About MS




Symptoms of MS are unpredictable and vary from person to person and from time to time in the same person. For example, one person may experience abnormal fatigue, while another might have severe vision problems. A person with MS could have loss of balance and muscle coordination making walking difficult; another person with MS could have slurred speech, tremors, stiffness, and bladder problems. While some symptoms will come and go over the course of the disease, others may be more lasting.

Read more about the categories of symptoms or refer to the chart below for information on a specific symptom.

Most Common Symptoms
Symptom Description/Overview Management/Resources
Bladder Dysfunction Bladder Dysfunction

Personal Care: Bladder and Bowel Problems

Bowel Dysfunction Bowel Dysfunction
Changes in Cognitive Function, including problems with memory, attention, and problem-solving

Cognitive Function

MS and Cognition
Dizziness and Vertigo Dizziness and Vertigo
Depression and other Emotional Changes

Emotional Aspects


Emotional Aspects of MS

Depression and Multiple Sclerosis

Fatigue (also called MS lassitude)


MS and Fatigue
Difficulty in Walking and/or Balance or Coordination Problems


Gait or Walking Problems: The Basic Facts

MS and Mobility

Abnormal sensations such as Numbness or “pins and needles” Numbness


MS and Pain
Sexual Dysfunction Sexuality MS and Intimacy
Spasticity Spasticity Controlling Spasticity in MS
Vision Problems

Visual Symptoms

Optic Neuritis

MS and Vision
Less Common Symptoms
Symptom Description/Overview Management/Resources
Headache Headache
Hearing Loss Hearing Loss
Itching Itching
Seizures Seizures
Speech and Swallowing Disorders

Speech and Swallowing Disorders

Dysphagia (Swallowing Problems)

Speech and Swallowing: The Basic Facts


Tremor: The Basic Facts

Additional resources

  • "But You Look So Good"
    Coping with invisible MS symptoms

  • Exacerbation
    An exacerbation (also known as an attack, a relapse, or a flare) is a sudden worsening of an MS symptom or symptoms, or the appearance of new symptoms

  • Heat/Temperature Sensitivity
    Many people with MS experience a temporary worsening of their symptoms when exposed to hot or cold conditions

  • Medications Commonly Used in MS
    Chart of chemical name, brand name, and the common usage
Managing the Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, 4th Edition Managing the Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, 5th Edition
by Randall T. Schapiro, MD
Order through Demos Publishing
Multiple Sclerosis: The Questions You Have—The Answers You Need Multiple Sclerosis: The Questions You Have—The Answers You Need, 3rd Edition
by Rosalind C. Kalb

Order through Demos Publishing*
More books on healthy living and symptom management

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