Is that an MS Symptom?

Most informational MS sites you visit have loads of information on the common symptoms like numbness and optic neuritis but what about the other lesser-known evils of MS? There may be a stray article here or there, but there simply isn’t a lot of information on some of the rarer MS symptoms. Suddenly even in a sea of endless information, you may find yourself stranded on a seemingly deserted island left wondering- “is this an MS symptom” or “am I the only one who experiences this”? Here is Stephanie's list of some of the lesser known MS symptoms. While some of these are known to be associated with MS, others are not so clear-cut.

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To read Stephanie's original article, click here.

L’hermitte’s Sign

Named for the French neurologist Jean Lhermitte, this is an electric sensation that runs down the spine when the head is bent forward. Sometimes the sensation also goes into the limbs, and it ranges from feeling like a tickle to an extremely painful phenomenon.

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Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia

A lesser known relative of Trigeminal neuralgia, glossopharyngeal neuralgia is irritation of the ninth cranial nerve. It causes extreme shock-like pain in the back of the nose, throat, tongue, and ear. It can be triggered by chewing, laughing, coughing, talking, and swallowing.

To read Stephanie's original article, click here.

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Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA)

Sometime referred to as “emotional incontinence”, PBA is characterized by inappropriate and uncontrollable episodes of laughing or crying. A person with PBA may cry even when they don’t feel sad, or laugh without having any reason to.

To read Stephanie's original article, click here.

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Itching (Pruritus)

It’s not uncommon for people with MS to have funny sensations like tingling, numbness, burning, or pins and needles. Itching is considered a more rare form of these funny feelings, known as paresthesias.

To read Stephanie's original article, click here.

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Hearing Loss

One of the most rare symptoms of MS, hearing loss is usually caused by a lesion in the brainstem that affects the auditory nerve which is responsible for hearing.

To read Stephanie's original article, click here.

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Seizures

People with MS are about 3% more likely to have a seizure as a result of brain lesions. It is important to immediately seek medical attention, and alert your health care provider if you think you have had a seizure.

To read Stephanie's original article, click here.

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Uhthoff’s Phenomenon

A temporary worsening of symptoms that occurs with exertion or elevated body temperature which improves with rest or after cooling off.

To read Stephanie's original article, click here.

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Problems with Speech

Speaking is a very complex task that requires the input from several areas of the brain. MS lesions can cause slurred speech, and can alter the tone and cadence of one’s voice. Some people experience a very nasally voice, which makes them sound like they have a cold while others have to take abnormally long pauses between words or while talking.

To read Stephanie's original article, click here.

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Tremors

Tremors, or shaking movements, can occur virtually anywhere in the body including the hands, legs, vocal cords, and eyes. They can lead to difficulty performing fine motor tasks (like eating, drinking, and writing), visual difficulties (blurred vision and/or dizziness from jumpy eye movements called nystagmus), difficulty speaking, and difficulty swallowing.

To read Stephanie's original article, click here.

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The “MS Hug

Although this symptoms sounds kind of warm and fuzzy, it’s anything but. It is caused by spasms of the intercostal muscles, located between the ribs resulting in a squeezing pain around the torso. It is sort of like a full body charlie horse that can range for being merely annoying, to extremely painful.

To read Stephanie's original article, click here.

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Trouble Swallowing (Dysphagia)

Although it is more common with advanced stages of MS, trouble swallowing can occur at any time. This may cause coughing after eating or drinking, and can even lead to choking.

To read Stephanie's original article, click here.

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Hyperacusis

Hyperacusis is extreme pain caused by everyday noises. A person can suddenly become extremely sensitive to everyday noises, leading to a fear of sound. This is rare, but understandably can be an extremely isolating symptom.

To read Stephanie's original article, click here.

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Sensitivity to Cold

Sensitivity to heat is a very well known and talked about MS symptom, but for many people extreme cold can also cause temporary worsening of symptoms.

If you experience any of these symptoms, talk to your neurologist. There are treatments and interventions for each one, so please don’t suffer in silence.

What else would you add to the list?

To read Stephanie's original article, click here.

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