Signs and symptoms of MS vary greatly from person to person, depending on the amount of nerve damage and the specific nerves that are getting affected. Some people experience mild-moderate level of MS symptoms, others fall into the severe category.
Symptoms that are connected to movement:
• Numbness or weakness in one or more limbs. It typically occurs on one side of your body at a time.
• Electric-shock sensations that are felt with certain neck movements, especially when bending the neck forward (Lhermitte sign)
• Tremor, lack of coordination or unsteady gait
Symptoms that are connected to vision:
• Partial or complete loss of vision, usually in one eye at a time, often with pain during movement of the eye.
• Prolonged double vision
• Blurry vision
In addition, some people with a case of Multiple Sclerosis may also experience:
• Slurred speech
• Tingling or pain in parts of your body
• Problems with sexual, bowel and bladder function
Unfortunately, there is no cure for Multiple Sclerosis. However, the good news is, there are several kinds of treatments available that can help speed up recovery after MS attacks, prevent the disease from getting worse, and manage overall symptoms. Listed below are some of the best overall treatments for MS.
In this treatment, the liquid part of your blood, also known as plasma, is removed and separated from your blood cells. The blood cells are then mixed with a protein solution called albumin, then they are put back into your body. Your doctor may prescribe this Plasma exchange if your MS symptoms are new, severe and haven’t responded well to steroids, such as Corticosteroids.
This medication helps to prevent your immune system from attacking the myelin layer of your nerves. It gets injected beneath your skin. Side effects may include skin irritation at the injection site.
If you’re not in favor of regular ongoing skin injections, which is very understandable, this fully approved oral treatment is a great alternative. Unless your doctor specifies otherwise, you take 1 capsule twice a day. It’s similar to another oral treatment called Dimethyl Fumarate, but Diroximel typically causes fewer side effects, which is a big plus.
This humanized monoclonal antibody medication is the only DMT approved by the FDA to treat both the relapse-remitting and primary-progressive forms of MS. Clinical trials have showed that it can reduce relapse rate in relapsing patients, and slow down the progressive worsening of disability in both forms of the disease. Ocrelizumab is given via an intravenous infusion by a medical professional.
Please note that Infusion-related side effects may include irritation at the injection area, low blood pressure, fever and nausea. Some people may not be able to take ocrelizumab, including those with a hepatitis B infection. Ocrelizumab may also increase the risk of infections and some types of cancer, particularly breast cancer. Infusion is often given to severe MS patients who have tried other forms of treatment, but didn’t experience any significant improvement.
A professional physical or occupational therapist can teach you various stretching and strengthening exercises, and can show you how to use certain devices that will make it easier for you to get around your house and perform daily tasks.
Physical therapy, and the use of a mobility aid when necessary, can also help manage leg weakness and other gait problems often associated with MS.
People with MS often experience painful or uncontrollable muscle stiffness or spasms, especially in their legs. Muscle relaxants such as baclofen (Lioresal, Gablofen), tizanidine (Zanaflex) and cyclobenzaprine may help significantly. Onabotulinumtoxin is another treatment option, particularly for those who suffer from spasticity.
Multiple Sclerosis is one of the many autoimmune diseases that many people are afraid of developing. But scientific and medical teams are working hard to find an actual cure or a foolproof preventative for this terrible condition, and progress is being made. In the meantime, if you have been given a professional diagnosis of MS, don’t mope and procrastinate. The longer you wait, the worse your symptoms will get. You don’t have to suffer or live in pain and discomfort every day. Be sure to make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible, so they can prescribe the best suitable treatment for you.