Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable type of disease. It’s an autoimmune condition that affects the nervous system and thus many other parts of the body. Those living with multiple sclerosis tell tales of fainting unexpectedly, losing their eyesight or having coordination issues amongst many other worrisome and unpredictable symptoms.
WHAT IS IT?
Multiple sclerosis occurs when the body’s own immune system attacks its own nerve tissues. This self-destructive malfunction destroys the myelin sheath that protects nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord. When this sheath is damaged (and sometimes the nerve as well), the messages that travel along the nerve fibers are disrupted. Without the messages being sent properly, the body isn’t able to function as its expected.
MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS CAUSES
Despite extensive research, the cause of multiple sclerosis still remains unknown. At most, we can attribute it to a few environmental and genetic factors.
MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS SYMPTOMS
Multiple sclerosis symptoms differ from person to person, dependent on where nerve fibers are affected. Symptoms include:
• Numbness or weakness in one or more limbs
• Tingling or pain
• Vision complications – loss of vision (partial or complete), eye pain, or double vision
• Lack of coordination
• Bladder function difficulty
MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS RISKS
Your chances of developing multiple sclerosis may be increased by factors such as:
• Sex – women are twice as likely to develop MS
• Autoimmune disease – if you have thyroid disease or type 1 diabetes, you have a slightly higher risk
• Smoking /tobacco use