Anxiety or MS

Hi everyone,

Apologies in advance for the length of this post. I’ve never written in a forum before but not sure what else to do. I have always been aware of MS, having watched my mum’s best friend cope with the disease as a child. I’m not sure what kind of MS she had, but as a 10 year old it looked scary. I remember my mum telling me how her friend told her she had just been diagnosed at a dinner party in her mid twenties, and I do think I’ve had this underlying anxiety about MS ever since then.

I’m now 27, and over the last year have had a number of health issues which, despite endless visits to the GP and the occasional referral to a consultant have all been met with a similar answer ‘we can’t tell you why this is happening but it’s nothing to worry about’. I’ve written a summary of all my symptoms below, which are numerous. (I should also mention at this point that I also have PCOS).

Tinnitus - referred to ENT in December 2015 and had MRI of head and inner ear (as well as hearing tests) - normal although they did discover a small cyst on my pituitary gland

Tingling in tip of right big toe - blood tests we carried out. B12 was within normal range but on the low side so they gave me B12 injections every 3 months which seem to have cleared up the problem

Constipation - Went to the doctor in April 2015 as I had real trouble passing anything. I’ve never been very regular so I can’t actually remember a point where it got markedly worse but have been taking laxido a few times a week since then.

Trembling in back - a couple of weeks ago I was woke up in the night to what felt like a ticking all along my back, in the centre of my body. I live in a flat and the only thing I can compare it to is when the guy downstairs puts his washing machine on. This lasted for about 3 days. I know it wasn’t exercise related as I had a cold right before this so hadn’t done my usual running or yoga for about a week, and it came on in the middle of the night when I was lying still in bed.

Eye issues - I used to wear contact lenses every day but in September 2015, I got an infection in my right eye and had to have antibiotics. From then on I had real issues with dry eyes, headaches and floaters which despite endless trips to the eye hospital I was told that my eyes looked fine and the floaters would become fainter as I got used to them. I do have to admit that around this time I did start to get really anxious about what this might be, and googled a few of my symptoms. This is where I first got the idea that it might be MS as I could tick off quite a few of the common symptoms. But my eyes always came back normal so I began to think of this as a separate issue. Then about 4 weeks ago starting seeing a very persistent flash in my left eye. I have just come back from the hospital and they suspect it could be AZOOR (an autoimmune related eye issue). I have to have another test next week to confirm this (they are going to put dye in to my hand to see the vessels in my eye), but now that I know the eye issue could be autoimmune related, I am even more anxious than ever that this could be MS.

I obviously don’t expect anyone on here to confirm anything for me, but I’m not sure what to do. I do think I have held on to an anxiety around MS since childhood, so I can’t tell if I’m just reading in to my ‘symptoms’ too closely, or if I’m actually experiencing anxiety. I’ve never mentioned my fears that it could be MS to a GP before, or my anxiety around this, as in the past when I’ve tried to push for certain help from GPs (with my PCOS diagnosis), they have been quite dismissive of my concerns.

One thing I don’t want to do is send my GP down the wrong path, when they might be more inclined to assume that my anxiety around this particular condition is the cause, rather than send me for an expensive MRI to take a closer look. I’ve never sat down in front of a GP and reeled off all my symptoms so in the past it has felt like they are just looking at the effect rather than the cause.

I have booked a doctors appointment for Friday and am not sure how to approach this. Any thoughts/advice welcome!

Thank you!

There’s more than one autoimmune condition, so having AZOOR isn’t necessarily indicative of MS. Similarly with your other symptoms. I’m not being dismissive of your concerns . There are so many possible causes for your symptoms and MS is only one of them. In fact, there have been times when hubby and I have heard symptoms described that are similar to my MS, but the disease or condition is nothing like MS.

I don’t know what is causing your problems, but I do think that your childhood experience of someone with MS has made you a little oversensitive to the possibility of having the disease. Talk to your GP about these symptoms and ask if they could be connected. If you’re going to mention your concerns about MS, leave it to the end of the conversation so that he doesn’t automatically assume that it’s all in your head. Hopefully he’ll put your mind at rest.

Thanks Cheerful_Dragon - really appreciate the advice