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What Are the Early Signs of Multiple Sclerosis?

Did you know that nearly a million Americans are living with multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune condition that targets your central nervous system? While this condition may sound serious, and it is, there’s much that we can do to improve your quality of life and manage symptoms if we’re able to intervene quickly.

This means it’s important to recognize the early signs of multiple sclerosis, which is the focus of this month’s blog post. To that end, our incredibly knowledgeable team of neurology experts here at Complete Neurological Care, which includes Dr. Nina Tsakadze, reviews some of the more common warning flags of MS here. 

Understanding multiple sclerosis

To better understand the symptoms we will get into next, it’s helpful to have a good handle on what occurs when you have MS. As we mentioned, MS is an autoimmune disorder, which means your body mistakenly launches an attack against a perceived threat, even though this threat doesn’t exist.

In the case of MS, your immune system mistakenly attacks the protective covering (myelin) of the nerves in your brain, spinal cord, and eyes. When your body attacks these myelin sheaths, the damage can affect nerve function and lead to issues with movement, sensation, and vision.

There’s no cure for MS, but there are ways in which we can help you better manage the disease, especially if we identify and treat the condition early.

Early warning signs of multiple sclerosis

We first want to mention that MS tends to strike between the ages of 20 and 40, and the disease affects more women than men. That said, in both genders, early signs are often similar and include:

Vision issues

One of the first things people notice when they have MS are vision issues, such as blurry or double vision or vision loss. This occurs when MS causes inflammation in your optic nerve.

Numbness and tingling

You often feel these sensations on one side of your face or body, usually below the waist.

Muscle weakness

Like the numbness and tingling, this symptom tends to strike one side of your face and/or body. This weakness can lead to balance issues and unsteadiness, as well.

Muscle stiffness and spasms

In addition to weakness, you might encounter stiffness in your muscles, as well as spasms.

Fatigue

Many people encounter fatigue with MS. This fatigue strikes for no apparent reason, regardless of whether or not you’ve exercised.

Cognitive issues

With MS, many complain of cognitive issues, such as difficulty with memory or concentration.

In addition to the above, you might encounter constipation, bladder issues, and unexplained mood changes.

We also want to point out that 85% of people who are diagnosed with MS have a type called relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, which means you can have flare-ups of symptoms and then periods of remission.

The best way to figure out what's behind your symptoms is to come see us for a full evaluation. Many of the symptoms of MS are shared with other issues, so it’s important that you get the right diagnosis so we can get you on the road to better neurological health.

The bottom line is that we don’t want you to delay getting the help you need for multiple sclerosis. To get started, please schedule an appointment today at one of our convenient locations in Boynton Beach, Boca Raton, or Coral Springs, Florida.

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