symptoms MS can be difficult
to see as a whole
before the subtle symptoms that can initially appear are put
lead to the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis.
patients alike may not
recognize the often mild symptoms that may occur initially before the
given the diagnosis of
Multiple Sclerosis, since they have a tendency to come and
go for 2 to 5 years before they are recognized as being something more
serious than a cold or the flu or just feeling tired more often.
the majority of the cases of Multiple Sclerosis that are diagnosed are
more often not very well defined, it can be difficult to determine what
really going on before the person's symptoms become severe enough for
doctors to suspect the presence of MS.
top of all of this, there are a few conditions that can actually mimic
the symptoms of MS, including
lymes disease and a few bacterial infections or a few rare nerve
early warning signs of Multiple Sclerosis are not that well defined and
vary from case to case. Some people can actually start out with more
symptoms and some can be so minor that they do not appear to be
being alarmed over.
The list of the early
symptoms MS can include:
- Memory problems: You start forgetting things
more often, and it is much more than just forgetting where you put your
car or house keys.
- Cognitive problems: You can start to have more
problems figuring things out that were not a problem before.
Things that people say to you begin to becoming more
confusing to you or you start to have more problems connecting with
what is going on around you.
- Vision problems: You start to have more
problems focusing when you are looking at things or you sometimes see
double or things look dimmer, like the lights are turned down low, even
if you are actually around brighter lights.
- Foot problems: You start having more
problems controlling or picking up one or both of your feet (foot drop
or lack of foot control is what are the most common for initial foot
- Hand problems: Hand control and fine finger
control (or dexterity) becomes a problem. It might become more
difficult to pick things up or you might have more problems with
dropping things on the floor.
- Numbness, tingling or pins and
needles feelings: This can be a problem that
can occur anywhere in the body, but the most common places that
different types of ms pain
starts to appearis is more often noticed is in the hands, feet, arms,
legs, neck, shoulders, back or somewhere on the face.
- Nerve Pain: This type of pain can either
come and go or be continuous to where it may become unbearable, but
more often than not this is usually a later Multiple Sclerosis symptom
that appears later in the disease progression, after the diagnosis of
Multiple Sclerosis has been given. Nerve pain is typically a shooting
pain that travels along the nerves like sciatic pain that travels up
the back of one or both of the legs. MS nerve pain can be found most
often in the legs, arms, hands or feet, but the nerve pain can appear
anywhere in the body, based on which part of the Central Nervous System
(CNS) (the Brain, the spinal cord and the rest of the nerves throughout
the body) is attacked and damaged by the Multiple Sclerosis. Nerve pain
can also be triggered by where the scarring ends up after MS attacks
the nerves throughout the brain or the pain center of the body.
- Eye Pain: This can be in one or both
eyes or actually be a problem with the retinal nerve itself. This can
be an intense pain that comes and goes or is constant and does not seem
to go away.
- Balance problems: This is where standing,
walking or sitting balance is affected and it makes you feel like you
are unable to keep from falling over (even if you do not actually fall
over to the side or fall onto the floor). This can also mean that
walking up and down steps becomes more difficult to do, without falling
down the steps.
- Loss of Muscle Control or
Muscle Weakness: This can affect your hands,
arms, legs, feet or just about any part of your body where there are
muscles. This can mean -- that it is more difficult to pick things up,
walking and standing can become more difficult because it is harder for
you to support your own body weight to be able to stand or walk for
longer periods of time, hand strength can be reduced, it can become
difficult for you get up off of whatever you are sitting on, because
the thigh muscles can become weakened to the point where it becomes
more difficult for you to push off of a chair to stand up.
- Spasms, Twitches, Ticks or
Involuntary Muscle Contractions: This can happen anywhere in
the body but the main areas that these typically appear are the legs,
arms, hands or feet. It is like you start having uncontrollable
movements of your legs, arms, hands and feet to the point where you
look like you are trying to jump off of the chair that you are sitting
on, it looks like you are trying to dance while sitting down, your legs
and feet look like they are kicking or your hands or arms appear to be
moving on their own.
The possible early symptoms MS can be mild at first, where they are
so minor that they
can often be discounted as part of something else, or they can be
enough that you can see something is definitely not right with your
times, thinking back over the symptoms that we were experiencing
initially is much easier to do after the Multiple Sclerosis
has been diagnosed.
We can wonder
how we can miss seeing the early symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, when
we feel very exhausted off and on, or we end up with vision problems,
or we end up with partial numbness in a hand or foot, leg or arm, but
it isn't until we add these symptoms together as being one condition
that the link to finding out that we have Multiple Sclerosis can be
have that many early symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis that were obvious
to me when they started to happen, but thinking back on it now, I
started with the following:
problems -- this came and went, but was getting worse (and
I had a very good memory before all of this started to happen to me).
problems -- I had more trouble figuring things out and
since I was a problem solver at work, this was a very bad thing for me
to be able to stll function to do my job.
overwhelming fatigue -- this would hang around
for a period of time and then go away for several months before it
would return again.
outbursts -- this was totally not me at work, but
I became very upset at one point with someone at work that I
totally lost it with and part of it was not a typical response for me.
This really scared me as to what was going on with me.
I felt like I was totally losing it at that point. I was very
careful not to let this happen again, but that was my first clue that
something was really wrong with me.
-- this started to come and go off and on at first and then the feeling
started to go away and not come back for a longer period of time, right
before I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.
* eye pain
-- this started within the last 2 weeks before I had a major attack of
the Multiple Sclerosis that put me in the hospital, when I was
diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.
I didn't recognize any of these symptoms as being Multiple Sclerosis,
since I didn't really know much about Multiple Sclerosis before I was
diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis myself.
I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis within 2 years of when I first
started to experience symptoms. At first I was just very
tired a lot and my doctors thought that I was developing allergies.
I remember at one point that I was sent for allergy testing,
but since I travelled for work at the time, the allergy testing was
Don't give up if you suspect that you may have Multiple Sclerosis.
Tests can be done to determine if MS is really what is going
on that may be able to explain your symptoms that you are experiencing.
Although there is nothing that is a "quick fix" for resolving the
problems that Multiple Sclerosis can cause to our bodies, to reduce how
uch we can function, there are several things that can help to reduce
the effects of Multiple Sclerosis and help you to function better for