14 Warning Signs of Multiple Sclerosis

05 November, 2020
Before receiving a medical diagnosis, patients with multiple sclerosis may exhibit some signs that could give clues to the development of the disease. Learn about them in this article.

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease, whose causes remain a challenge for scientific researchers. It’s possible that some cases of multiple sclerosis are difficult to detect, while for others, the symptoms are so pronounced that there’s no doubt about its existence.

What we do know now is that this disease occurs more frequently among women and between people aged 20 to 40. Today, we want to take a closer look at how to detect this disease.

Woman trying to recover her breath

The main signs of multiple sclerosis

Pay close attention to these symptoms that could indicate the development of multiple sclerosis. Each of them alone could be a sign of something else. However, when they occur together, you should see a doctor for an expert opinion.

1. Weakness

Weakness is one of the signs of multiple sclerosis.

People with this disease feel tired and move slowly, particularly due to fatigue in the legs.

It’s important to pay attention if someone who is commonly very active suddenly becomes tired for no apparent reason.

Also read: 5 Tips to Avoid Leg Cramps

2. Loss of balance

This symptom occurs along with tremors while walking. It can also include instability when standing still. It’s as if a person were dizzy and suddenly loses their balance. Before you begin to worry, however, rule out any other health factors that could be causing it.

3. Unstable coordination

This involves clumsiness in the control and movement of the limbs. You may not be able to coordinate your arms when you want and your legs start to disobey the orders from the brain.

4. Loss of hand control

When the disease starts to appear, a lack of control in the hands is very noticeable. You can identify the problem because you won’t be able to pick up objects or will have difficulties holding them.

5. Muscle spasticity

It’s very common to experience muscle tightness, pain, and cramping. Because this symptom can also be caused by other types of conditions, such as diabetes, it’s important to visit a specialist to get the correct tests.

6. Vision problems

Vision problems and multiple sclerosis.
Visual fatigue can be due to several factors, such as the prolonged use of electronic devices.

Visual problems are the most obvious symptom. You may experience problems with:

  • Involuntary eye movements
  • Blurred vision
  • Neuritis
  • Double vision
  • In very rare cases, permanent vision loss

7. Sensory disturbances

Tingling, numbness, and even burning sensations may appear on the skin. However, these types of sensations can also be the result of serious circulation problems. Therefore, you should observe how often they appear and rule out any other causes.

8. Alterations in speech

People with multiple sclerosis may form words with difficulty, dragging them out with evident slowness. This is especially noticeable if they have a speech problem that they didn’t experience before. They may have difficulty communicating fluently and clearly.

9. Tiredness

Fatigue is one of the most troublesome symptoms for multiple sclerosis patients. When it manifests, it keeps them from maintaining a positive attitude in the event that they’re diagnosed with this disease. Now, their regular daily activities are difficult to carry out when previously they were never a problem.

10. Incontinence

Control of the bladder becomes a challenge to people who are starting to develop this disease. Many patients experience:

  • Incomplete intestinal and bladder drainage, or at inappropriate times.
  • The excessive urge to urinate. Like diabetes, multiple sclerosis causes frequent nighttime urination.

11. Sexual desire

A couple dealing with sexual frustration.

Multiple sclerosis can drastically deplete a patient’s sexual desire. In addition, men often experience premature ejaculation. Women stop having an active sex life due to the loss of pleasurable sensations as well as a decrease in lubrication.

12. Cognitive effects

In addition, the signs of multiple sclerosis include cognitive effects like short-term memory loss and problems with concentration and discernment. The patient’s ability to analyze things gradually deteriorates to the point that they no longer understand very easy or trivial situations.

Visit this article: 7 Foods That You Shouldn’t Miss

13. Tremors

There may be unexplained episodes of muscle spasms when the body begins to shake as if it were cold, even when it’s warm.

14. Pins and needles on the skin

Apart from the other sensations we already mentioned, one of the most unpleasant and painful ones is the feeling of pins or needles against the skin. Those who suffer from this disease may feel like they’re being stabbed by sharp objects, causing a good deal of pain.

Monitor your symptoms

As you can see, multiple sclerosis is a disease that creates lots of symptoms that decrease a person’s quality of life.

Although there is no way to prevent it, for now, neurologists recommend sun exposure in the mornings to provide your body with the vitamin D it needs. In many cases, this vitamin is deficient in patients.

Now that you are aware of the symptoms, be sure you can identify them and see a doctor if you need some answers.

  • Goldenberg, M. M. (2012). Multiple sclerosis review. Pharmacology & Therapeutics37(3), 175–84. https://doi.org/https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3351877/
  • Maloni, H. (2018). Cognitive Impairment in Multiple Sclerosis. Journal for Nurse Practitioners14(3), 172–177. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nurpra.2017.11.018
  • Canto, E., & Oksenberg, J. R. (2018). Multiple sclerosis genetics. Multiple Sclerosis24(1), 75–79. https://doi.org/10.1177/1352458517737371
  • Hayes, C. E., & Nashold, F. E. (2017). Vitamin D and Multiple Sclerosis. In Vitamin D: Fourth Edition (Vol. 2, pp. 989–1024). Elsevier Inc. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-809963-6.00107-3
  • Braley, T. J., & Chervin, R. D. (2010). Fatigue in multiple sclerosis: mechanisms, evaluation, and treatment. Sleep, 33(8), 1061–1067. https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/33.8.1061
  • Cameron MH, Nilsagard Y. Balance, gait, and falls in multiple sclerosis. In: Handbook of Clinical Neurology. 2018.
  • Ziemssen T. Symptom management in patients with multiple sclerosis. J Neurol Sci. 2011;
  • Krishnan V, Jaric S. Hand function in multiple sclerosis: Force coordination in manipulation tasks. Clin Neurophysiol. 2008;
  • Feenaughty, L., Tjaden, K., Benedict, R. H., & Weinstock-Guttman, B. (2013). Speech and pause characteristics in multiple sclerosis: a preliminary study of speakers with high and low neuropsychological test performance. Clinical linguistics & phonetics, 27(2), 134–151. https://doi.org/10.3109/02699206.2012.751624
  • Mathers, S. E., Ingram, D. A., & Swash, M. (1990). Electrophysiology of motor pathways for sphincter control in multiple sclerosis. Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry, 53(11), 955–960. https://doi.org/10.1136/jnnp.53.11.955