Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a major neurodegenerative disorder affecting many people in the United States and around the world. According to Multiple Sclerosis News Today, this condition affects roughly 400,000 people in the U.S. and around 2.5 million worldwide. Although MS typically arises when a person is between the ages of 20 and 40, it can sometimes occur in young children. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, there are between 110 and 140 cases of MS per 100,000 people in the northern half of the U.S. Women are also diagnosed with MS more often than men. The symptoms of MS can often vary from one person to the next, and these symptoms can also fluctuate over time. Here are some of the most common symptoms of MS and how they can be properly treated.
Most Common Signs of MS
Fatigue: Perhaps one of the most common symptoms of MS is overall tiredness, which occurs in around 80% of those affected by the disease. This can significantly affect a person’s capacity to function both at work and at home. Many people with MS often carry canes or other similar things to help them walk, as it is often harder for them to keep their balance. However, this can be remedied with physical therapy and medications.
Numbness or Tingling: Many people with MS can often experience numbness in their face, body or extremities (arms and legs).
Spasticity: This refers to stiff joints and a frequent occurrence of involuntary muscle spasms, especially in the legs.
Vision Problems: This is one of the first signs of MS for many people. Blurred vision, poor contrast or color vision and pain related to eye movement all must be treated quickly.
Dizziness and Vertigo: People may feel light-headed or off-balance. Less frequently, people suffering with MS may feel like their surroundings are spinning (vertigo).
Bladder issues: Bladder dysfunction also happens in at least 80% of people diagnosed with MS and can also typically be addressed with medication, fluid consumption and self-catheterization.
Sexual problems: Sexual responses can sometimes result from damage to the central nervous system, as well as by psychological factors.
Bowel Issues: Constipation occurs frequently among those with MS, although medications, physical activity, a healthy diet and regular fluid intake can all help treat this.
Pain and Itching: Often times people coping with MS deal with chronic pain. In some cases, chronic neuropathic pain, including dysesthetic itching.
Cognitive changes: More than 50% of people with MS begin experiencing high-level brain functions, including the ability to learn and retain new information, solve problems and correctly make sense of their surroundings.
Emotional changes and depression: People with MS can often experience severe anxiety and clinical depression, as well as mood swings and irritability.
Speech And Swallowing Problems
Slurring (dysarthria) and loss of volume (dysphonia) happen in roughly 25-40% of people with MS, according to the National MS Society. Meanwhile, swallowing problems usually occur due to damage to the nerves that control small muscles in the mouth and throat.
Less Common Symptoms of MS
Much less frequent signs of MS include tremors (or uncontrollable shaking), seizures, breathing difficulties (due to severely weakened chest muscles) and hearing loss. Those who experience these types of symptoms (as well as relatives) should strive to track these signs for when the time comes to receive thorough treatment.
When MS is no Longer Treatable
Once MS becomes untreatable by traditional methods, many people often turn to hospice care as an option. This type of care — which is typically resorted to after a patient is estimated to have just six months or less to live — can either be provided at home or at a hospice facility, usually by a certified or licensed nurse practitioner.
Seeking Help From a Professional Hospice & Palliative Care Center
Speak to the experienced professionals at Harbor Light Hospice to learn more about potential treatment options for those affected by MS. Although headquartered in Winfield, Illinois, Harbor Light Hospice also serves patients located in Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Nebraska, Virginia, Ohio and Texas. Among the services they offer are pain and symptom control, home care, coordinated care and emotional and spiritual assistance. Harbor Light Hospice is also dedicated to offering support to relatives of patients, including thorough education and training, 24/7 support, financial aid, emotional and spiritual assistance, respite care and bereavement assistance.
This type of disorder can often take a heavy toll on patients and their families, and no one should be forced to endure such a difficult time without any support. Harbor Light Hospice is ultimately committed to ensuring that both you and your loved one’s overall quality of life is improved. To learn more about their compassionate services, call them at (630) 682-3871 or contact them online.