FAQ054: What is multiple sclerosis or MS?

Multiple Sclerosis or MS shows up differently for Different People

MS is a complex neurological condition that is characterized as an autoimmune disorder (ie your body is starting to attack your own cells). In this case, it is affecting the myelin. The myelin is the tissue around your nerves which essentially acts as an insulator. It makes the signal travel faster.

Because multiple sclerosis affects the myelin, the symptoms of MS can relate to any part of the body in which the nerves travel. That is a LOT of the things that your body does day to day. These connections can be in the brain or from the brain to some of the muscles.

This variability is why there can be big differences in how someone who has MS shows their symptoms

What are some of the more common symptoms?

Some of the symptoms of MS can include

  • Fatigue (this is probably one of the MOST common signs)
  • Muscle soreness
  • Pins and needles
  • Pain
  • Sensitivity to temperature
  • and more ….

It isn’t the same all of the time either.

Because multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune condition, it can also change over time. MS is often marked by relapses and remittances. This means that we have times where the symptoms are worse (relapses) and times where the periods are worse (remittances).

If you have MS, there are a lot of resources out there for you. One in Canada in particular is the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. You can check out the website here

In this video we talk about what MS is and what it looks like. Because this is a complicated topic, we are only scratching the surface but it gives you a good starting point!

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Christina Prevett

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