Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms
“MS” and Mold Exposure
Multiple sclerosis symptoms can cause a wide range of problems. The symptoms of MS mimic the symptoms described by those persons exposed to Fungus and Mold in their environments. Some problems occur often, and some are seldom seen. Each person’s MS is unique and each person’s MS can progress differently. Basically, MS can progress in two ways. The first is through a flare-up, which is sometimes called a relapse, attack or exacerbation. The second is silent progression. This means that MS is advancing even when there are no symptoms. Either progression means that damage is done to the central nervous system over time. This is why it is so important to begin multiple sclerosis treatment as soon as possible.
Some multiple sclerosis symptoms are seen more often early in the course of disease, while others show up later as the disease progresses.
Below is a list of the most common symptoms of MS. Keep in mind that no two people have the same experience with MS. Your symptoms may be very different from the symptoms of another person. Make sure you speak to your healthcare provider if one or more of your symptoms act up. You could be having a flare-up.
Changes in Vision
Patients with MS can develop Optic Neuritis. This is an inflammation of the optic nerve, the nerve that controls the eye. Over a period of days, you may develop blurred vision. Sometimes you may feel pain behind your eye, which increases when you turn your eye. After initial symptoms, there is gradual improvement, sometimes after several weeks. But recovery is not always complete.
Loss of muscle strength in arms and legs
The nervous system contains large numbers of nerve fibers that control movement – what we call motor function. Often, multiple sclerosis is active on the nerve fibers that control muscle movement. Many people with multiple sclerosis lose muscular strength in the arms and legs as the disease progresses. The loss can range from reduced dexterity (the fingers no longer work so well) to paralysis of an arm or leg. Loss of muscular strength occurs not only in the form of flare-ups or relapses (temporary attacks) but also as a gradual (progressive) process without recovery. Depending on the severity, you may need to rely on a cane, crutches, or even a wheelchair to get around.
Multiple sclerosis can be accompanied by various kinds of pain. Damage to the sensory tracts in the spinal cord can result in burning pain in the arms and legs. Multiple sclerosis can often result in damage to the nerves of the face, a painful condition known as “trigeminal neuralgia.” If multiple sclerosis has impaired your ability to walk, the extra strain in the muscles of your back and legs can become painful. Multiple sclerosis can also cause extra tension in the muscles of your arms and legs: this is known as “spasticity” and can also be painful.
Many people with multiple sclerosis will develop trouble controlling the urge to urinate or will be unable to completely empty their bladder. MS can affect the nerves responsible for these organs. Less frequently, they will also experience problems with bowel control. As multiple sclerosis progresses and you develop a more sedentary lifestyle, you may also be troubled with constipation.
Having multiple sclerosis can lead to problems related to sexual activity, because the disease can affect the nerves responsible for sexual dysfunction. Men with multiple sclerosis can find it difficult to achieve or maintain an erection. In women, multiple sclerosis often causes a loss of sexual sensitivity, pain during intercourse, an inability to achieve an orgasm, or a reduction in naturally produced lubrication.
The part of the brain known as the cerebellum controls and corrects all our movements. Damage from MS can result in poor balance or coordination. You may, for instance, have difficulty grasping small objects, writing clearly, or keeping a steady hand. When walking across a room, you may find yourself losing your balance, as if you were intoxicated. Like most other multiple sclerosis symptoms, these problems can be temporary (during a flare-up or relapse), or they can be a permanent result of the progression of multiple sclerosis.
Many people with multiple sclerosis experience fatigue or tiredness. But since fatigue can be a sign of so many other diseases too, it is not often immediately identified as being caused by multiple sclerosis. Fatigue occurs in both relapsing multiple sclerosis and in the more progressive types of the disease. It can often last for a few months during which time your energy is used up every day with just a little exertion.
Changes in cognitive function
At some point in the course of your illness with multiple sclerosis, you may notice changes in cognitive function, such as your memory and speed of thinking. You may also have difficulty concentrating, making it hard for you to focus your attention. In some patients these symptoms can occur early in the disease; in others, they can come later.
Many people with multiple sclerosis experience periods of depression. Sometimes it is linked directly to physical changes in the brain caused by multiple sclerosis. Understandably, it may also be an emotional reaction to having the illness and learning to cope with the symptoms and the challenges they represent. If you are experiencing feelings or symptoms of depression or hopelessness, discuss them with your healthcare provider because treatment for depression is available.