As multiple sclerosis (MS) attacks the nerves, it can lead to a variety of symptoms. Not everyone with MS will have all the symptoms listed below. Their severity can also vary from one person to the next.
Remember that having one or more of these symptoms does not mean you have MS. Only a doctor can diagnose MS, so be sure to discuss your symptoms with a healthcare professional.
People with MS can become more easily worn out after physical activity than usual. There is also a type of fatigue called “lassitude” or “MS fatigue” that many believe to be unique to people with MS, which is generally more severe than normal fatigue.
Numbness or tingling
It’s common for someone with MS to have sensory changes. These can include numbness, tingling, itching, burning, or even feeling cold in the face, body, or extremities.
Many people with MS will experience vision problems. These can include blurred vision, loss of normal color vision, blindness in one eye, a dark spot in the field of vision, double vision, and uncontrolled eye movements (or “jumping vision”). Some of these symptoms can occur when MS attacks the nerve connecting your eye to your brain.
Memory or focus problems
MS can affect your ability to remember things. It can also make it more difficult to think and focus.
You may also have mood disorders, such as depression.
Balance and coordination issues
People with MS frequently have balance and coordination issues, which can be a result of damage to nerves that control the movement of muscles.
Some people with MS experience tightness or tension in their muscles.
Bowel and bladder control issues
Many people with MS develop issues with controlling the urge to urinate, or experience frequent nighttime urination. They may also have trouble with constipation or controlling their bowel movements.
The nerve damage caused by MS can lead to issues with sexual function.
Many people with MS experience a temporary worsening of MS symptoms when exposed to heat or dealing with a fever.
At any point in your treatment, it’s always helpful to communicate with your doctor about your symptoms. Our Symptom Screener tool can help. Download this tool and find a variety of questions that can help you:
- Think about how you’ve been feeling
- Take an inventory of your recent symptoms
- Evaluate your treatment with your doctor
Learn more about your MS symptoms here.