This Morning doctor explains multiple sclerosis symptoms
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Kayla Moreno, 32, would go to the gym five times per week, so when a tingling sensation occurred in her feet, she thought it was a temporary problem. When the tingling remained, creeping up through her legs and fatigue settled in, Kayla visited her GP on May 12, 2019. Kayla was referred for a neurology appointment but, in the meantime, the tingling continued to spread upwards through her body.
When she could no longer walk unassisted, Kayla was taken to Southwestern Medical Centre in Lawton, Oklahoma, on May 19.
Doctors ran blood tests to rule out conditions such as diabetes and lupus, and then Kayla was sent for CT and MRI scans on her brain and spine.
Six days later, Kayla was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
“The diagnosis was like a weight lifted off my shoulders,” said Kayla. “I’m just thankful I’m living with multiple sclerosis (MS) now and not 20 years ago.”
While there is still no cure for MS, medication is available to make symptoms more manageable.
Kayla is taking stimulants to manage her experience of fatigue, which can be extremely debilitating.
“I’m tired all the time – too exhausted to do anything a lot of the time, in which case I need to surrender to full days of sleeping and relaxing,” she said.
Kayla also undergoes an infusion of Ocrevus every six months to slow the condition’s progression.
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“Everyone’s MS is different,” said Kayla. “For me, it presents as muscle weakness and I can’t get around without a walking aid or wheelchair.
“In others, it could be vision problems or speech difficulties. Sometimes it can be a completely invisible illness.”
Sharing her experience on the social media platform TikTok, Kayla said: “MS is life-changing and absolutely terrifying – but a positive attitude will get you a long way.
“I don’t let my MS stop me from living life to the fullest.”
The lifelong condition can develop at any age, the NHS says, which can cause a wide range of symptoms.
The “main” symptoms can include:
- Difficulty walking
- Vision problems, such as blurred vision
- Problems controlling the bladder
- Numbness or tingling in different parts of the body
- Muscle stiffness and spasms
- Problems with balance and coordination
- Problems with thinking, learning and planning.
The NHS adds: “Depending on the type of MS you have, your symptoms may come and go in phases or get steadily worse over time.”
What causes MS?
MS, an autoimmune condition, occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the brain and nerves.
“It’s not clear why this happens but it may be a combination of genetic and environmental factors,” the NHS says.
Further research is needed to understand why MS occurs and what can be done to prevent the health condition.
MS Research UK has more information on the latest developments about the illness.
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