People with multiple sclerosis (MS) tend to have their first symptoms between the ages of 20 and 40. Usually the symptoms get better, but then come back. Some may come and go, while others linger.
According to the National Health Service, UK, approximately 100,000 people live with multiple sclerosis in Great Britain. Symptoms usually appear initially between 15 and 45 years of age. Women are twice as likely to get MS than men.
11 Common Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis :
1. Bladder problems: About 8 in 10 people have bladder problems, which can be treated. You may need to pee often, urgently, need to go at night, or have trouble emptying your bladder fully. Bowel problems, especially constipation, are also common.
2. Dizziness: It's common to feel dizzy or lightheaded. You usually won't have vertigo, or the feeling that the room is spinning.
3. Abnormal sensations: People with MS often say they feel a "pins and needles" sensation. They may also have numbness, itching, burning, stabbing, or tearing pains. About half of people with MS have these uncomfortable symptoms. Fortunately, they can be managed or treated.
4. Fatigue: About 8 in 10 people feel very tired. It often comes on in the afternoon and causes weak muscles, slowed thinking, or sleepiness. It's usually not related to the amount of work you do. Some people with MS say they can feel tired even after a good night's sleep.
5. Difficulty walking: MS can cause muscle weakness or spasms, which make it harder to walk. Balance problems, numb feet, and fatigue can also make walking difficult.
6. Sexual difficulties: These include vaginal dryness in women and erection problems in men. Both men and women may be less responsive to touch, have a lower sex drive, or have trouble reaching orgasm.
7. Muscle spasms: They usually affect the leg muscles. For about 40% of people they are an early symptom of MS. In progressive MS, muscle spasms affect about 6 in 10 people. You might feel mild stiffness or strong, painful muscle spasms.
8. Thinking problems: About half of people with MS have trouble concentrating that comes and goes. For most, this means slowed thinking, poor attention, or fuzzy memory. Rarely, people can have severe problems that make it hard to do daily tasks. MS usually does not change your intellect and ability to read and understand conversation.
9. Speech problems: Sometimes MS can cause people to pause a long time in between words and have slurred or nasal speech. Some people also develop swallowing problems in more advanced stages of MS.
10. Vision problems: Problems with your eyes tend to be one of the first symptoms. They usually affect only one eye and go away on their own. Your sight may be blurry, gray, or have a dark spot in the center. You may suddenly have eye pain and temporary vision loss.
11. Tremors: About half of people with MS have tremors. They can be minor shakes or make it hard to manage everyday activities.