When you have Multiple Sclerosis (MS), signals between the brain and the spinal cord dysfunction, causing pain, fatigue and reduced mobility as the disease progresses. Some people with MS have only a few symptoms of the disorder, while others have a lot. You may find that your symptoms “come and go” while others remain for long periods of time.
We tend to focus on those symptoms that we all can see, but many people can live with a variety of symptoms that are not obvious.
Here are some less obvious symptoms in Plaque Sclerosis, which for the most part is quite rare. It may be secondary to Multiple Sclerosis, or it will be evidence of some other condition. In any case, it is important to tell your doctor (preferably a neurologist) about any new symptom.
Many people with Multiple Sclerosis experience dizziness, along with a feeling of weakness and partial loss of balance. A less common symptom is vertigo. When you have an episode of vertigo, you feel like turning the room around you. Vertigo can be treated with medicines for nausea, or, if your symptoms are very serious, with corticosteroids.
2. Speech disorders
Speech problems associated with Multiple Sclerosis usually cause difficulty in articulation. The words are not clear in your speech. It is not clear how extensive this problem is. In a study based on patients reporting MS symptoms, 23% felt they had speech and voice problems. Research conducted through the University of Gothenburg in Sweden showed that in a group of 77 people with multiple sclerosis, about half had speech difficulties, usually mild. This study did not focus on any speech problems in people without MS, so it is not possible to tell if their problems were due to the disease, or were secondary symptoms for another cause.
3. Difficulty swallowing
You may experience difficulty in swallowing, or dysphagia. They may, when swallowing liquids or foods, go to the lung tube and not to the esophagus. Others may find it difficult to chew, or to drown when they eat. Problems with swallowing may occur in the early stages of MS, or as it evolves.
In Multiple Sclerosis you may feel as if you are piercing “pins” on your skin, or you may feel burns, “spitting”, or gripping pains. In addition, some people feel itchy. When you have Multiple Sclerosis, the nerves in your skin, or the nerves that send signals to your skin can be damaged. This damage can make you feel itchy even if you do not see any irritation. Because the cause is neurological rather than physical, such as insect bite, or rash, local ointments will not help.
Many drugs can help this type of itching, including anticonvulsants like Tegretol (carbamazepine) and Neurontin (gabapentin), antidepressants such as Elavil (amitriptyline) and Atarax anti-histamine (hydroxyzine). Your doctor may also prescribe medicines against itching. No one knows for sure how many people are experiencing this symptom, but it is not very common.
5. Hearing problems
Difficulty in hearing is an unusual symptom of Multiple Sclerosis. This problem can range from a ringing in the ears to a sudden hearing loss. Hearing loss may be the first sign of MS. Also, because this symptom is so rare, it’s more likely to be from something else. Talk to your doctor if you have difficulty hearing. Deafness is rarely the result of MS but it is not unlikely.
Tremors are one of the most stressful symptoms in Plaque Sclerosis. It is a trembling that differs from that in Parkinson’s disease. If you have Multiple Sclerosis, you may experience hand tremors when you grab a glass, or lift a fork, but in Parkinson’s shiver there is a resting state. Tremors mostly affect the hands.
There is not much that will help you in this case. Your doctor may be able to prescribe a medication that can help you relax. One way to treat trembling from MS is to work with a physiotherapist for exercises to increase your muscular strength, control and balance in your movements.
7. Sexual dysfunction
Research shows that many people with Multiple Sclerosis have less frequent sex because of their illness. The damage to the signal transduction system along the spinal cord nerves interrupts brain signals to the genitals. Men may experience erectile dysfunction, or delayed ejaculation. For women, sexual problems include vaginal dryness and loss of sensation in the sensitive area.
Although it is not usually seen as a symptom of this disease, some studies indicate that people with Multiple Sclerosis are more likely to have certain types of headache than those without the disease. Researchers at the University of New York found that women with Multiple Sclerosis may suffer from headaches of “tendency” or migraines.