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Could it be MS? What do I tell the doctor?

Hi guys, I know you’ve all probably read numerous posts like this one. But I am another silent sufferer who doesn’t know what to do. I am twenty years old and studying. I have the following symptoms: Dizziness/lose balance very quickly Numb patch of skin on one foot (for which I have been to see the doctor, and have been referred to get a nerve conduction test. Will that maybe also help in the diagnosis of MS?) Short concentration span Slightly bad memory, (mainly noticed when revising) Weak muscles, (can’t hold things up for long at all) Very emotional, mood swings Occasional involuntary jaw movements Difficulty in speech, very rarely Moderate loss of appetite Moderate fatigue, (thought this was due to anaemia, which I’ve had all my life. But the anaemia seems to have one away according to my recent blood tests.) I also sometimes forget that I haven’t swallowed my saliva sometimes and it just accumulates in my mouth until I realise. I don’t have any pain symptoms as of yet! I also haven’t noticed any problems with my eyesight. There are also no bladder or bowel problems. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated. I’m so worried. I’m actually in the middle of my exams too.

Hi, I have to say I am always saddened when I read of young people with health issues like this.

I was 45 when I started with ms like symptoms and had already had my family and many years to get on with life.

When you ask what do I tell the doctor…do you mean your GP or a consultant which you have been referred to?

The answer is just tell them what you have said here. It is all important for any doctor to get an idea of what might be going on.

Keep trying to do your best in your exams hun.

luv POllx

hey sarah, just go to the doctor with a list of your symptoms. ask for a blood test to check your b12 level as low b12 can give symtoms which mimic ms!!

good luck!!

Thanks for your replies, guys. You were pretty fast, I wasn’t expecting such quick responses. Boudica, I mean my GP. I appreciate our help. :slight_smile: And Kisywisy, I have recently had a blood test. All results were normal. But it was just the B12 result that hasn’t come back yet. I’ve got an appointment with the GP next week to discuss that. Let’s just hope it is that! :confused:

Hi Sarah,

In addition to what the others have said, I would avoid mentioning anything about MS. Doctors, like most people, can resent someone seemingly telling them their job. So just describe the symptoms. IF MS comes up, let it come from the doctor, not you.

And remember that many, many things can cause similar symptoms. If you type them into Google, it tends to be the first thing that comes up. But MS is still a rare disease. Diagnosis consists of ruling everything else out first - not going straight down the MS road.

Tina

Thanks for your advice, Tina. I was wondering how I’d approach the doctor. I won’t mention MS. But why if he doesn’t mention it either?

Hi again,

It would be quite proper for him not to mention it, as it wouldn’t be the first thing to suspect. His job is not to guess what it might be (even if it’s crossed his mind), but to arrange further investigations that will help find out. So as long as you don’t get sent home with advice to rest and take ibuprofen, as I once was, it doesn’t really matter if neither of you mentions MS. At this stage, a good outcome is to be referred for further investigations.

I don’t think most GPs would jump right in with: “Oh, it sounds like it might be MS”, as it isn’t terribly likely, and could unnecessarily scare patients who turn out to have something quite minor and fixable, such as a simple vitamin deficiency. Of course, if your GP is more of the bull-in-a-china-shop type, he might come right out with it - in which case there’s nothing to stop you admitting: “Oh, I’d wondered about that.”

But really, until you’ve had some proper tests, it could be anything.

My GP told me mine was: “Very unlikely to be anything sinister.” I’m still not sure whether MS is sinister or not - I suppose she may simply have meant she didn’t think it would turn out to be cancer - which it didn’t.

Tina

x

Tina is quite right. Even people who look as though they have MS written all over them (which you don’t, to my completely amateur and non-expert eye) usually turn out not to have MS. Because MS is very rare. Most GPs see one or two cases in a professional lifetime. Just becaue all roads lead Dr Google towards MS does not alter this - MS is rare.

Alison

Thank you for your replies, Tina and Alison. You are right about not mentioning anything to my GP. I’ll definitely follow your advice. Another thing that came up whilst I was thinking about this was that maybe all of these symptoms are really jut symptoms of stress. I’m not like trying to diagnose myself with anything but I’m just really curious and can’t stop thinking about it. Have got a doctors appointment for this week, so I won’t have to keep doing this. But I am rather stressed at the moment, due to my exams. Lastly, I also looked up the side effects of all my current medication for asthma and eczema etc. I found that my antihistamine tablets, Cetirizine Hydrochloride, can cause most of my symptoms I am experiencing. All of this has made me feel a little better. Maybe it isn’t MS, after all. But I’ll just have to wait and see.

Hi Sarah, You are brave to acknowledge that it might be stress-related, because yes, it might! Some people are deeply offended, or feel they’re being dismissed, if it’s suggested their symptoms could be due to stress, yet it can have profound physical effects, and IS a genuine medical problem. So it’s quite possible your doctor may suggest this as the first line of enquiry, and not MS at all. If you are already open to the idea you might have got yourself in a state over the exams, hopefully you will not feel too shocked or let down if the doctor thinks so too. Coincidentally, I’m on Cetirizine as well at the moment - unrelated to MS - but can’t say I’ve noticed any of these problems. But yes, you may have been unlucky, and got side effects few users get. Tina x

Hi Tina, Well, I just hope that the doctors can figure out what exactly is wrong with me. I hate feeling this way, I feel so abnormal and inferior in a strange way. Also, Cetirizine not cause any side effects at all for you? Sarah. xx

Hi again,

I don’t think it’s causing me any side-effects, no. The only one that was of potential concern to me was drowsiness, as I’m already on a lot of other stuff for MS that list drowsiness as a possible side effect. I just wondered how many things that list drowsiness it’s OK to take at once, before I’m falling around drunk!

However, as you can see, it’s nearly 2 a.m, and here I am, wide awake, so I think we can conclude drowsiness is not a major issue with any of the drugs I’m on. None of them list it as inevitable - just something that could happen.

I’m tired all the time anyway, but my GP checked the records, and found I was reporting that before I took any drugs at all, so I honestly don’t feel anything I’m taking has contributed to the problem. I’m aware they can in some people, though.

My dad used to be very sensitive to antihistamines, and doze off on as little as half a tablet. They’ve never had that effect on me!

Tina

x