MS (multiple sclerosis) is a progressive and immune – mediated disorder. This means that the system which is designed to keep your body healthy mistakenly attacks parts of your body which are vital to the daily function. The protective coverings of nerve cells are damaged and this leads to diminished function in the brain and spinal cord.
The multiple sclerosis is a disease which has unpredictable symptoms that can vary in intensity. Some people can experience numbness and fatigue and the severe cases of multiple sclerosis can lead to diminished brain function, vision loss and paralysis. In the UK more than 100,000 people are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Most commonly, multiple sclerosis is diagnosed in their 20s and 30s but it can happen at any age. It is noticed that the multiple sclerosis is 2 – 3 more common in women than men.
Multiple sclerosis symptoms
Here are some of the most common symptoms of multiple sclerosis
Vision problems: The most common symptoms of multiple sclerosis are vision problems. The inflammation affects the optic nerve and it disrupts central vision. This can lead to loss of vision, double vision or blurred vision.
Pain and spasms: The involuntary muscle spasms and chronic pain are some of the most common symptoms of multiple sclerosis. There are some studies in which are said that half of people affected by this sclerosis have chronic pain.
Tingling and numbness: The multiple sclerosis affects the nerves in the spinal cord. This can send conflicting signals around the body. In some cases, no signals are sent. This can result in numbness. Numbness and tingling sensations are some of the most common warning signs of multiple sclerosis. Common sites of numbness include the face, fingers, arms and legs.
Fatigue and weakness: The unexplained fatigue and weakness are affecting about 80% of people in the early stages of multiple sclerosis. The chronic fatigue happens when nerves deteriorate in the spinal column. Usually, the fatigue happens suddenly and it can last for weeks before improving. At first, the weakness is most noticeable in legs.
Bladder and bowel dysfunction: It is noticed that about 80% of people with multiple sclerosis have a dysfunctional bladder. Often, the urinary – related symptoms are manageable. Less often, people who have this sclerosis can experience loss of bowel control, diarrhea or constipation.
Balance problems and dizziness: The dizziness and problems with balance and coordination can decrease the mobility of some person who has this sclerosis. People who have this sclerosis often feel dizzy, lightheaded or as if their surroundings are spinning. This symptom often happens when you stand up.
Sexual dysfunction: The sexual arousal can be a problem for people who have sclerosis because it begins in the central nervous system.
It is not known why someone gets this sclerosis. This disease is not caused by anything you have done and it is not clear if it can be prevented. It is known that multiple sclerosis is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Here are some possible causes of this sclerosis
- Viral infections: There are some studies in which are said that infections, particularly those caused by Epstein – Barr virus, (this virus is responsible for grandular fever) can trigger the immune system which leads to this sclerosis in some people.
- Smoking: It is noticed that people who smoke are having two times more chances of developing this sclerosis compared to people who do not smoke.
- Lack of sunlight and Vitamin D: There are some studies in which are shown that this sclerosis is more common in countries far from the equator which means that a lack of sunlight and low Vitamin D levels can play a role in it. It is not clear if Vitamin D supplements can help to prevent thissclerosis.
- Genes: The multiple sclerosis is not directly inherited but people who are related with someone who have thissclerosis are having more chances of developing it. It is estimated that the chance of a sibling or child of someone with this disease to develop it, is 2 – 3%.