MS symptoms are unpredictable and variable. One individual may experience just one or few of the possible associated symptoms, while another individual encounters several more. MS symptoms occur in about 80 percent of all individuals, may significantly disrupt the ability to function ordinarily at work and at home, and can be the most pronounced symptom in someone who otherwise possesses very limited mobility. It is for this reason that it is very important to seek early diagnosis of MS, because the sooner an individual is diagnosed and treated, the better the chance for maximizing the improvement of their quality of life.
The first step in evaluating MS symptoms and in determining whether they point to MS or something else is to have a thorough medical exam. In addition to looking for evidence of MS, a medical exam will also be necessary to rule out other, simpler problems, such as hypothyroidism and arthritis. A lumbar puncture is often a standard test for evaluating MS symptoms and spasticity. This procedure involves the insertion of a long needle into a specific spot on the back or neck; whether the needle finds a disc of fluid, muscle fiber, or other matter, will help determine if the patient has spasticity. While this is a common test for MS, it should not be used alone as a primary MS diagnostic test.
Another simple and non-invasive way to test for MS involves the observation of the first signs of spasticity or weakness. Several individuals are able to relate certain initial symptoms of MS to the disease, but others have no such recollection. If someone has first signs of MS symptoms such as pain in the area of one's neck or eyes, weakness in gait or muscular coordination, loss of balance or coordination, dizziness, or lightheadedness, they should mention these things to their physician. If a patient begins to describe having various different symptoms, they may be experiencing first symptoms of MS. These symptoms can then be considered part of a multiple sclerosis patient's history and should be evaluated further.
Sometimes a patient who is aware that they have MS symptoms can describe them in ways that make it seem like they are experiencing a myriad of different diseases or conditions. For example, one person might describe having a gnawing pain over one ear, another person might describe having shooting pains down one leg, and yet another person might describe having a dull ache that is constant no matter what they are doing. As these discrepancies exist, they can easily influence a patient's misdiagnosis. For example, if a patient's doctor says that they have arthritis, a lab exam may point to MS instead. It is important that patients describe their symptoms as accurately as possible, in order to provide accurate and useful information to doctors.
If someone has the potential to have MS, it is likely that they will also have low energy levels. Some ms sufferers report being highly energetic at times, but fatigue sets in after a while. One of the most common MS symptoms is low energy, which can lead to a great deal of frustration in people who are suffering from this disorder. Low energy and fatigue can interfere with sexual function for a long time. A person with MS may find that they are unable to have erections, and sometimes they may not feel like having sex at all.
In addition to low energy, there are many other factors that can contribute to a person's general health and quality of life that can impact their diagnosis. Many researchers believe that a person's susceptibility to multiple sclerosis is influenced by genetic factors and the presence of other health conditions. Therefore, MS sufferers whose family members have already been diagnosed with MS might be at a greater risk of developing the condition themselves. MS relapses can happen at any age, so MS is a long-term disease. However, there are several risk factors that are associated with an increased risk of relapsing.
Relapses tend to occur more frequently in people who have weaker immune systems or weaker cognitive functions. The weakness of the immune system plays a key role in the formation of secondary symptoms in MS. Other factors that can increase the risk of developing MS include being female, black, poor health status, poor diet, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis related loss of eyesight, a head injury, or abnormal cervical spine bone density. It should be noted that all of these symptoms can also be a consequence of a primary illness or symptom and therefore cannot always be attributed to MS.
MS symptoms, especially relapses, should be monitored closely by health care providers. Relapses are often unexpected and can lead to significant disability or even death in some cases. Health care providers should be aware of any changes in the MS symptoms that occur regularly, even if they are not directly related to MS. An MS patient who notices any type of unusual behavior or sudden weakness should immediately report their findings to their physician. Getting back to a normal and active life can be difficult for someone who has MS, but there are medications available to help ease symptoms and get the patient back on their feet.
Oren Zarif - Psychokinesis