What Are Early Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms?

As multiple sclerosis is a disease that affects the central nervous system the answer to “What are early multiple sclerosis symptoms?” is not going to be the same for everyone. The disease itself attacks the myelin sheath surrounding the spinal cord and the brain differently for every person that is diagnosed. Because of this the symptoms themselves can manifest in many different ways. In general the first time a person experiences an episode or exacerbation is between the ages of 20 and 40.

What are Early Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms that are Obvious?

Rather than asking “What are early multiple sclerosis symptoms”, you might be better off asking what the most obvious and easily recognizable symptoms are. The symptoms that occur are dependent upon where the lesions associated with MS are and how much damage they have done. However, here are the most commonly recognized symptoms of the disease:

  1. Balance and Coordination: This is most seen as the person having difficulty walking and manifests as an unsteady gait and keeping their balance. It can also be seen as tremors in the hands making it hard to grasp and control small objects.
  2. Tingling and Numbness: The patient will feel a burning or tingling sensation in their limbs or they may feel numb. They may also experience feelings of intense heat or cold. If L’Hermmitte’s sign is present a burning electrical shock may be felt running down the back and legs when they bend their neck forward.
  3. Muscle Weakness or Spasticity: At times the patient may feel a certain level of weakness in his limbs or they might feel heavy and cause unusual clumsiness. Many patients also experience muscle spasms especially in their legs.
  4. Vision Problems: These range from inflammation of the optic nerve known as Optic Neuritis to blurred or double vision. Temporary loss of sight can occur and extremely rarely sight can be lost permanently.
  5. Fatigue: This is considered to be the number one early symptom of MS and is also the most debilitating. While it may only occur in up to 20% of all patients in the early stages, as the disease advances, all patients will have to contend with excessive fatigue.

This is a basic list to answer the question “What are early multiple sclerosis symptoms?” Again as the disease affects every patient differently, if you experience any of these symptoms you should seek medical testing to begin diagnostic testing. The only chance you have to overcome this potentially devastating disease is to start treating it as early as possible.

What Are The CCSVI Symptoms?

Those who have a history of Multiple Sclerosis or CCSVI in the family might wonder what kind of symptoms to look out for when avoiding the disease themselves. It is important to understand how these two conditions are linked and how they might affect you if you are a victim of either or both of them.

While not everyone who has CCSVI has Multiple Sclerosis, everyone who has Multiple Sclerosis has CCSVI. This is because CCSVI is characterized by veins that are not sufficiently able to carry blood back from the brain and the central nervous system to the heart. CCSVI is known to some as the cause of Multiple Sclerosis. However, it is hard to say whether it is the Multiple Sclerosis that causes the blockages of the veins, or vice-versa.

This is because the veins that are affected with CCSVI might soon be surrounded by lesions, which are what affect the neurons in the central nervous system. When the blood is not able to drain from the central nervous system back tot he heart, it could reflux back into the brain. As a result, the neurons are affected, and the myelin sheath is damaged. When the myelin sheath is damaged, the brain is no longer able to properly process messages to the rest of the body. Pulses of information can be slowed down, causing the motor functions of the human being to be negatively affected. A person who is affected by CCSVI can use medications to reverse these symptoms, and can even look into a procedure called “Liberation Treatment” to greatly improve their condition.

When a person has CCSVI, they might have no symptoms at all, or they might experience some minor symptoms such as muscle spasms or erectile dysfunction. Others still will have problems with their eyesight, or might experience urinary or bowel incontinence. Some might feel weakness in one or more of the limbs. If you or a loved one experiences one or more of these symptoms, there is a good chance that it could have any number of causes. Conditions that affect that central nervous system, such as CCSVI, can cause many symptoms that can be associated with many other diseases.

Those who experience symptoms of CCSVI should contact a doctor about tests such as Duplex Ultrasonography, Magnetic Resonance Venography, CT Venography, or Catheter Venography. A medical practitioner will be able to show you if there are any blockages or narrowing of the cardiovascular passages in the central nervous system, the major CCSVI symptom.

MS Treatment: How MS Symptoms Are Managed

Successfully diagnosing and treating multiple sclerosis is a challenge for doctors today. Two different types of MS treatment have evolved to help patients control their illness. These consist of drugs to help them manage their actual symptoms, and drugs that can actually help slow the progression of the disease. Neither form of MS treatment is capable of curing the condition, but both of them can help patients to lead happy lives.

Nobody really knows what causes multiple sclerosis to develop. There is no simple test that can diagnose the illness by itself, and nothing that can predict whether or not someone will develop MS in the future. Instead, doctors rely on interviewing patients and performing neurological exams. If the patients fit certain diagnostic criteria, then they are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. While more advanced imaging techniques have contributed to the success of these diagnostic measures, or understanding (and thus diagnosis) of MS is still not perfect. One thing is for certain, however- MS treatment should be started as soon as multiple sclerosis is diagnosed for patients to achieve the best results.

As MS progresses, the immune system attacks the myelin sheaths that cover nerves. This causes scarring and eventual disintegration of the myelin, which impedes how well the nerves work. As a result, people can suffer from any number of symptoms, depending on which nerves are the most badly affected. Things like pain, muscle spasms, weakness, and fatigue are common. Therefore, adequate multiple sclerosis treatment doesn’t just focus on slowing down the rate at which the body’s myelin becomes damaged; it focuses on helping patients to manage the symptoms of nerve damage that they already have.

Symptom management in multiple sclerosis is a bit complicated. Symptoms are often permanent as a result of nerve damage, but other symptoms may come and go. Symptoms often appear in sudden attacks, but can also appear slowly, over time. Virtually no two cases of multiple sclerosis are alike, so patients’ symptoms generally vary widely, as well. Things like pain killers and antispasmodics can help with physical pain, but things like fatigue, vision problems, and memory problems are a bit more difficult to alleviate.

Not all types of symptom management in MS treatment involve medication, either. Physical therapy can help relieve some pain and weakness, and group therapy can help combat feelings of depression. The key difference between symptom management versus disease modifying MS treatment is that symptom management does not impact how multiple sclerosis progresses. If patients were to use symptom managing therapy alone, they would most likely continue to develop rapidly worsening symptoms.

Disease modifying MS treatment generally relies on different types of immunomodulating medications. As was mentioned previously, MS is an immune condition, where the body begins to attack its own nervous system. There is no cure that can make the immune system permanently stop attacking the body, but science has developed a number of medications that can modify how the immune system responds, reducing the kind of damage it can do. These medications can range from corticosteroids like Prednisone, which is used in MS treatment for acute attacks of symptoms, to interferon beta based medications like Avonex or Betaseron.

These medications reduce inflammation in multiple sclerosis lesions. While steroids aren’t usually for long term use, other immunomodulators can be used long term to help reduce the rate of relapses, repair the blood-brain barrier, and slow down how MS progresses. Many patients see their symptoms improve as the inflammation in their lesions is reduced, but other patients with more severe or long-standing nerve damage may need additional medications to help alleviate their symptoms.

Although drug therapy is extremely effective when used appropriately, there are a couple of reasons why some people choose alternative forms of MS treatment instead of conventional medications like opiates or interferon beta based drugs. The main problem with drug therapy is that there is a high instance of side effects associated with many drugs involved in MS treatment.

Palliative treatments like painkillers can be addictive, and produce withdrawal symptoms when they are discontinued. Immunomodulators frequently cause things like fatigue or flu like symptoms. Many need to be injected weekly, if not daily, and some medications require patients to rotate injection sites to avoid things like scarring or localized fat loss. Steroids also can have severe withdrawal symptoms, and produce a host of negative side effects if they are used for too long. Therefore, proper MS treatment is a careful balance between what medications will produce the best effect while causing the least amount of unwanted side effects.

Maintaining this balance is tricky enough as it is, but many patients undergoing multiple sclerosis treatment find that they end up needing to change medication at some point, which often means that things like dosages and dosing schedules need to be re-worked.

There are some alternative or complementary forms of MS treatment available in addition to conventional therapies. Things like dietary changes, vitamin and mineral supplementation, and even surgery have all been proposed to help patients coping with MS. Many of these are still being researched to determine the extent of their efficacy at combating the condition, but they show great promise as methods of slowing the progression of MS without causing the side effects that conventional medications can. Some patients choose natural therapies over medication, while others choose to complement their regular medication-based MS treatment with natural treatments.

MS treatment is too complicated for a patient to tackle on their own, so it is very important for people with MS to discuss any alternative or complementary treatments with their doctor before they attempt to self-medicate.

In addition to coping with the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, it is often absolutely heartbreaking to patients to realize that there is not yet a cure for this disease. Though medical science still has a lot to learn about many different facets of MS, research has developed several different medications that can be effectively used to help people manage their symptoms and slow down how MS progresses. By taking advantage of the many MS treatment options currently available, people suffering from this condition can help improve their quality of life.