March is a month dedicated to shedding light on a condition that affects many lives, Multiple Sclerosis (MS). As we delve into this important topic, we aim to provide valuable information for our community, ensuring everyone is well-informed about MS, its risks, prevention strategies and the outstanding care available right here at Springfield Clinic, recognized nationally by the MS Society.


Understanding MS

MS is a chronic neurological condition that affects the central nervous system, disrupting the flow of information between the brain and the rest of the body. While the exact cause remains unknown, it is believed to involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Common symptoms include fatigue, difficulty walking, numbness or tingling, muscle weakness and problems with coordination and balance. It’s important to note that MS is a variable condition - its course and symptoms can vary widely among individuals.

Male neurologist smiling holding a plaque award.


Recognizing the Signs

Being aware of potential symptoms is vital for early intervention. If you or a loved one experiences unexplained and persistent symptoms such as vision problems, muscle weakness or difficulties with coordination, it's important to seek medical advice promptly. Early diagnosis enables timely intervention and management, improving the quality of life for those affected.


Limiting Your Risk

While there is no definitive way to prevent MS, certain lifestyle choices may contribute to lowering the risk of developing the condition. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, a balanced diet and stress management, can positively impact overall well-being. Additionally, avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption may play a role in reducing the risk of MS.


Testing and Diagnosis

If you suspect you or someone you know may be experiencing symptoms related to MS, seeking a timely diagnosis is crucial. Neurological examinations, imaging studies and other tests can help confirm the presence of MS and determine its specific characteristics. Early diagnosis allows for the implementation of effective treatment plans, potentially slowing the progression of the disease.


MS awareness is not just about understanding the condition; it's about empowering individuals to take control of their health. By being informed, recognizing symptoms, adopting a healthy lifestyle and seeking timely medical attention, we can collectively make a difference in the lives of those affected by MS.

Dr. Reuben Valenzuela is accepting patients at Springfield Clinic Peoria located at 1001 Main Street, Peoria, IL 61606. Ask your primary care provider today about getting referred to Dr. Valenzuela and Springfield Clinic Neurology.