Paresthesia in Multiple Sclerosis – How and Why?

Persistent or chronic paresthesia can point to a wide range of health problems, such as MS (multiple sclerosis), type-2 diabetes, mini stroke, arthritis (especially rheumatoid arthritis), etc. The chance to treat and cure it is closely dependent on the cause of the problem. If the cause is treatable or at least manageable, the prognosis of persistent paresthesia will be better.

Many patients with MS experience numbness and tingling in the early stage of the disease. They find that these symptoms get worse as their MS progresses. Good stress management, getting plenty of sleep, and sticking to healthy lifestyles are some common choices of your home remedies if the underlying problem of your paresthesia is multiple sclerosis.

Paresthesia – What actually is it?

It is a group of several discomfort symptoms that occur due to the blockage of blood supply to the nerves of the affected site or part of the body.

It is often marked by sensations of numbness, tingling, prickling, burning, or itchiness. Sometime it is also described as skin-crawling (typically occurs on the face) or pins-&-needles sensation. Parts of the body’s extremities such as toes, fingers, arms, feet, and hands are common areas of where paresthesia occurs.

Most people can experience temporary paresthesia – and it’s very common. For instances – sitting for long hours (especially such as sitting on your crossed legs) or sleeping in bent position with your arms, these may cause numbness or tingling, but this discomfort sensation is usually temporary and will go away on its own and there is nothing to worry about. However these discomfort practices should be avoided to allow the blood supply to the nerves keep working properly.

If your paresthesia is going to become persistent (long lasting) or chronic, don’t ignore it! For this case, it may signal a certain health condition.

Long lasting paresthesia usually occurs due to the nerves damage that can be caused by inflammation, infection, or other abnormal /unusual process. It is rarely linked to life-threatening diseases, but it also can occur due to the existence of tumor or sometime also can be an early sign of stroke.

Multiple sclerosis (a frustrating condition)

MS is categorized into autoimmune disease, why? In patients with MS, their body immune system with unknown reason destroys myelin (a protective sheath that protects and covers the nerves). Rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are other kinds of autoimmune diseases.

MS also can be potentially debilitating condition since the myelin damage can affect the crucial communication between the brain and spinal cords.

The damage of myelin also can cause nuisance in the communication between other parts of the body and the brain. These problems then can be potential to cause deterioration for the performance of the nerves themselves which typically cannot be reversed.

MS are about 2-3 times more likely to occur in women than in men – according to statistics from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Its occurrence is commonly between early adulthood (teen years) to before the age of 50. Furthermore, the most frequent factors that trigger the neurological disability usually start in early adulthood (after adolescence) to middle adulthood.

Paresthesia in multiple sclerosis

paresthesia_in_multiple_sclerosis_illustrationSome common early symptoms of multiple sclerosis are:

  1. Blurred vision or even double vision.
  2. Difficulty thinking.
  3. Lack of balance which then can cause loss of balance and lack of coordination (clumsiness).
  4. Weakness – typically occurs in the legs and arms.
  5. And numbness & tingling.

And as noted before, numbness & tingling is also a condition that often associated with paresthesia. Is there a link between MS and paresthesia?