Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord and is more common in women then men.MS is caused by damage to the myelin sheath, the protective covering that surrounds nerve cells. When this nerve covering is damaged, nerve signals slow down or stop. The nerve damage is caused by inflammation and the root of this is unknown. Many believe it is that a virus or gene defect.
Because nerves in any part of the brain or spinal cord may be damaged, patients with multiple sclerosis can have symptoms in many parts of the body.
Muscle symptoms include: loss of balance, muscle spasms, numbness or abnormal sensation in any area, problems moving arms or legs, problems walking, problems with coordination and making small movements, tremor in one or more arms or legs, and weakness in one or more arms or legs.
Bowel and bladder symptoms include constipation and stool leakage, difficulty beginning to urinate, frequent need to urinate, strong urge to urinate, and urine leakage.
Eye symptoms include double vision, eye discomfort, uncontrollable rapid eye movements, and vision loss.
Other brain and nerve symptoms include: decreased attention span, poor judgment, and memory loss; difficulty reasoning and solving problems; depression or feelings of sadness; dizziness and balance problems; and hearing loss.
Men may have problems with erections and women may have issues with vaginal lubrication. Individuals may also have slurred or difficult-to-understand speech and trouble chewing and swallowing. And generally, fatigue is a common symptom that is often worse in the late afternoon.