March 5-11 is MS Awareness Week!
What is Multiple Sclerosis?
MS is a progressive, “immune-mediated” disorder. That means the system designed to keep your body healthy mistakenly attacks parts of your body that are vital to everyday function. The protective coverings of nerve cells are damaged, which leads to diminished function in the brain and spinal cord.
Signs & Symptoms
Pain areas: in the back or eyes
Pain circumstances: can occur in the back due to head nod or with eye movement
Tremor: can occur during precise movements, in the hands, or limbs
Muscular: cramping, inability to rapidly change motions, involuntary movements, muscle paralysis, muscle rigidity, muscle weakness, problems with coordination, stiff muscles, clumsiness, muscle spasms, or overactive reflexes
Whole body: fatigue, dizziness, heat intolerance, poor balance, vertigo, or weakness
Sensory: pins and needles, abnormality of taste, reduced sensation of touch, or uncomfortable tingling and burning
Urinary: excessive urination at night, leaking of urine, persistent urge to urinate, or urinary retention
Visual: blurred vision, double vision, or vision loss
Sexual: erectile dysfunction or sexual dysfunction
Mood: anxiety or mood swings
Speech: slurred speech or impaired voice
Also common: constipation, depression, difficulty swallowing, difficulty thinking and understanding, flare, headache, heavy legs, limping, numbness of face, rapid involuntary eye movement, sleep deprivation, tongue numbness, or difficulty raising the foot
Consult a doctor for medical advice
A doctor, most likely a neurologist will perform several tests to diagnose MS, including:
neurological exam: your doctor will check for impaired nerve function
eye exam: a series of tests to evaluate your vision and check for eye diseases
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): a technique that uses a powerful magnetic field and radio waves to create cross-sectional images of the brain and spinal cord
spinal tap (also called a lumbar puncture): remove a sample of fluid circulating around your brain and spinal cord
The best defense against MS is seeing your doctor immediately after you experience the first warning signs. This is especially important if someone in your immediate family has the disorder, as it’s one of the key risk factors for MS.
To schedule an appointment call (910) 295-6868 or to learn more visit:
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