A web-blog (formerly known as Stu's Views and MS News), now published by MS Views and News, a patient advocacy organization. The information on this blog helps to Empower those affected by Multiple Sclerosis globally, with education, information, news and community resources.
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Disclaimer: 'MS Views and News' DOES NOT endorse any products or services found on this blog. It is up to you to seek advice from your healthcare provider. The intent of this blog is to provide information on various medical conditions, medications, treatments, and procedures for your personal knowledge and to keep you informed of current health-related issues. It is not intended to be complete or exhaustive, nor is it a substitute for the advice of your physician. Should you or your family members have any specific medical problem, seek medical care promptly.
Friday, April 15, 2016
Could I Have MS or Something Else?
Maybe you’ve felt exhausted or weak lately. Or your foot is starting to tingle. So you do a quick Internet search and come up with an alarming result: Your symptom is one of the signs of multiple sclerosis (MS), a disease of the brain and spinal cord.
Before you start to worry, know that many signs of the condition are the same as symptoms of other health problems. So it’s easy to mistake another issue for MS, which affects less than 1% of Americans.
How can you tell if what you’re feeling is caused by MS or something else? First, keep in mind that most people have the first signs of the disease between the ages of 20 and 40. You can also keep track of your problems: MS symptoms tend to come and go or get worse over time.
It helps to know what else can explain some of the signs you might be feeling.
Numbness or Tingling
A lack of feeling or a pins-and-needles sensation can be the first sign of the nerve damage from MS. It usually happens in the face, arms, or legs, and on one side of the body. It also tends to go away on its own.
Sudden numbness on one side of the body may signal a stroke. If that happens to you, call 911 ASAP.
Is the room spinning? MS can make you feel lightheaded or off-balance, usually when you’re standing up and moving around.
If you’re dizzy and nauseous when you’re lying down, or if you stumble to one side, chances are it’s a problem with your inner ear, which controls your balance. Medications, such as those for depression and seizure disorders, can cause similar problems, too.
Did a quick wave of lightheadedness hit? That’s often a sign of low blood sugar, dehydration, or a sudden drop in blood pressure you get when you stand up quickly. You may need to slowly rise instead of hopping to your feet.