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What are the symptoms of MS?

Andrew Bellingham

Andrew Bellingham

Pharmacist | 20+ Years | BPharm | Dip Clin Pharm

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic condition affecting the brain and spinal cord. It’s a lifelong condition that affects people differently, with the symptoms sometimes causing serious disabilities. 

Most often, it’s diagnosed in people between 20 and 40 years old, and is more common in women than men.

Multiple sclerosis symptoms

People that are living with multiple sclerosis may experience the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue (feeling extremely tired)
  • Pain
  • Weakness, stiffness, and muscle spasms that affect movement
  • Numbness or tingling in parts of their body
  • Blurred vision (or in some cases, double vision)
  • Memory problems or trouble concentrating
  • Problems with controlling bladder or bowel movements
  • Problems with speaking clearly or swallowing
  • Mood swings, depression, or anxiety

Remember, not everyone experiences all of these symptoms, and they can come and go. If you notice any of these issues, talking to a doctor is important for getting the right help.

In many cases, treatment is available to help you overcome the symptoms. 

Frequently asked questions about multiple sclerosis

What are the symptoms of multiple sclerosis?

Common symptoms of multiple sclerosis include fatigue, muscle weakness, numbness, vision problems, and cognitive changes.

How does multiple sclerosis affect the body?

Multiple sclerosis affects the body by damaging the protective covering of nerve fibres (myelin) in the central nervous system, leading to disruptions in nerve signalling. This can result in a wide range of symptoms affecting mobility, sensation, vision, cognition, and other bodily functions.

When does multiple sclerosis start?

Multiple sclerosis typically starts between the ages of 20 and 40, though it can occur at any age. Early symptoms may be subtle and go unnoticed, with diagnosis often occurring after the onset of more noticeable symptoms.

An elderly man with multiple sclerosis holds onto a zimmer frame with a physiotherapist helping him

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