Signs Of MS In Women: Is MS Fatal
It has been estimated that around 400,000 individuals are living with multiple sclerosis and 10,000 new cases are being diagnosed annually (200 new cases weekly). MS is diagnosed 3 times more often in women than men (CDC). Multiple sclerosis is a central nervous system disorder that is characterized by fatigue, loss of muscle coordination and control, dysphasia (difficulty speaking), loss of bladder control, vision problems, and paresthesia (numbness and tingling). The cause of MS remains unknown, as of now.
Is MS An Autoimmune Disease?
The stringency of MS can range from benign (mild non-cancerous) to debilitating, to devastating, in which neurotransmission from the brain to other body parts, organs, and tissues.
Many scientific medical experts believe that MS is an autoimmune disease, where the immune cells mistakenly attack its own tissues. In this case, the myelin sheath, which is a fatty sheath that overlays the nerve fibers and protects it from damage, comes under attack by the immune system.
Viruses (herpes, measles, influenza) have been classed as an environmental trigger for these assaults. You can discover more about autoimmune disease, by reading our post.
Signs of MS in Women
The first initial sign of multiple sclerosis is most often diplopia (double-vision), loss of vision in one eye, or color blindness (red/green color distortion). The initial onset of symptoms will appear between the ages of 20-40.
- Gait and balance abnormality
- Decreased cognitive factors
- Paresthesia (burning, tingling, numbness, and pins-and needle sensations)
- Hemiparesis (muscle weakness on one side of the body)
- Urinary incontinence
- Increased urinary frequency
- Nocturia (frequent urination at night)
- Generalized fatigue
- Vertigo (dizziness)
- Dysphasia (difficulty talking)
It is crucial to note that all MS victims will report having experienced different symptoms, which means that no two people are alike. While these are the signs of MS in women, males also experience these same symptoms, as well.
How Many People Have MS
While over 400,000 individuals have been diagnosed with MS, 8,000-10,000 of them are small children up to the age of 18, but less children may be suffering with MS. The main reason for this is because children will present with ADEM (acute disseminated encephalomyelitis), which is often confused with MS.
ADEM often follows a viral or bacterial infection and will lead to an inflammation attack on the CNS (brain, spinal cord). Of course, ADEM may also follow post-vaccination of the MMR vaccine, which is very rare.
ADEM will normally attack the myelin or white brain matter, which will lead to vision loss and paralysis. Since MS also attacks the myelin, it can be confused with ADEM, but the first symptoms with ADEM is rapid onset of fever that is linked to a recent bacterial and viral infection.
ADEM most often affects small children, whereas MS often affects adults.
Is MS Fatal
While there is no cure for MS currently, it does not prove to be fatal. The life expectancy of MS victims is 30 years from the time of diagnosis, with some individuals reaching up into the 70’s. This life expectancy is around 5-10 less than the average individual.
Does hepatitis B vaccine cause MS? Well, there is not enough scientific facts that can link these two diseases, nor does the vaccine worsen MS conditions.
MS Exacerbations and Remissions
MS victims can experience periods of exacerbations, where symptoms are present or worsened and periods of remissions, where symptoms are absent or lessened. MS can lead to severe disabilities or even death.
Only 2-5% of MS cases will begin before the age of 16, but diagnoses often being delayed or mistaken for ADEM (see above).
Complications of MS
- Major depression
- Bladder and bowel incontinence
- Cognitive dysfunction
- Poor range of muscle
- Muscle stiffness
- Poor mobility
- Ambulation Imbalance