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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Awareness Week is this week.

Posted by on Mar. 2, 2009 at 3:33 PM
  • 16 Replies

Here is a link to see what you could do to be involved! http://www.nationalmssociety.org/get-involved/events/ms-awareness-week/index.aspx

Here is a little about MS with a link to where I found this info...

 

Multiple sclerosis symptoms generally appear between the ages of 20 and 40. The onset of MS may be dramatic or so mild that a person doesn't even notice any symptoms until far later in the course of the disease.

The most common early symptoms of MS include:

  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Loss of balance
  • Weakness in one or more limbs
  • Blurred or double vision

Less common symptoms of MS may include

  • Slurred speech
  • Sudden onset of paralysis
  • Lack of coordination
  • Cognitive difficulties

As the disease progresses, other symptoms may include muscle spasms, sensitivity to heat, fatigue, changes in thinking or perception, and sexual disturbances.

  • Fatigue . This is the most common symptom of MS. It is typically present in the mid afternoon and may consist of increased muscle weakness, mental fatigue, sleepiness, or drowsiness.
  • Heat sensitivity . Heat sensitivity (the appearance or worsening of symptoms when exposed to heat, like a hot shower) occurs in most people with MS.
  • Spasticity . Muscle spasms are a common and often debilitating symptom of MS. Spasticity usually affects the muscles of the legs and arms, and may interfere with a persons ability to move those muscles freely.
  • Dizziness. Many people with MS complain of feeling "off balance" or lightheaded. Occasionally they may experience the feeling that they or their surroundings are spinning; this is called vertigo. These symptoms are caused by damage in the complex nerve pathways that coordinate vision and other inputs into the brain that are needed to maintain balance.
  • Impaired thinking . Problems with thinking occur in about half of people with MS. For most, this means slowed thinking, decreased concentration, or decreased memory. Approximately 10% of people with the disease have severe impairment that significantly impairs their ability to carry out tasks of daily living.
  • Vision problems . Vision problems are relatively common in people with MS. In fact, one vision problem, optic neuritis, occurs in 55% of people with the condition. Most vision problems do not lead to blindness.
  • Abnormal sensations. Many people with MS experience abnormal sensations such as "pins and needles," numbness, itching, burning, stabbing, or tearing pains. Fortunately, most of these symptoms, while aggravating, are not life-threatening or debilitating and can be managed or treated.
  • Speech and swallowing problems . People with MS often have swallowing difficulties. In many cases, they are associated with speech problems as well. They are caused by damaged nerves that normally aid in performing these tasks.
  • Tremors . Fairly common in people with MS, tremors can be debilitating and difficult to treat.
  • Difficulty walking. Gait disturbances are amongst the most common symptoms of MS. Mostly this problem is related to muscle weakness and/or spasticity, but having balance problems or numbness in your feet can also make walking difficult.

Other rare symptoms include breathing problems and seizures.

What Are the Types of Symptoms?

It is helpful to divide the symptoms into three categories: primary, secondary, and tertiary.

Primary symptoms are a direct result of the demyelination process. This impairs the transmission of electrical signals to muscles (to allow them to move appropriately) and the organs of the body (allowing them to perform normal functions.) The symptoms include: weakness, tremors, tingling, numbness, loss of balance, vision impairment, paralysis, and bladder or bowel problems. Medication, rehabilitation, and other treatments can help keep many of these symptoms under control.

Secondary symptoms result from primary symptoms. For example, paralysis (a primary symptom) can lead to bedsores (pressure sores) and bladder or urinary incontinence problems can cause frequent, recurring urinary tract infections. These symptoms can be treated, but the ideal goal is to avoid them by treating the primary symptoms.

Tertiary symptoms are the social, psychological, and vocational complications associated with the primary and secondary symptoms. Depression, for example, is a common problem among people with MS.

What Causes the Symptoms?

Demyelination, or deterioration of the protective sheath that surrounds nerve fibers, can occur in any part of the brain or spinal cord. The symptoms that people with MS experience depend on the affected area. Demyelination in the nerves that send messages to the muscles causes problems with movement (motor symptoms), while demyelination along the nerves that carry sensory messages to the brain causes disturbances in sensation.

Are Symptoms the Same in Every Person?

Multiple sclerosis follows a varied and unpredictable course. In many people, the disease starts with a single symptom, followed by months or even years without any progression of symptoms. In others, the symptoms become worse within weeks or months.

It is important to understand that although a wide range of symptoms can occur, a given individual may experience only some of the symptoms and never have others. Some symptoms may occur once, resolve, and never return. Because MS is such an individual disease, it is not helpful to compare yourself with other people who have MS.

Reviewed by the doctors at the Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis Research at The Cleveland Clinic.

http://www.webmd.com/multiple-sclerosis/guide/recognizing-multiple-sclerosis

by on Mar. 2, 2009 at 3:33 PM
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Replies (1-10):
TJCmom
by Member on Mar. 2, 2009 at 3:44 PM

My neighbor, and very very dear friend has suffered with ms for 11 years now.  I don't want to ask her these questions because I just feel funny about it, but maybe you could help...  Should I be concerned if I get dizzy every time I bend down to pick something up?  Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and it seems like part of my vision in my left eye is completely black.  It is always the left eye - I can see, but there is definitely a blackness to the left.    I have not expressed concern to my dh or anyone else, because I think I'm probably becoming a hypochondriac...  Could this be anything?

truckincowgirl
by on Mar. 2, 2009 at 4:04 PM

Since I am not a doctor I will just say this...please call and make an appointment. I lose vision in my eye when I have panic attacks. I personally do not have MS. I lost my mother to MS.I would definitely call your docotor though.


 

Quoting TJCmom:

My neighbor, and very very dear friend has suffered with ms for 11 years now.  I don't want to ask her these questions because I just feel funny about it, but maybe you could help...  Should I be concerned if I get dizzy every time I bend down to pick something up?  Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and it seems like part of my vision in my left eye is completely black.  It is always the left eye - I can see, but there is definitely a blackness to the left.    I have not expressed concern to my dh or anyone else, because I think I'm probably becoming a hypochondriac...  Could this be anything?


TJCmom
by Member on Mar. 2, 2009 at 4:08 PM

Thanks.  I also have panic attacks, but I never thought that might be the reason I wake up in the middle of the night.... hmmm.  Only a CAT scan can let a dr know if you have ms, correct?

Quoting truckincowgirl:

Since I am not a doctor I will just say this...please call and make an appointment. I lose vision in my eye when I have panic attacks. I personally do not have MS. I lost my mother to MS.I would definitely call your docotor though.


 

Quoting TJCmom:

My neighbor, and very very dear friend has suffered with ms for 11 years now.  I don't want to ask her these questions because I just feel funny about it, but maybe you could help...  Should I be concerned if I get dizzy every time I bend down to pick something up?  Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and it seems like part of my vision in my left eye is completely black.  It is always the left eye - I can see, but there is definitely a blackness to the left.    I have not expressed concern to my dh or anyone else, because I think I'm probably becoming a hypochondriac...  Could this be anything?

 


truckincowgirl
by on Mar. 2, 2009 at 6:00 PM

It depends. Some docs do spinal taps and so on.

Quoting TJCmom:

Thanks.  I also have panic attacks, but I never thought that might be the reason I wake up in the middle of the night.... hmmm.  Only a CAT scan can let a dr know if you have ms, correct?

Quoting truckincowgirl:

Since I am not a doctor I will just say this...please call and make an appointment. I lose vision in my eye when I have panic attacks. I personally do not have MS. I lost my mother to MS.I would definitely call your docotor though.


 

Quoting TJCmom:

My neighbor, and very very dear friend has suffered with ms for 11 years now.  I don't want to ask her these questions because I just feel funny about it, but maybe you could help...  Should I be concerned if I get dizzy every time I bend down to pick something up?  Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and it seems like part of my vision in my left eye is completely black.  It is always the left eye - I can see, but there is definitely a blackness to the left.    I have not expressed concern to my dh or anyone else, because I think I'm probably becoming a hypochondriac...  Could this be anything?

 

 


jzsgrandma
by Bronze Member on Mar. 2, 2009 at 8:40 PM

 My sister has MS. She went through years of miss diagnosis. It can be difficult to be diagnosed sometimes. She was first treated for limes disease and had a pick line put in her arm for months. She  was a vet. tech for 23 yrs. and had many ticks. After that she was diagnosed with lupus. A MRI is how they usually diagnose you, and eventually she was. She had had symptoms for at least 25 yrs. They became exacerbatedafter she had her youngest child whom is now 19. PLEASE get your self checked out!!! Sometimes child birth can make the symptoms worse. Stress is one of the worst things for some one with MS and tyring not to stress when you have it is almost impossible. And if you are diagnosed with MS please e-mail me as my sister is a wealth of info. She would encourageto read all you can. I would encourage to read everything positive that you can.

truckincowgirl
by on Mar. 2, 2009 at 10:46 PM

Yes a friend of mine's mother was finally diagnosed with Lupus but they were wondering if it was MS. It was a hard time for them.

My mom was diagnosed through an MRI but I know of several who were diagnosed through spinal tap.

How is your sister doing?

Quoting jzsgrandma:

 My sister has MS. She went through years of miss diagnosis. It can be difficult to be diagnosed sometimes. She was first treated for limes disease and had a pick line put in her arm for months. She  was a vet. tech for 23 yrs. and had many ticks. After that she was diagnosed with lupus. A MRI is how they usually diagnose you, and eventually she was. She had had symptoms for at least 25 yrs. They became exacerbatedafter she had her youngest child whom is now 19. PLEASE get your self checked out!!! Sometimes child birth can make the symptoms worse. Stress is one of the worst things for some one with MS and tyring not to stress when you have it is almost impossible. And if you are diagnosed with MS please e-mail me as my sister is a wealth of info. She would encourageto read all you can. I would encourage to read everything positive that you can.


jzsgrandma
by Bronze Member on Mar. 2, 2009 at 11:31 PM

 She is doing exceptionally well. She still works full time. Has difficulty with numbness and vision. Some days she cant remember simple things. To look at her you would think that nothing is wrong as she is very beautiful and looks fine.The hardest part  of all this wasnot knowing what is wrong with her. Waisting years on treatments for diseases that she didnt even have. Through the process of elimination they sometimes come up with your final diagnosis. My sister is very active and very young for her age. This just doesn't suit her. Her greatest fear is being wheelchair bound. My prayer is that this never happens.

Katt7
by on Mar. 3, 2009 at 6:47 AM

 Thanks for telling us..this is much needed information...ppl just dont understand how important some of these illness' are and how you get sick..what are signs and symptoms and the like...thank you so much for this...

ps I would just like to add it is also Save Your Vision week...

 

katt7

Da1nOnlyDestiny
by Bronze Member on Mar. 3, 2009 at 9:21 AM

my aunt suffers from MS she is in bad ways right now, she is losing vision in her left eye and mobility in her right leg. MS sucks sucks sucks.


truckincowgirl
by on Mar. 3, 2009 at 9:29 AM

I am so glad to hear she is doing so well.

My mom was  diagnosed when I was three so I did not see (well remember) the heartache of the misdiagnosing that goes on. It is awful to see people go through it. Then to finally get an answer can be bittersweet.

Quoting jzsgrandma:

 She is doing exceptionally well. She still works full time. Has difficulty with numbness and vision. Some days she cant remember simple things. To look at her you would think that nothing is wrong as she is very beautiful and looks fine.The hardest part  of all this wasnot knowing what is wrong with her. Waisting years on treatments for diseases that she didnt even have. Through the process of elimination they sometimes come up with your final diagnosis. My sister is very active and very young for her age. This just doesn't suit her. Her greatest fear is being wheelchair bound. My prayer is that this never happens.


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