9 Ways Multiple Sclerosis Affects Your Body From Head to Toe


Mouth and throat
Around 40 percent of people living with MS may experience problems with speech, usually slurred speech or trouble articulating. Some may also have trouble controlling the volume of their speech. Rarer still, some people may experience problems with swallowing which can be serious as it can lead to choking. Speech and language therapists can help with both speech and swallowing problems.

Arms and legs
The limbs are most likely to be affected by multiple sclerosis, with patients suffering from a variety of ailments such as pain, numbness, and tingling. Both fine and gross motor skills are involved as hand-to-eye coordination may be affected and many will suffer from balance problems or have difficulty walking as the disease progresses.

Bladder and bowel
Nerve damage can lead to problems controlling the bladder and bowel. Bladder problems are extremely common in MS affecting around 80 percent of patients. Bowel problems such as constipation, diarrhea and lack of bowel control can sometimes be managed through diet and exercise but in some cases, medication or surgery may be required.

MORE: Vlogger explains how she overcame her bladder issues.

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  1. Jo Riley says:

    Based on this information & the different symptoms by those with MS, wouldn’t it make sense that the differences may be based on where the lesions in the brain & spinal cord are located. If that can be determined, it may help in knowing what symptoms to expect.

  2. Don says:

    Good article. My only suggestion would be to remove “rarely” and replace with “sometimes”. Conversations with our Doctors and Friends are frustrating enough as it is,having to justify rare symptoms for a relatively uncommon dsease is maddening.

  3. Sue Hagenaar says:

    Are chronic fatigue syndrome and MS similar? I have blurred vision,no energy, vertigo, and finding with impaired concentration, my memory is letting me down and have trouble with conversation and thought flow. Extremely frustrating 😔. Can you please help me.

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