On their own, the symptoms of MS are difficult to live with. However, most patients also have to contend with some multiple sclerosis complication. An MS complication can result in distress, disability, or, in the worst of cases, death.

Multiple sclerosis is very much like other medical conditions in the sense that its consequences extend to complications that are not, in and of themselves, symptoms of the disease. The actual symptoms of multiple sclerosis are typically those that result directly from the demyelination and inflammation of neural tissue. These symptoms are directly attributable to the hindering of effective signal transmission between the nervous system and the various organs of the body. Thus, a multiple sclerosis patient can have such symptoms as fatigue, dizziness and vertigo, muscle weakness, incontinence, slow speech, double vision, partial blindness, spasticity, bowel difficulties, depression, cognitive impairment, and headaches.


Examining the MS Complication in Detail


The above symptoms, allowed to progress without treatment, can result in one MS complication or another. For instance, a patient with muscle weakness can stop making the effort to walk from one place to another because it is just too difficult. As a result, the patient’s muscles will not get the exercise they need, resulting in their atrophying over time. This is just one possible multiple sclerosis complication. Other complications may subsequently result. For instance, due to his or her immobility, the patient can start to retain extra weight, ultimately becoming obese. At the same time, the patient may develop edema or fluid retention in the legs. All these complications have implications for the patient’s health. They may increase the patient’s risk for such medical problems as high blood pressure. They may make him or her more vulnerable to other MS symptoms, and make recovery difficult.

Sometimes MS patients take drugs to treat their MS symptoms. The drugs may do a decent job of managing these symptoms, but they also come with side effects. These side effects can rightly be described as MS complications. Steroids, for instance, are great for dealing with inflammation and suppressing autoimmune attacks, but when they are used in the short term, they cause symptoms like depression, anxiety and insomnia. When used in the long term, they have an even more pronounced negative effect on the patient. They may cause high blood pressure, diabetes, cataracts, manic symptoms, abdominal bleeding and vulnerability to infection. These are all complications of MS, conditions that the patient would have been unlikely to have if he or she had not developed MS in the first place.