Multiple Sclerosis Complications


Health Window logo

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic condition that can affect your overall health. With adequate management of symptoms, you can live a relatively normal life. However, with severe MS, as well as when it is untreated, some complications can arise. 

COMPLICATIONS

Bladder and bowel problems - MS causes interruptions in signals that connect the brain and the bladder and bowel systems. This means that sometimes the body doesn’t receive signals that it’s time to release waste. These bladder and bowel problems usually include constipation, diarrhea and incontinence (where the bladder may be overactive or fail to empty completely). To help with bowel and bladder issues, it is advisable to follow a diet rich in fiber diet or take fiber agents or stool softeners. Other options to help with these issues are nerve stimulation and physical therapy – which may help to regain some function.

Mental health complications - Some people with MS may feel a sense of isolation and face career, economic, and social challenges. If you are feeling low and feel concerned, please let your doctor know.

Vision changes - Vision changes may occur as MS progresses. You may experience some of these symptoms for a short time or they can become permanent. Possible vision complications include blurry vision, double vision, uncontrolled eye movements and even blindness. Treatment may focus on helping you manage vision changes. This could mean wearing an eye patch if you have double vision or taking medication to control the eye movements.

Memory loss and slower intellectual processing – this is an issue that affects many people with MS. These issues could also result in not being able to solve problems and other cognitive functions. Medication and rehabilitation can help people get better. Support from family and friends is also very important.

Sensory problems - When you have MS you may have a feeling of numbness, burning, aching, spasm or even a feeling of tightness. This can be felt around the chest area and it makes it hard to breathe (called an “MS hug”). Most of the time these symptoms pass by without treatment. However, if the symptom persists, medication will be required. Examples are amitriptyline, duloxetine, baclofen, and gabapentin.

Appropriate management of complications can help to maintain your quality of life. Speak to your doctor if you need help.

 

Written by Dr Ruusa Shivute | Health Window

Reference: Kamm CP, Uitdehaag BM, Polman CH. Multiple sclerosis: current knowledge and future outlook. Eur Neurol. 2014;72(3-4):132-41.


Content Disclaimer:
You understand and acknowledge that all users of the Dis-Chem website or app are responsible for their own medical care, treatment, and oversight. All of the content provided on the website, are for INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The content is not intended to establish a standard of care to be followed by a user of the website. You understand and acknowledge that you should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health. You also understand and acknowledge that you should never disregard or delay seeking medical advice relating to treatment or standard of care because of information contained in or transmitted through the website. Medical information changes constantly. Therefore the information on this website or on the linked websites should not be considered current, complete or exhaustive, nor should you rely on such information to recommend a course of treatment for you or any other individual. Reliance on any information provided on this website or any linked websites is solely at your own risk.
Back to top