M.S. Secondary Symptoms

Martin M.S. Alliance Foundation

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Secondary symptoms of M.S. usually result from primary symptoms.

For example, paralysis (a primary symptom) can lead to bedsores (pressure sores) and bladder or urinary incontinence problems can cause frequent, recurring urinary tract infections.

These symptoms can be treated, but the ideal goal is to avoid them by treating the primary symptoms.

Slurred speech. Speech and swallowing problems .

People with MS often have swallowing difficulties.

In many cases, they are associated with speech problems as well. They are caused by damaged nerves that normally aid in performing these tasks.

Sudden onset of paralysis

Lack of coordination, Difficulty walking and Gait disturbances are amongst the most common symptoms of MS.

Mostly this problem is related to muscle weakness and/or spasticity, but having balance problems or numbness in your feet can also make walking difficult.

Cognitive difficulties

Changes in thinking or perception / Impaired thinking . Problems with thinking occur in about half of people with MS.

For most, this means slowed thinking, decreased concentration, or decreased memory.

Approximately 10% of people with the disease have severe impairment that significantly impairs their ability to carry out tasks of daily living.

Muscle Spasms & Spasticity

Muscle spasms are a common and often debilitating symptom of MS.

Spasticity usually affects the muscles of the legs and arms, and may interfere with a persons ability to move those muscles freely.

Heat sensitivity

Heat sensitivity (the appearance or worsening of symptoms when exposed to heat, like a hot shower) occurs in most people with MS


This is a characteristic and common symptom of MS. It is typically present in the midafternoon and may consist of increased muscle weakness, mental fatigue, sleepiness, or drowsiness.

Physical exhaustion is not related to the amount of work performed; and many patients with MS complain of extreme fatigue even after a good night's sleep.  
Sexual disturbances.


Fairly common in people with MS, tremors can be debilitating and difficult to treat.

Other symptoms include breathing problems and seizures.

Addressing Multiple Sclerosis in Communities of Color