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A-Z of Multiple Sclerosis with Symptoms

Nov 26, 2019 | 4 months ago | Read Time: 3 minutes | By iKnowledge Team

When you can see and experience clear symptoms, it is easy for doctors to diagnose the health issue. What happens when there is no commonality between symptoms, or the signs came and then faded away? One such health issue you should know about is Multiple Sclerosis.

What is Multiple Sclerosis (MS)?

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune and progressive neurological disease that affects the central nervous system i.e. the brain and spinal cord. Myelin is a protective layer of fatty tissues that protects nerve fibres. In MS, body’s immune system itself attacks myelin affecting the nerve cells causing inflammation and formation of a scar tissue called sclerosis. This has a direct effect on the communication between brain and body. With time, MS could deteriorate the nerves and damage them permanently.

Statistics

In India, approximately 2 lakh people with multiple sclerosis. Prevalence of MS in India has shifted from a low risk MS zone to moderate level. In 1989, 1.33 out of 1 lakh people in India had MS which increased to 8.35 of 1 lakh by 2014.

Who is at risk?

MS normally occurs between the ages of 15 and 60 and is twice as likely to develop in women. Although not genetic, if your parent or sibling had MS, you are at a higher risk. If you have thyroid, type 1 diabetes or inflammatory bowel disease, there is a higher risk of MS.

Symptoms of MS

The signs and symptoms of multiple sclerosis vary from person to person. Additionally, the symptoms could show, resolve and come back. You could also experience just one symptom that goes away and never returns or the symptoms could stay and worsen the health. This randomness of signs and symptoms occurs depending on the nerve attacked by your immune system at a given time.

The severity of the symptoms can change depending on time. Fatigue and difficulty in walking are the most common symptoms of MS.

  1. Clinically Isolated Syndrome (CIS): You could experience early sign of MS when the immune system attacks myelin by mistake. It could last for 24 hours and is known as CIS. CIS could cause blurry vision or pain in one eye. Colours may also appear dull. A feeling of numbness in face or tingling sensation. You may also get sensations of electric-shock due to neck movement
  2. Bladder and bowel problems: Frequent urination, problem emptying the bladder and/or constipation
  3. Lack of coordination: Difficulty in walking, maintaining balance or change in the way you walk
  4. Dizziness: You may feel lightheaded
  5. Emotional changes: Depression or anxiety
  6. Visibility issues: Double vision, involuntary eye movements or blurred eyesight
  7. Heat intolerance: feeling tired, weak and inability to control limb movements as the body warms up
  8. Muscle spasms: Mild stiffness or painful contractions in leg muscles
  9. Speech issues: Slurred or nasal speech, trouble swallowing
  10. Tremors: Minor or extreme shakes
  11. Issues with brain activity: Difficulty to focus, fuzzy memory
  12. Uncommon sensations: Itching, burning, tearing pains or tightness around ribs or upper belly

This is not an exhaustive list of symptoms. Because of the high variance level in symptoms, no two cases of MS are the same.

Treatment

There is no cure available for treating MS specifically. However, treating the symptoms helps. Relapse-remission (RRMS) is a common course followed by MS. In this case, new symptoms occur for a while, improve and the go away for some period. It could be weeks, months or years before symptoms show again. For RRMS, there are some disease-modifying medications available that can slow the progression reducing the probability of relapse.

Secure the uncertainty

Multiple sclerosis has unpredictable and uncertain symptoms. However, you can manage the uncertainty to a certain extent by being ready financially.

Owing to the wide range of symptoms of multiple sclerosis, do not compare your symptoms with any of your affected acquaintances. The cases may not match, yet the diagnosis could be MS. Consult a doctor and manage your symptoms to lead a good life. To know about Aegon Life’s life insurance products like term insurance and other products, visit our home page.


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