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MS Article or Multiple Sclerosis Article:

Early Symptoms MS: 

What Are the

Early Symptoms

of Multiple Sclerosis?

Early symptoms MS can be difficult to see as a whole before the subtle symptoms that can initially appear are put together to lead to the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis.

Doctors and patients alike may not recognize the often mild symptoms that may occur initially before the person is 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.

Because 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 is really going on before the person's symptoms become severe enough for the doctors to suspect the presence of MS.

On 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 disorders.

The early warning signs of Multiple Sclerosis are not that well defined and can vary from case to case. Some people can actually start out with more severe symptoms and some can be so minor that they do not appear to be anything worth 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 problems).
  • 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 noticeable enough that you can see something is definitely not right with your body.

Unfortunately at 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 seen.

I didn't 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:

* memory 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).

* cognitive 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.

* incredibly overwhelming fatigue -- this would hang around for a period of time and then go away for several months before it would return again.

* emotional 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.

* numbness -- 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 never completed.

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 longer.

To find out more information about Multiple Sclerosis
and about ways to help reduce your symptoms of MS, complete the form below to subscribe to our FREE Multiple Sclerosis Report.

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