A guide to diagnosing MS disease

MS (multiple sclerosis) disease is considered a disabling autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system of the body resulting in problems with your vision, balance and other basic functions of the body. The effects vary from person to person; while some people experience mild symptoms, others may not be able to go through with their daily tasks and will need constant help around them in order to go through the day. This disease occurs when the immune system of your body starts to attack the fatty substance around your nerve fibres called myelin; which is essentially there to protect the nerves. Without this protection, the nerves start becoming damaged and scar tissue also begins to form. Th result is that the brain is unable to properly communicate with the rest of the body as its main channel which is the nerves are not able to transmit its messages across to the various parts of the body.  Some of the signs and symptoms of MS include difficulty in walking, blurred vision, poor bladder control and other problems in basic task that you were performing perfectly before. Nerve damage in MS disease may also result in symptoms such as dementia and problems in remembering certain things. There is no known cure for this disease but it follows a relapse and remittance course during which some people may not experience the relapse of symptoms for years even.  

There are also no known cause of MS disease and researchers cannot exactly pinpoint why some people experience the signs and symptoms of Ms while others don’t. Sometimes it is a combination of genetics and environmental factors that put an individual at greater risk of developing this disease. MS usually occurs in people between the age of 16 and 55 and women are more likely to develop it as compared to men. Also, if close family members such as your parents or sibling have MS then you have a greater risk of developing it as well. Some infections also increase your probability if developing MS along with certain autoimmune diseases such as thyroid and type 1 diabetes. Here are some of the early signs and symptoms od MS that can help in diagnosing the disease and making you alert to the fact that there is something wrong with your body: 

  • Vision problems are of the most common signs as inflammation of the nerves due to the damage can affect the central vision of the eyes causing double vision and even loss of vison in some extreme cases. Some people may not immediately notice this deterioration in vison and may associate it with other factors so it is always a good idea to have regular check-ups done.  
  • As the spinal cord is also affected, people, ay also experience numbness in different parts of the body as there is a conflict in the signals being sent by the brain and sometimes, there may be no signals at all. Tingling sensations may also occur in the arms, legs and face. 
  • Chronic pain is also another symptom of this disease accompanied with muscle stiffness especially in the extremities which makes it difficult for people to move around. 
  • Fatigue and weakness without any viable cause may also occur especially in the early stages of MS as it is a sign of deterioration of the spinal column. 
  • If you feel dizzy and off balance then it means that your mobility is decreasing and it is a good idea to visit the doctor to see if you have MS or not and can get it diagnosed as early as possible.  
  • You may also feel loss of control of your bladder and bowel movement including frequent urination or urges to urinate. Similarly, people also suffer sexually as arousal can be a problem as the central nervous system is being attacked. 
  • Cognitive malfunctions are one of the signs and symptoms of MS and includes memory problems as well as your mental health being affected. 

If you feel that you have any of these symptoms or other similar unexplained problems then it is a good idea to go see a neurologist that will firstly conduct a neurological exam to check if you have MS or not. Some of the other tests that the doctor may carry out in order to diagnose you include an eye exam, an MRI and a spinal tap.