A WOMAN who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at age 24 after doctors brushed off her symptoms has revealed the three warning signs to look out for.
Angelina Cubero said she was passed between medics who insisted she just had anxiety for years while she searched for an answer.
The 27-year-old, from New Jersey, US, was crippled by constant symptoms that impacted her ability to perform everyday tasks.
She was desperate to find an explanation for the brain fog, frequent migraines, and constant pain and numbness in her legs.
But Angelina claims doctors told her "you don't look sick" and wrote off her symptoms as anxiety - forcing her to do her own research.
She faced a three-year-long battle and multiple trips to the emergency room to finally get a diagnosis of MS.
The condition, which affects over 130,000 Brits, can affect the brain and spinal cord, and may trigger problems with vision, movement, sensation, or balance.
This is because MS causes the immune system to mistakenly attack the brain and spine's protective coating, which slowly shuts down the body's communication systems.
This gradually incapacitates the nervous system, causing a person to lose control of motor functions throughout their body.
Many patients will become partially or fully paralyzed after battling the disease over the course of many years.
Discussing her fight for her life on Good Morning America, Angelina described her journey to getting a MS diagnosis.
She explained: " I would go to the doctor, I would go to the ER, I would go to urgent cares, I would go to my primary doctor, I'd go to a specialist, another specialist, and I wasn't really getting any answers.
"They would say, 'You look fine. You don't look sick. All your tests seemed normal to me.' The only reason they told me was anxiety.'"
The concerned New Jersey native finally got an answer in 2020, after an MRI scan detected multiple lesions and plaque in her brain.
But she was stunned by the diagnosis, as Angelina admitted she had never even heard of the disease before finding out she had it.
She added: "I had to do my own research to figure out what is MS, and that was scary.
"There were so many questions I had, and it was really hard to find those answers."
In the hopes of preventing others from going through her ordeal to get a diagnosis, Angelina wants to raise awareness of MS.
She is keen to spread the word about what three warning signs people should look out for that could indicate they are a sufferer.
The first is brain fog - defined as sudden bouts of confusion, forgetfulness, trouble concentrating and a lack of mental sharpness.
This is a common symptom of MS which can often disrupt the thinking process, causing people to spend extended periods on simple tasks.
Also known as "cog fog", this can prevent sufferers from remembering simple details and short-term memories.
It occurs because of damage to the myelin, leaving the brain and other parts of the nervous system vulnerable.
The brain is then further depleted by infections, injury and disease, causing lesions or wounds to appear.
This damage can be detected on an MRI scan and is typically the first signal to a doctor that the patient may have MS.
Another early symptom of the autoimmune disease is leg numbness and tingling, which can cause a lack of mobility in the limbs.
As the myelin that surrounds the body's nerves slowly begins to deteriorate, the nerves become damaged.
These nerves are responsible for relaying information from the brain to the rest of the body - and when impaired, they may fail to send information properly.
This leads to tingling or numbing sensations — which occur when a nerve is irritated or sends extra signals. Fortunately, in most instances the feeling tends to come and go.
And last but not least on the MS symptoms list is the dreaded migraine.
Although many people experience the headaches, WebMD warns that MS sufferers are twice as likely to experience them.
Doctors have been unable to pinpoint why those with the disease experience migraines, although there are plenty of theories.
Some suspect they are triggered by the increasing damage to the brain, while others say it is because of how MS impacts how the body regulates hormones.
Migraines are more common for sufferers when they are dealing with a flare-up of their symptoms.
Although Angelina's symptoms were dismissed by doctors, spotting them early could help save someone's life.
It is key to check with your doctor, although it is important not to assume the worst - as it may just be an indication of common ailments.
Other symptoms of MS include fatigue, pain, bladder problems, bowel problems, vision issues including blindness, mental health issues and cognitive decline.
They usually begin to emerge between the ages of 20 and 40, but the condition can be difficult to diagnose.
There is currently no cure for MS, but the symptoms can be treated with medications and other treatments.
American actress Selma Blair previously said she cried with relief when she was diagnosed with MS.
She said: "They weren't tears of panic, they were tears of knowing I had to give in to a body that had loss of control.
"And there was some relief in that. Ever since my son was born, I was in an MS flare-up and didn't know, and I was giving it everything to seem normal."
Actress Christina Applegate also recently revealed she has the condition, and Paralympic gold medallist Kadeena Cox was diagnosed with MS after suffering a stroke in 2014.
Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne's son, Jack, also suffers from the condition.