Thursday, November 6, 2008

What are the Signs and Symptoms of MS?

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple Sclerosis is considered to be an “autoimmune disorder”.

What does that mean?

This means that somehow the body, particularly the immune system and the central nervous systems, become confused or scrambled. Basically, the nerve signals become confused and the signals become crossed, which results in the body attacking itself, as if it is a "foreign invader" that it must protect itself against, instead of the immune system supporting the body, fighting off infections, and defending against foreign invaders, as it should be doing.

The majority of people that are diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis fall between the ages of 18 to 45 years old, although the average is more between 25 and 35. Although people can be diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at just about any age, this is more the average as to when the signs of MS typically begin to appear. The incident rate of Multiple Sclerosis tends to be higher in the countries that are located in the temperate zones, both above and below the equator, away from the tropical regions of the globe. I think it is curious that the higher incident rate of Multiple Sclerosis, also tends to occur in the more industrialized countries, which have more chemical plants, that produce large quantities of man-made or synthetic chemicals.

What are the signs and symptoms of MS ?

Typical signs of ms include, memory problems (which are often discounted initially as “being forgetful”, or some standing, walking or balancing problems may begin to appear. Odd pains, tingling or numbness may also appear and disappear over a period of time, with no apparent pattern or frequency as to when they appear or disappear. Vision problems may start to appear that can include focus problems, double vision, dimness, or maybe even eye pain. Cognitive problems may also appear including problems figuring things out (numbers, concepts, problems, and the like) -- that were not a problem for the person before the symptoms of MS began to appear. It may also start happening that the person, that may have Multiple Sclerosis, that hasn't been diagnosed yet, might start having problems understanding what they read or with difficulty understanding what people say to them. This can also contribute to a slower response time or more difficulties driving a car. Overwhelming fatigue might occur and stay for a while or it may come and go off and on for a period of time. Bladder incontinence or bladder control problems may also begin to occur.

When do these signs and symptoms of MS become symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis?

Typically these early signs grouped together are part of what may cause doctors to consider testing to see if the person may have Multiple Sclerosis. One test for Multiple Sclerosis, that can be performed to determine if this person has signs of Multiple Sclerosis, is done using a Magnetic Resonace Imaging or MRI machine. A MRI machine is used to do a series of scans on he body, where the person being tested is placed in a tube like device that is mostly enclosed, that can be used to scan part or the whole entire body, if need be.

More often than not, the scans for MS are done on the Brain and the Spinal cord and are used to determine the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. When the MRI testing is used for diagnosing MS, scarring appears on the films, and is most often seen as scarring in the brain or on the spinal cord. A spinal tap can also be performed, where fluid is drawn from the spine and is tested for the presence of protein markers, which are specific to the presence of Multiple Schlerosis.

If eye pain is also present, a retinal scan can also be performed to determine if scarring is present on the retinal nerve, which may be causing the eye pain. Typically, the patient is checked for brain tumors also, when the eye pain is present, to rule this out as a possibility or to differentiate between retinal scarring in MS compared to a brain tumor being present.

Once the person is diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, then the symptoms of ms are more officially labeled. Depending on how severe the scarring appears on the MRI test results, there may be a list of symptoms that can vary from mild to severe in intensity and frequency.

Next, the doctors consider what to do to treat Multiple Sclerosis symptoms.

Typically there are injectable drugs that are used for treating MS. But within the last 10 years, doctors are turning to more of a complimentary medical approach to treating Multiple Sclerosis, that includes the injectable drugs, along with intense physical therapy, dietary changes, vitamin and other food supplements, acupuncture, reflexology, massage therapy and a whole host of other Alternative and Natural ways to help reduce the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis.

For more information about what Alternative and Natural ways that I have found that reduce my symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, go to to learn more.


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