loss such as depression, other illnesses, and normal absent mindedness. If memory loss is a constant problem, there are certain exercises that may help. Some treatments maybe available to enhance cognitive functioning.
Sexual difficulties: more than 90% of men and 70% of women with MS report some change in their sexual life after the onset of the disease. Some problems include: decreased sexual drive, impaired sensation, and loss of sexual interest.