10 Symptoms That Could Be MS
April 4, 2013
Reviewed by Amit M. Shelat, DO, MPA, FACP
Tingling in the fingers
This can happen to anyone, but if this is a frequently recurring problem or appears to be persistent, you may want to consult a doctor. It might not be MS – it could be a muscle problem, an unrelated nerve issue, or something else – but it is worth getting checked out nonetheless!
Optic neuritis and eye problems
Optic neuritis is the inflammation of the nerves in the eye. However, this condition is estimated to affect over 50 percent of MS patients, and is the first symptom in 15 percent of patients. Optic neuritis can manifest itself as double vision, pain in the eye, unclear vision, or a “shimmering” effect.
Fatigue also affects many people, and can be seen across a variety of conditions, MS among them. But in the early stages of MS, around 20 percent of patients report fatigue.
Strange feelings in the arms or legs
Weakness, fatigue or clumsiness are not uncommon in the limbs for someone who is yet to be diagnosed. Tingling or loss of sensation may also occur, and is most commonly noticed in the legs.
Are you having difficulty doing seemingly simple tasks due to muscle weakness? This could be a sign that nerve signals may not be traveling properly within the brain. If this difficulty is noticed, it is advised that you consult your doctor.
In many cases of MS, strange limb movement when walking or a lack of balance could be an initial sign that something is wrong. Patients with this problem may have difficulty walking straight, may lose balance easily, and coordination may be affected.
Also known as the ‘barber chair sign,’ this symptom feels like an intense electrical sensation that runs down the spine and into the legs. It often comes out when the neck moves to bend and could be indicative of MS.
Spasticity describes increased tone and contraction in one’s muscles, and it leads to difficulty with muscle spasms and stiffness. This is very common among MS patients and can disrupt with normal movement and even speech in some cases.
Disturbances in the bladder or bowel are not uncommon for MS patients. If this becomes an issue, even if it is not MS, it may be wise to consult a doctor regarding this symptom.
There are a number of other symptoms that could indicate MS, including dizziness, tremors, facial pain, muscle spasms, as well as difficulty speaking and/or swallowing. If these symptoms become persistent or bothersome, consider consulting your doctor.