Multiple Sclerosis: Common Symptoms

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a long-lasting autoimmune disorder which affects the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves in your eyes. It can cause problems with vision, muscle control, balance, and other basic body functions.

The immune system attacks the protecting sheath (myelin) which covers nerve fibers and causes communication difficulties between a brain and the rest of your body. Ultimately, the illness can cause the nerves themselves to weaken or become eternally damaged.

This disease affects women more frequently than men. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, women may be up to three times probable than men to develop MS. The disease can also cause indications particular to women.

There’s no proper treatment for this disease. But, treatments can help haste rescue from attacks. It also modifies the course of the illness and manages symptoms.

MS symptoms that affect both women and men

Generally, symptoms of multiple sclerosis are the same for both men and women. But can also vary for every person. It all depends on the locality and severity of nerve damage affected by inflammation.

About 80 percent of persons with MS report having fatigue. Fatigue which occurs with MS can become incapacitating, distressing your ability to work and make everyday tasks. Some of the most common MS symptoms are as follows;

Muscle symptoms

In MS, the immune cells of the body attack the nervous system. This can occur in the spinal cord, for optic nerves. Therefore, MS patients can practice muscle-related problems like;

• muscle spasms
• Numbness
• lack of coordination and balance problem
• difficulty legs and moving arms
• unstable gait and trouble walking
• weakness or tremor in one or both arms or legs

Eye symptoms

Vision problems can occur in both women and men having this disease. These problems can include;

• vision loss, it can be partial or complete, which often arises in one eye
• pain when moving your eyes
• double vision
• blurred vision
• involuntary eye movements
• more generalized eye discomfort and visual difficulties

These eye symptoms are due to MS abrasions in the part of the brain which is accountable for coordinating and controlling vision.

Bowel and bladder changes

Both bowel symptoms and bladder dysfunction occur often in MS. Dysfunction in the pathways of the nervous system which control your bowel and bladder muscles cause these difficulties. Most probable bladder and bowel symptoms include;

• trouble starting to urinate
• frequent urge or need to urinate
• bladder infections
• urine or stool leakage
• constipation
• diarrhea

Numbness or pain

Feelings of emotionlessness, burning, and pain is common for many people with Multiple Sclerosis. People frequently practice this symptom in specific limbs or across the body. You might also notice numbness which feels like a burning sensation or “pins and needles”. More than half of all individuals with this disorder will have some sort of pain during their disease, according to research.

Though some forms of pain are directly related to MS, other types of pain may be results of how MS disturbs your body. For instance, imbalances due to walking complications may lead to pain from stress on joints.

The trouble with speaking and swallowing

People with MS may also experience trouble speech. Some common speech difficulties include;

  • slurred or poorly articulated speech
  • a loss of volume control
  • a slowed-down speaking rate
  • changes in speech quality, like a harsh-sounding or breathless voice

MS abrasions can also affect swallowing. Therefore, causing difficulties with mastication and moving food to the back of the mouth. Lesions can also affect the ability of your body to move food through the esophagus and then into your stomach.

Effects on the brain

MS is also responsible for an array of other brain and nerve symptoms. These signs and symptoms can include;

  • decreased attention span
  • memory loss
  • poor judgment
  • problem-solving or trouble reasoning
  • depression, either from damage to brain areas involved in the emotional control or due to the stress of the illness
  • mood swings
  • balance problems, dizziness, or vertigo

Sexual problems

Both women and men can practice sexual disorders as a symptom of MS. Complications might include;

  • decreased sex drive
  • reduced genital sensation
  • fewer and less intense orgasms

Moreover, women may notice reduced vaginal lubrication or pain during intercourse.

MS symptoms specific to women

The MS symptoms which mainly affect women appear to recount to hormone levels. Some scientists consider that having lower testosterone levels may play a role. Others reflect variations in hormones of female may play a role.

More study is required to conclude any true reasons for these symptom alterations. The chief symptoms which affect women more than men comprise pregnancy-related symptoms, menstrual difficulties, and menopause problems.

Menstrual problems

The study has shown that some women have more MS symptoms during their periods. It may be due to a decline in estrogen levels during that time. Symptoms which worsened for research members involved imbalance, depression, weakness, and fatigue.

Pregnancy-related symptoms

There is good news for women with MS. Study has found that MS has no influence on fertility. It means that MS won’t keep you from getting pregnant and giving birth to a healthy child.

In the even better news, for maximum women, MS symptoms essentially improve or soothe during pregnancy, particularly during the second and third trimesters. On the other hand, the decline is common following delivery.


Some study has found that in some women, MS symptoms get poorer after menopause. As with menstrual symptoms, this is due to a decline in levels of estrogen affected by menopause. Some researches have also shown that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) helps affluence these signs and symptoms for postmenopausal women.

Though, HRT has also been related to a higher risk of heart disease, breast cancer, and stroke. In case of any queries about whether HRT might be useful for you in handling your MS symptoms after menopause, consult your doctor.

MS symptom control

Although women are at larger risk of developing Multiple Sclerosis than men, most of its symptoms are the same in both the sexes. The chief variances in MS symptoms appear to be affected by hormone levels.

However, no matter what your symptoms are, there are some stages you can take to manage your indications and feel healthier. These comprise following apt food, avoiding smoking and excessive drinking, exercising, and using longstanding drug treatments for MS.

Work with your healthcare provider for supervision on lifestyle changes and treatments which can help you manage MS symptoms and feel healthier.

Areeba Hussain

Areeba is an independent medical and healthcare writer. For the last three years, she is writing for Tophealthjournal. Her prime areas of interest are diseases, medicine, treatments, and alternative therapies. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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