More MS Symptoms – 7/18

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The following are less common symptoms with MS. I’ll be adding my own stories to each symptom.

1. Tremors – Tremors or uncontrollable shaking can occur in various parts of the body because of damaged areas along the complex nerve pathways that are responsible for coordination of movements.

Scooterjon says – At the current time I have both clonus and spasticity in my legs.  I don’t think they would be considered tremors. However, every once in a while my entire body starts shaking uncontrollably when I’m laying down. All I can do is relax and let it pass.  What gets the shaking started, I don’t know?

To simplify clonus is the same as shaking.  I’ve had legs that shake and move involuntarily for 20 some years.  If my feet are on the deck of my scooter or for that matter anywhere my legs can start moving in an up and down motion all by themselves.  I think my legs would shake (clonus) all day long if I let them.  At times it can be very annoying.

** Info from National MS Society.

2. Seizures – they are the result of abnormal electrical discharges in an injured or scarred area of the brain.  Seizures have been estimated to occur in 2-5% of people with MS compared to the estimated 3% of the general population.  The reason seizures are more common in people with MS is not completely understood. Seizures are classified into two forms, generalized and focal. 

Scooterjon says – I’ve never had any seizures although I have been in conversations before where I have been non-responsive. I could hear what was being said around me but talking and moving were tougher. That could also have been brain fog, too.

** Info from National MS Society.

3. Breathing Problems – Respiration problems occur in people whose chest muscles have been severely weakened by damage to the nerves that control those muscles.  Personally, I have had asthma since I was 10 years old.  My asthma is very controlled now and I don’t have any problems with it.  Breathing problems from my MS don’t seem to be a problem at this time.

The MS Hug is a symptom of multiple sclerosis where you feel as if you have a tight band around your chest or ribs.  It can also be pressure on just one side of your torso. Some people find that it is painful to breathe.  The feeling can range from annoying to very painful.

Scooterjon says – I used to get the MS Hug when I was having exacerbations.  For me it wasn’t painful but it felt very weird.  The MS hug made breathing a little harder. It was more annoying than anything.

** Info from National MS Society.

4. Itching – pruritis (itching) is one of the family of abnormal sensations such as “pins and needles”, burning, stabbing or tearing pains.  These feelings can be experienced by people with MS.  These sensations are known as dysesthesias and they are neurologic in origin.

Dysesthetic itching may occur suddenly and intensely but for brief periods. It may be present over any part of the body or face. It is different from the generalized itching that can accompany an allergic reaction as there is no external skin rash or irritation at the site of itching.  There are several medications that are usually successful in treating dysesthetic itching.

** Info from National MS Society.

5. Headaches – Although headache is not a common symptom of MS, some reports suggest that people with MS have an increased incidence of certain types of headache.  One report noted that migraine headaches were more than twice as common in a group of MS patients than in a matched group of people without MS. Other investigators found a prior diagnosis of migraines in one-third of the MS group being studied.

A third study found that 20 percent of a sample group of people with MS had a family history of migraines compared to 10 percent of controlled groups.  This suggests that there may be a common predisposing factor to both MS and migraines. Vascular or migraine type headaches have even been reported as the first symptom of MS.

Scooterjon says – I’ve never had too many problems with headaches even when I was drinking in my youth! Even after my diagnosis for MS I haven’t had any problems with headaches.  However, I do remember from ages 13 thru 17 getting migraine headaches.  I’d get a really bad headache, one of my eyes would be so blurry I couldn’t see out of it and I was sick to my stomach.  At that age I didn’t know what a migraine was?  If I had one I just thought it was a headache.

I remember one time when I was in 9th or 10th grade going through a two (2) hour basketball practice with a migraine.  I must have been looney not to tell anyone.  Why I didn’t tell the coach I was just about ready to puke is beyond me?  I do know that I couldn’t have played very well!  Could the migraines been a prelude to my MS?  We’ll never know!

** Info from National MS Society.

6. Hearing Loss –  Hearing loss is an uncommon symptom of MS. About 6 percent of people who have MS complain of impaired hearing. The cause of hearing loss can be due to non-MS related issues but can be associated with damage to the brain stem.  The brain stem is the part of the nervous system that contains the nerves that help to control vision, hearing, balance and equilibrium. Hearing loss may also take place during an acute exacerbation.

In very rare cases, hearing loss has been reported as the first symptom of the disease.  Deafness due to MS is exceedingly rare.  The most acute episodes of hearing deficit caused by MS tend to improve.  Although not a common MS symptom the incidence of hearing loss called sensorineural hearing loss in the MS population far exceeds that in the normal population.

** Info from National MS Society.

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8. PsuedoBulbar Affect (PBA) –  If you have a neurologic condition such as Stroke, Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), Multiple Sclerosis, or Parkinson’s Disease or have had a Traumatic Brain Injury it’s important to know about PBA (PseudoBulbar Affect).

PBA is often misunderstood as just another effect of the underlying neurologic condition or brain injury.  PBA is a separate and treatable secondary neurologic condition.  PBA causes sudden, frequent, uncontrollable episodes of crying and/or laughing that are exaggerated and/or don’t match how you feel.

Why treat PBA?
We express our emotions to connect with those around us.  Your crying and/or laughing during a PBA episode might not match how you feel at all.  It might be exaggerated. And because PBA episodes are unpredictable and can happen at inappropriate times, including social situations, they can leave you feeling misunderstood and frustrated.

Reducing the number of PBA episodes you experience could help ensure that your crying and/or laughing matches the emotions you feel. If you think you could have PBA, now’s the time to talk to your doctor and seek treatment.  NUEDEXTA is the only treatment approved by the FDA to treat PBA.

** Info from Wikipedia

Scooterjon