There are more than 2.3 million people worldwide that have received a diagnosis for MS. In the United States, there are nearly 1 million people over the age of 18 that live with this diagnosis.
Although common, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do anything once you are diagnosed with MS. On the contrary, you should pay attention to what your body is saying to you and assess if you are showing symptoms of MS. Leaving this problem unaddressed can significantly impact your life as this health condition can cause brain interruptions, difficulty in swallowing, emotional changes, and weak bladder control.
To make a determination of MS, there are several signs to be on the lookout for. If you think you might have MS, read through this complete list of MS symptoms. Knowing what the symptoms of MS are will make it easy for you to determine when to see a medical professional instead of stressing and self-diagnosing these symptoms on your own. The latter can take a toll on your physical and mental health.
If this list of symptoms sounds familiar, then your next step should be to speak with your doctor.
A Complete List of MS Symptoms
There's no specific test that you can have performed to determine if you have MS. With this progressive disease, you should pay attention and track your symptoms.
- Vision problems
- Tingling and numbness
- Pains and spasms
- Weakness or fatigue
- Balance problems
- Bladder issues
- Sexual dysfunction
- Cognitive problems
Aside from those mentioned above, the MS hug is also a common symptom often experienced by individuals who have MS. This symptom is characterized by feeling an extremely painful sensation (similar to squeezing) in the chest. The exposure to excessive stress, heat, and overexertion can aggravate the effects of the MS hug on the body.
You could experience a few or all of these symptoms. They can also occur in a wide range of severity. They can also be unpredictable when they occur.
If you notice one of these symptoms, see your doctor immediately. Do not wait for these symptoms to go away because the longer you wait, the more severe these symptoms can get. In some cases, the late diagnosis of MS can result in expensive treatments that don’t guarantee the best results.
This can make identifying your symptoms tough. Some people live a very hectic lifestyle and won’t have the time to pay attention to these symptoms. In some cases, they might even associate these symptoms to common body pains, and would merely take over-the-counter drugs to manage the pain and discomfort.
For you and your doctor to easily diagnose these symptoms, create a journal to record when you experience each symptom and how severe these symptoms are. This will help you and your doctor diagnose your ailment.
The Onset of Symptoms
Most people first experience MS symptoms when they are between 20 and 40. For most people, the symptoms will appear and then get better, only for them to come back again.
About 80% of people experience weakness or fatigue in the early stages of MS. Being tired one day is normal and happens to everyone. But chronic fatigue happens when your nerves deteriorate in the spinal column.
This type of tiredness can come on suddenly and without warning. Then last for weeks at a time. It's usually most notable in the legs.
Another common early sign of MS is pain and spasming. About half of people with MS experience some form of muscle spasms and chronic pain. Most people experience these symptoms in their legs and back.
If you are experiencing these symptoms, it can help to seek multiple sclerosis therapy. By seeking treatment, you can slow down the spread of the disease.
Treatment can include things like physical therapy, muscle relaxants, medications to reduce fatigue, and other medications that treat your specific symptoms.
Other Less Common Symptoms
While the first list is of the most common symptoms, it isn't exhaustive. The human body's nervous symptom is complicated, and everyone's body can react differently to MS. You may experience these symptoms:
- Hearing loss
- Breathing problems
- Slurred speech
- Uncontrollable shaking
- Trouble swallowing
Get a Diagnosis for Your Symptoms
If you think you're suffering from MS, the best thing to do is track your symptoms. Compare your list of symptoms to this complete list of MS symptoms.
If you find that your list of symptoms matches this one, then it's time to speak with your doctor. They can help you find a specialist and start managing your symptoms.