What Are The Symptoms of MS In Women?
Jenna decided to visit her doctor at One Community Health after noticing some changes in her health. She has noticed some double vision when she’s reading for a long time. Her muscles feel weaker, and sometimes spasm painfully at night. Then, she started having difficulty coming up with the right words to finish her sentences. Just yesterday she almost fell when walking down her house’s stairs—nothing was in the way, she just felt off-balance.
Her primary care doctor recognized the classic symptoms of MS in women. After a thorough exam and some blood work, they confirmed the diagnosis and got Jenna started on treatment right away.
What Is MS?
Multiple Sclerosis, or MS, is a disease that damages the nerves in your body. MS tricks your immune system into attacking the nerves and destroying the coating of the nerve fibers. This disrupts the way the brain communicates with your entire central nervous system, including your spinal cord.
Although MS can occur at any age, it is generally diagnosed in people between the ages of 20 and 40. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, almost 1 million people in the United States live with MS.
What Are the Symptoms of MS in Women?
Because of the impact MS has on the central nervous system, it causes many signs and symptoms. The symptoms of MS in women can vary widely from person to person. Symptoms can also change—some may disappear over time, while others might grow worse or stay around for the rest of a woman’s life.
The most common symptoms of MS in women include:
- Feeling very tired all the time
- Vision issues, such as double or blurred vision
- Muscle pain or spams, such as the “MS hug”
- Balance issues or dizziness
- Bladder issues, including frequent urination or inability to urinate
- Cognitive issues, such as difficulty concentrating or multi-tasking
- Sexual dysfunction
Less common symptoms of MS in women include:
- A loss of taste
- Problems swallowing
- Speech problems, including slurring words
- Hearing loss
How Is MS Diagnosed?
Diagnosing multiple sclerosis usually takes a series of different tests. First, a woman showing signs and symptoms of MS will undergo blood tests to rule out any other diseases with similar symptoms. Next, she might need a spinal tap—a doctor will collect a small sample of spinal fluid to check for the antibody abnormalities normally associated with MS. The primary care physician might also order an MRI to check for any lesions on the brain and spinal cord.
How Is MS Treated?
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease, and unfortunately, it does not yet have a cure. However, MS can be managed with the right treatments. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved several medications that help control the symptoms of MS in women and protect the body from further damage.
MS can cause lasting damage, so it’s important to catch the symptoms early. If you notice any signs or symptoms of multiple sclerosis, it is important to connect with a physician who can give you a diagnosis and help you find the right treatment options. You can find a provider in the greater Sacramento area on our website at onecommunityhealth.com or by calling 916-443-3299.
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