We’ve probably all heard about the immune-mediated disease Multiple Sclerosis (MS) but do we really know what it is and how it attacks the body? According to the National MS Society, Multiple Sclerosis is considered to be an immune-mediated disease in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks myelin in the central nervous system that is made up of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves.
Multiple sclerosis was defined after researchers discovered that the damaged areas formed multiple areas of scar tissues when inflammation flared up within the immune system. The disease causes damage to the myelin, which is the fatty substance that covers the nerve fibers and keeps them insulated.
Once the myelin and the nerve fibers are under attack and destroyed, the central nervous system may cause neurological symptoms that would vary among people who have MS and vary in type and severity. If you are living with MS at this present time, researchers do not know what causes MS but some people believe genetics and environmental factors may play a part in developing multiple sclerosis.
Early Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis
Although MS can vary in intensity some of the symptoms can also be unpredictable. The top ten common early symptoms of multiple sclerosis include:
1. Cognitive difficulties
Research says nearly more than half of all people with MS will develop cognitive difficulties which will affect your memory when it comes to retaining and retrieving new information and your attention span. You will also have difficulties with job performance, including informal or formal disciplinary action, remembering what to do on the job or during daily routines at home, and keeping up with tasks or conversations.
2. Vision complications
Optic neuritis which is the inflammation of the optic nerve is a common visual symptom of MS. This is usually accompanied by pain with eye movement, blurred vision, dim vision or loss of color in your vision.
3. Bladder troubles
At least 80 percent of people with MS experience bladder dysfunction. You will feel as if you have the inability to hold your bladder or empty it completely. If you delay seeking treatment for your bladder issues your symptoms could cause kidney stones, Urinary tract infections and cause embarrassment if you become unable to hold your urine.
4. Tingling and numbness
Numbness can be mild or severe and can occur anywhere within the face, arms or legs which is the most common symptom of MS. The numbness is a loss in sensation and gives you the feeling of your limb falling asleep. Currently, there are no medications to alleviate numbness within MS.