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MS Article or Multiple Sclerosis Article :


What Are the

Early Symptoms

of Multiple Sclerosis?

Early Symptoms of MS:

The initial signs of Multiple Sclerosis or the multiple sclerosis warning signs 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.

Because of this often occurring, and the fact that Multiple Sclerosis is often not as well defined in some cases of MS, 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 Lyme disease and a few bacterial infections.

The early 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 early symptoms of MS can come and go over a period of 2 to 5 years before they become extreme enough or noticeable enough for the combination of symptoms to begin to appear to point to Multiple Sclerosis as the culprit for the presence of the symptoms.

The early symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis can include a broad range of symptoms that can vary from mild to severe and are sometimes easily discounted as something else, but once the combination of the early signs of MS are seen, it is easier to determine the presence of MS.

The list of the signs of multiple sclerosis can include any of the following ms symptoms in any combination:

  • Memory problems (ms memory): You start forgetting things more often, and it is much more than just forgetting where you put your car or house keys.
  • Cognitive problems (ms cognitive): 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 (ms eye or ms vision): 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, possible partial loss of vision that is temporarily a problem, then returns, possible eye pain (nerve  pain) - may or may not be present.
  • Legs problems (ms leg) - trouble walking, standing, balancing, as well as leg pain, numbness of legs, sciatica (leg nerve pain), leg spasms, loss of muscle strength in legs, nerve function problems with legs resulting in knees collapsing and can not support weight of body for standing and walking.
  • Foot problems (ms foot or ms feet): 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), foot numbness, loss of control of feet, foot pain (nerve pain), skin dryness on feet.
  • Hand problems (ms fine finger): 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 or with holding onto things, hand pain (nerve pain) possible, skin problems (skin can become dried and cracked so that it becomes painful), nerve pain in the hands may or may not be present.
  • Possible Hearing loss (ms hearing):  This may be a minor loss or become a major problem.
  • Loss of Muscle Strength (ms muscle):  Arms, Legs, Hands and Feet can lose muscle strength and muscle control.
  • Numbness, tingling or pins and needles feelings (ms numbness): This can be a problem that can occur anywhere in the body, but the most common places that  numbness typically starts to appear is in the hands, feet, arms, legs, neck, shoulders, back or somewhere on the face.
  • Nerve Pain (ms 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 (ms eye or ms 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 (ms balance): 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 (ms muscle): 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, Tremors, Twitches, Ticks or Involuntary Muscle Contractions (ms spasms, ms twitchms spasm, multiple sclerosis spasticity): 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, or 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.
These Multiple Sclerosis symptoms 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 and this makes it easier for the doctors to make the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis.

On top of all of these physical symptoms of MS, Multiple Sclerosis can also weaken the immune system.  That is why it is so much easier for those of us that have been given the diagnosis of MS for us  to have so many more infections so much of the time.  We not only get infection so much more often because of the effects of Multiple Sclerosis, MS can also set up our systems where we have a very difficult time fighting off infections, once out body contracts them in the first place.

As an example, I have had periods of time, with my case of Multiple Sclerosis, where I no sooner recover from one infection, that I start with another one right away.  This vicious cycle can continue of one infection after the other for 3 to 6 months straight!  When this type of thing happens, it is like our immune systems are weakened from the first infection and before our immune system has time to regain its strength, another infection over powers our immune system and we become sick again right away.

On top of this, if antibiotics are prescribed for each of the infections that are back to back, this just makes our immune system even weaker or it can cause our bodies to become resistant tot he antibiotics so that they do not work as well at helping to boost our immune systems to help or bodies to be able to fight off infections as they should be able to do.

I don't think that many of us that have been given the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis often really realized before we were diagnosed as to what was really going on. Hind sight is much better at helping us to identity the Multiple Sclerosis symptoms that began to appear before we realized that these may have been something that could have been a much bigger problem that we were unaware of.
 
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