Discovering the Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis in Women
Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is a disease characterized by the impairment or damage of the myelin sheaths found around the spinal cord and brain. It is an autoimmune disease as the body’s immune system attacks the myelin so that the electrical signals originating from the brain and traveling to the nerve cells are interrupted. MS first became known to the public in 1868, when Dr. Jean-Martin Charcot of the University of Paris described it. Originally, MS was thought to occur in more men than women; of late, however, it was discovered that out of the five newly diagnosed MS cases, four are women. Although there are some speculations used to explain this fact, there is no clear reason yet as to why more women than men develop multiple sclerosis.
The symptoms of multiple sclerosis in women normally come out during the childbearing years. Most cases are diagnosed after pregnancy, although there are also quite a number that are diagnosed during the pregnancy. It is believed that pregnancy hormones help push the disease into remission, although the symptoms can creep back in during the postpartum period. It has been proven, however, that there is no significant evidence that proves that breastfeeding, physical trauma and vaccination can trigger relapses. Pregnancy, on the other hand, does not and cannot lead to long term multiple sclerosis.
It is important to note that like in any case of MS, the symptoms of multiple sclerosis in women differ. The symptoms specifically depend on which area is affected, where the inflammation is. The symptoms common in men and women include tingling, double vision, difficulty in controlling eye movement, loss of balance, fatigue and partial blindness. Women who may be suffering from multiple sclerosis may suffer from muscle spasms, bladder and bowel problems, slurred speech and total body numbness. When a woman has an MS attack, she is also most likely going to have difficulty in trying to understand what others are saying.
The symptoms of multiple sclerosis in women can be triggered by anything that causes a rise in body temperature, like extreme physical exertion or fever. The symptoms will eventually fade away once the body temperature goes back to normal.
Women have varied signs and symptoms in multiple sclerosis, and the best way to get proper diagnosis is to consult with a doctor as soon as possible.