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This Morning doctor explains multiple sclerosis symptoms

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Multiple Sclerosis or MS is an autoimmune condition that can lead to people becoming severely disabled. However, every case of MS is different, and some people only suffer mild symptoms of the condition. What are the earliest warning signs of MS and when is it time to see a doctor?

Multiple Sclerosis – more commonly known as MS – is an autoimmune condition affecting the brain and spinal cord.

It has many potential symptoms, including vision problems, impaired arm and leg movement and loss of balance.

The symptoms affect everyone differently, some people’s symptoms are mild whereas for others they can result in serious disability.

Approximately 130,000 adults in the UK are living with MS, and while there are some promising treatments, there is no cure.

MS is one of the most common disabilities in younger adults, often being diagnosed in people in their 20s and 30s, azathioprine cause anemia but it can be diagnosed at any age.

It is also three times more common in women than in men.

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple Sclerosis is an auto-immune condition, which means it causes your immune system to attack the healthy parts of your body, rather than fighting illness.

In the case of MS, it attacks the protective substance around your nerves, called the myelin sheath, which causes nerve damage.

What are the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis?

The symptoms of MS vary dramatically from person to person, whether it’s where you experience them or how severe they are.

If you are worried you might have MS, speak to your GP who will refer you to a specialist neurologist.

These are the six most common symptoms to look out for:

1 Vision problems

Issues with your eyesight are one of the most common symptoms of MS.

Caused by inflammation affecting the optic nerve, the nerve connecting the brain and your eye can cause blurred vision or loss of your vision.

You might also notice you have pain when you look upwards.

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Tingling and numbness

Because MS affects the spinal cord and central nervous system, you can notice a lack of sensation when you touch things or a tingling sensation caused by nerve damage.

This is most commonly noticed first in the legs, arms, fingers and face. It might even feel like a burning sensation.

Muscle spasms

Involuntary muscle movements are common with MS, as well as stiffness in some muscles.

For people who have severe MS symptoms, some muscles can become so rigid they can no longer bend.

Chronic fatigue

People with MS can develop chronic fatigue as a result of nerve damage in the spinal cord, affecting the legs most noticeably at first.

Again, MS affects people very differently. Some may have periods of fatigue, others will have chronic fatigue and some only notice it intermittently.

Balance problems or dizziness

People with MS can be more at risk of developing conditions such as vertigo, where you feel as though everything around you is spinning.

MS can also affect your balance, especially as you stand up from sitting down.

Bladder issues

MS can affect your ability to hold your pee. You may urinate more frequently, less frequently, or struggle to hold it in.

Less common symptoms of MS

Multiple Sclerosis is different for everyone, and even the most common symptoms aren’t universal.

The less common symptoms of MS include:

  • Hearing loss
  • Seizures
  • Uncontrollable shaking
  • Breathlessness
  • Loss of taste

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