7 Strange and Unusual Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease which is unique to each patient, which means no two people suffer from identical symptoms. While there are many symptoms MS patients share such as pain and chronic fatigue, there are also some very strange and unusual symptoms that some may experience.  We’ve put together a list of some of the stranger symptoms of the disease based on information from verywell.com and healthcentral.com.

The body reacts to the weather. 

Many MS patients say their symptoms get worse depending on the weather. Humidity can exacerbate the symptoms of MS for many sufferers and some even report feeling strange when there is a thunderstorm—that their body buzzes and feels tingly in an uncomfortable and unpleasant way.

The body reacts to dental work.

Some MS patients experience a worsening of symptoms following routine dental appointments. It hasn’t been established whether this is stress-related (because few people enjoy visiting their dentist) or for some other reason and researchers have been unable to find a link between the two.

Sun exposure is a natural medicine. 

Conversely, although many MS patients cannot tolerate high temperatures, some report that cooler sunny days make them feel much better and lessens the effects of symptoms. This could be because the body is making vitamin D from the sun’s rays.

Find out how our bodies convert sunlight into vitamin D here. 

The body reacts to flying.

There have been reports of MS relapses during long-haul flights. There isn’t any medical evidence to suggest why this is happening, and researchers have yet to prove whether it’s due to altitude or being in a confined space for a long period of time.

The body twitches.

While twitching and muscle spasms are common symptoms in other diseases of the central nervous system such as Parkinson’s disease and ALS it is not generally considered a common symptom of MS. However, many patients do report twitching and muscle spasms, usually in their limbs but also in their heads, torso, and even their vocal chords.

The feet get hot. 

Hot feet or extreme sensations of pins and needles in the feet is another one of the more unusual symptoms of MS. Some describe it like walking barefoot over gravel or that their feet are literally on fire even though they feel cool to the touch. This tends to be worse when people are in bed.

Read our list of tips for helping you to manage common MS symptoms better. 

You feel like you’re being hugged. 

Feeling like they are being tightly squeezed around the torso or stomach, some MS patients have reported suffering from this odd symptom. The pain is often so intense that patients experience difficulty breathing or fear they are having a heart attack.

Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

6 comments

  1. Ken Krouse says:

    We really appreciated this article – it was very helpful to know others are experiencing some of the same things my wife is experiencing – she’s not “crazy” or “weird” in some way just a “normal” MS sufferer – my wife has MS and often experiences some of these “strange and unusual symptoms” – (maybe wish the title was changed to “7 less common but often experienced MS symptoms in MS sufferers” 🙂 – We feel that humidity, humidity with high heat, and cold affect her MS negatively – she feels worse after dental work is done and since she has had a lot of dental work done, we wonder also if there is a correlation with getting/suffering from MS due to the amt. of dental work she has had – anything negative (a cold, stress, a cut, etc.) makes symptoms worse – sun seems to help her feel better – she does not feel she can tolerate long flights well – hates the feeling of being in a plane for a long time – not so much “twitches” but muscle spasms for sure she experience, mainly while in bed it seems – feet getting hot but feeling cold (and especially while in bed) is right on – she has not experienced the hugging feeling – I sure wish there was more of these articles to help these MS sufferers know they are not alone – to realize that these are common or at least somewhat common symptoms of people who have MS – Thanks for the article – well written and right on!! MS affects people in many different ways – people need to understand that MS sufferers aren’t losing there minds when they talk about some of these things to others

  2. Scott says:

    I believe the reason these are not as common of symptoms and MS is because they are more than likely associated with primary progressive multiple sclerosis, such as myself. Other than the dentist, and flying, I have experienced all the symptoms frequently. I can sit and watch the muscles in my arms and hands flutter. My feet and hands both go from freezing cold to normal within minutes.

    • Sarah Jane says:

      I have suffer all of these symptoms frequently apart from the flying because I don’t fly but I have relapsing remitting MS so unless it has progressed I think it’s normal MS and the fact that they don’t list these symptoms that we suffer in silence every day.

  3. Amber says:

    Yes its nice to read about a lot of the stuff I’m going through I was diagnosed with ms almost a year ago I have been suffering from the symptoms since I was little a my parents and doctors thought I was crazy no one ever listened to me they said I was a hyperconderiact until I moved to. Michigan almost a year ago

  4. Esha Sharma says:

    Rightly said… I feel many things so similar. This article is useful to keep a check. M.S symptoms keep changing every now then so such articles are necessary to know an outline of different things people can feel.
    Thank you regards Esha Sharma

  5. Geoffrey Boyarsky says:

    Thanks for this validating article. I have experienced all of these at one time or another in the past 35+ years.

    In ’97 while seriously symptomatic but pre MRI diagnosis, I was hauled out of my office by paramedics after I reported to my doctor’s office a tightness in my chest (the “MS Hug” as I later found out), and numbness in my arms & hands. They thought cardiac event, so suddenly I was transported to the ER, where that possibility was eliminated right away with a heart monitor. I was three weeks out from an initial appointment with a neurologist, who the ER contacted. He suggested a brain scan to confirm, seeing as the hospital I was in had one, and several hours later the MS diagnosis was confirmed.

    These days I don’t get that MS Hug often, although lots of other neuropathies stop by for a visit, beyond the ever-present numb hands & feet.
    Recently I have felt like, inside the flesh around my left waist, there is something small trying to dig its way out with a toothpick. For years I will occasionally feel like there is an insect deep inside my ear, just walking around. It’s amazing how much bodily weirdness we learn to accept and live with.

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