Have you recently noticed you've had some difficulty walking? Has your vision felt more blurry than usual? Maybe you're experiencing new dizziness or lack of coordination. While these symptoms can be associated with several conditions, they are all common denominators of multiple sclerosis.
What is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system. With MS, the body's immune system mistakenly attacks its nerve endings and casings (the myelin sheath). This attack alters the nervous system's communication and signaling to the rest of the body. Since the central nervous system is affected by MS, people experience many spinal cord, optic nerve, and neurological symptoms.
Who Gets MS? What Are the Risk Factors of MS?
Around one million people in the United States are living with multiple sclerosis. Of the MS population, an estimated 74% are women. MS is most commonly diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50 but exists outside of this range. MS affects people of varying ethnic groups but is most common among Caucasians with northern European heritage.
Outside of gender, age, and ethnicity, other risk factors are associated with MS. A family history of MS, living in a temperate climate, having other autoimmune diseases, and a past Epstein-Barr virus infection can all raise the risk.
How is MS Diagnosed?
As with other autoimmune diseases, receiving an accurate diagnosis can be challenging. There is no individual test to confirm MS. A neurologist is a specialist best suited to identify MS.
f your doctor suspects you have MS, they will conduct a physical exam, blood testing, and imaging. In some cases, a spinal tap is performed. Testing of nerve function through electrical activity measurement may also be completed.
What Are The Signs of MS?
Each case of MS is unique. Plus, multiple areas of the nervous system are affected, making for many varied MS symptoms. There are different severities of MS.
MS is usually a relapsing-remitting condition. However, there are rarely remissions in more progressed forms of MS.
Being able to recognize the symptoms of MS is essential. If MS is diagnosed early, further disease progression may be delayed or avoided.
Contact your healthcare provider if you experience any of the following multiple sclerosis symptoms and don't know the reason.
MS Symptoms Checklist:
- Vision problems, like blurred or double vision
- Dizziness and a lack of coordination
- Trouble walking, feeling unsteady, a loss of balance
- Muscle weakness
- Numbness or tingling that can affect any of the limbs
- Incontinence, as loss of bladder control happens frequently
- Heat sensitivity
- Sexual Dysfunction
- Bowel irregularity
If you've experienced any of the common symptoms of MS, seek care from a medical professional. Many additional symptoms may be related to MS, and this checklist is not a diagnostic tool.
Consider making a note of your signs of MS on a day-to-day basis. When paired with information from your diet and environment, figuring out what exacerbates symptoms may be possible.
How Can Mymee Help With MS Symptoms?
Mymee helps discover the unique triggers behind a person's autoimmune disease symptoms.
Clients work one-on-one with a certified health coach and input dietary, environmental, and lifestyle factors in an easy-to-use mobile app. From there, health coaches review logged data and uncover connections between flare-ups and triggers.
Health coaches provide methodical, customized plans to confirm triggers. Plus, they offer additional support through supplement recommendations, stress management techniques, and educational resources.
If you are looking for help in finding relief from MS symptoms, let's talk.