Cover Story: The Hidden Symptoms of MS

Managing the symptoms that those around you may not easily see or understand

Compiled and Edited by Susan Wells Courtney
Reviewed by Jack Burks, MD

Photo of a woman looking at herself in a mirrorWe often hear people talk about the “hidden” or “invisible” symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS). Many individuals with MS have difficulty explaining how uncomfortable they feel, especially when others around them remark that they don’t appear sick. Communicating the symptoms of MS that no one else sees can be difficult and even frustrating.

In this issue’s cover story, we address five symptoms that may be hard for others to see or understand: pain with MS; coping with fatigue; sleep issues (a contributing factor to fatigue); cognitive changes; and visual problems. Other symptoms could also fall under this category of “hidden” symptoms, but we limited our writing to just five areas, so that we could provide adequate attention to each. Portions of the information provided are from previously published MSAA articles.

These sections have been co-written, reviewed, and edited by top MS experts outside of MSAA, and then reviewed again by MSAA’s Chief Medical Officer Jack Burks, MD. Please note that while specific treatment strategies and medications are listed, this information may not be considered as specific medical recommendations or advice. The details provided in this article are for informational purposes only, and readers are strongly urged to see their physician before making any changes to their treatment regimen, exercise routine, or any other aspect of their healthcare or lifestyle.

Sections in this Article:

Pain with MS
Coping With Fatigue
Sleep Issues
Cognitive Changes
Visual Problems