Multiple sclerosis (MS) is progressive disorder of the immune system. It implies that the system that is otherwise designed to keep the body healthy goes haywire, and instead attacks several parts of the body, which are crucial for everyday functioning. As a result of this, the protective coverings of the nerve cells are damaged. This leads to reduced functioning in the spinal cord and brain.
Now, let us take a look at a few causes and symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
As such, there is no knowledge of what directly causes MS. However, there are a few risk factors that could increase one’s likelihood of developing the disease. These include:
Age: Usually, the people who develop MS are in the age group of 20-40.
Gender: Women are more vulnerable to MS, as opposed to men.
Genes: Your vulnerability to MS might be in your genes. Scientists believe that even in people who have a faulty gene, an environmental trigger is needed for the development of MS.
Smoking: People who smoke have a greater likelihood of developing MS as opposed to people who do not.
Infections: If you are exposed to viruses, such as mononucleosis or Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), your susceptibility to developing MS is higher.
Deficiency of Vitamin D: MS is prevalent in people who have a deficiency of Vitamin D. Experts believe that reduced Vitamin D levels directly impact your immunity.
Deficiency of Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 is a requirement for the body to produce myelin. If you lack Vitamin B12 in your body, it puts you at a greater risk of developing neurological diseases like MS.
Common symptoms of MS include:
Vision problems: It is an early sign of MS as the inflammation caused by MS directly impacts the optic nerve, and disrupts your vision. It can lead to loss of eyesight, double vision, or blurry vision.
Numbness and tingling: Because MS has an impact on the spinal cord and brain, it tends to send conflicting signals around the body. It can result in numbness and a tingling sensation.
Pain and spasms: In MS, spasms or muscle stiffness is common. You can also experience pain in the legs and back.
Weakness and fatigue: Incomprehensible fatigue is also a sign of MS. Usually, fatigue caused by MS will last several weeks before any improvement. Weakness in legs is also quite usual.
Dizziness and balance issues: A common sign of MS is a lack of balance and coordination, and dizziness. It can result in reduced mobility.
Bowel and bladder dysfunction: Change in bladder and bowel functions, urine incontinence, and an urgent need to urinate are a few common symptoms of MS. Loss of bowel control, constipation, and diarrhea might also follow.
Cognitive issues: People with MS might experience memory issues, difficulty in staying organized, language issues, and a low attention span. Depression or any mental health issue might also be evident.
Other symptoms that can be noticed in MS patients are:
- Problem in hearing
- Uncontrollable shaking
- Breathing issues
- Inability to swallow
- Slurred speech.