Could this be MS?

I’d like to begin by saying thank you so much for taking your time reading this, it means the world to me. And I’m not asking for a diagnosis; just a view on if this might be MS, something else or nothing at all.

I am a 30 year old male, I have always been healthy expect for some allergy.

Also, my mother tongue is Swedish so I hope my English is not too bad.

It all began with a light/soft tingling in my left foot and blurred vision in July 2017.

This tingling (the “main” symptom) does not feel like when a body part is sleeping temporarily, for example if you’ve been sitting on your leg and interrupting the blood supply. No, my tingling is more vague and sometimes I hardly don’t feel it. It’s also never there when I walk, stand or move my leg, I only feel it when I’m sitting or laying down.

The blurred vision does not last for more than a half day at a time and it can pass weeks or months between the moments. I still get this nowadays and I also experience that my night vision is impaired. Not only when it’s pitch black but also when it’s gloomily or dusk.

This tingling (and the blurred vision) was the only symptom from July to October, when more symptoms started. I’ll list them below:

  • Excessive sweating - Initially only at night and only from hands, feet, back and inner thighs. Now I’m only sweating from my armpits and sometimes hands, but it can be during daytime as well.
  • Goose bumps, chills and ague - often sudden attacks that usually only last for a few minutes at a time at most, but they can come and go a whole day.
  • Muscle cramps - only in my calves and only at night, not more than three times totally since October.
  • Muscle twitches - first noticed in summer 2017 when a part of my muscle on my left thigh twitched. It ceased the same day. The next period of muscle twitching was in October, now more widespread and lasted for a week before ceasing. Next period began in November and lasted until early January with widespread both small and more powerful twitches. Since then I have only had occasional twitches and now I’d say thay have ceased. I’ve had twitches in almost every muscle you can think of. My tounge twitches occassionaly when I stick it out. Not combined with weakness or atrophy anywhere.
  • Shaking/tremor - only in my hands or fingers, sometimes after I’ve tested my strength (for signs of weakness) but also for no reason. My hand has shaken when I’m drinking out of a glass or holding a spoon. My thumb has shaken when typing a text message on the phone.
  • Strange or heavy feeling in my left leg - occasional strange feeling in my left leg that changes from day to day. It’s very hard to describe it, but it’s like it’s more heavy and stiff compared to your right leg. A few times it has felt like this in my left arm and my jaw. I have never had any actual problems moving the at the moment affected limb.
  • Cold hands and feet.
  • An overwhelming tiredness - especially in the afternoon when driving home or reading a book. When reading, I have needed to go back and read the last few pages again because I’ve not registered what I’ve been reading.
  • A feeling of my muscles getting tired more easily and faster than usual, and also developing lactic acid faster than I’m used to.
  • When holding really heavy objects in my hand straight out from my body, my arms has began shaking and later on almost buckle when I’ve pushed myself to hold it up.
  • When lifting frying pans and pots, my muscles have tired more quickly than before and sometimes my wrists has buckled.
  • When walking after riding my bicycle up a long and steep hill, my legs has felt both stiff and sloppy at the same and my walk has been like jerky for a few minutes.
  • Feeling of dizziness - when sitting in a chair or just standing up I have felt how I’m being drawn backwards and how everything should diminish, but my vision has not been effected.
  • Sudden loud sounds in my ears that only lasts for like 10 seconds.
  • Difficulties using a keyboard - very hard to describe. Usually I use a keyboard without looking at it, but at work I have been experiencing sudden moments when I misspell everything if I don’t look at the keyboard when writing. No other clumsiness has occurred during these moments.
  • Pain - in different parts of my body and often confined, like on one spot on my arm before ceasing and moving to the same spot on the other arm. I’ve also had pain on one side of my hip, in my right knee and the lower back. It’s no pain in joints but more like when you touch a bruise, except there is no bruise.
  • Sudden need to visit the bathroom to pee - this was prominent from November to January of 2017, when it ceased. Now since April it’s back again, but not as frequent as last time and for example I can have this in the morning but not in the afternoon, or the other way around.
  • A feeling of being breathless for no apparent reason.
    ​* Premature ejaculation since at least the beginning of this year.
  • Cough - around New Years Eve 2017 I developed a cough, a hard cough that caused pain in my throat. Much like a cough you have when you’re having a cold. That did not bother me so much at first. The hard and pain-causing cough went away after a week or so, but it got replaced by a strong need to always clear my throat. This continued for about two months, when I told myself it was only psychological and that I should try to stop it to give my throat some rest. It has been hard but I do hardly not clear my throat at all anymore. I still get the need to cough sometimes and then it’s a more wet cough with some saliva coming up.

In October, I went to a general practitioner at the local health centre. We discussed my symptoms and they ran some blood tests which all were fine. I had hoped they would find something on my thyroid, since that could explain a lot of my symptoms. So, after this visit I actually got more worried.

Now, in February I wen’t to a resident physician at a neurological unit at the local hospital. He conducted a neurological exam on me. He had me walk on heels and toes, he tested balance, coordination, strength, reflexes, muscle tonus, vision and field of view, sensation, hearing, Babinski and he also checked my face and tongue. After the exam he told me that everything looked fine. Except for some slightly increased tonus in my arms and legs, but he referred that to stress and anxiety. He also discussed the result with a neurologist at the hospital, and came back to me after a few weeks again saying that they did not find anything that indicates something neurological wrong with me.

I was relieved, but it still bothers and worries me why I have all those symptoms.

Today, I feel as I did during the time of the exam. But, regarding the cough and my need to clear my throat. Sometime when I eat for example crispbread, I can get a itchy feeling of crisps getting stuck in my throat for some time afterwards. Also, when I drink water I can feel how I need to swallow more than once to get it down. Occasionally, I can get the feeling of a sore throat and a lump in my throat, sometimes combined with some light pain or ache in the throat.

One morning last week I woke up with a really raspy and hoarse voice, which made me panic. The day before I had no trouble at all. Anyway, I got up, drank some water and started talking and after just a few minutes I had no hoarse voice any longer. I was a bit raspy a little longer, but that also disappeared. I have sometimes wondered if my voice doesn’t sound different, but no one around me has never made any comments about me being hoarse or raspy.

Again, thanks for reading!


(By the way, your English is fine.)

You have a long list of symptoms, the problem is that some of these might be connected and other not.

What might be really helpful is to start keeping a diary, so you can record when symptoms begin, how long they last, whether things improve or remain with you.

With regard to your neurological exam, it certainly sounds like they’ve ruled a neurological cause for all these symptoms out. But if they continue over the next few months, you might need to ask for another referral / appointment to go through what could be causing all these problems. That will be the point where you need to be clear about how long things have affected you, their duration and severity. Perhaps at that point, if you are still suffering, you could be asking directly for an MRI, just in case there’s anything to be seen on scan.

Best of luck.



Thanks for your reply.

I have also been thinking about some symptoms maybe being related (maybe due to something neurological) and the other symptoms is due to stress and anxiety. I am a hypochondriac, I do easily worry and I tend to diagnose myself.

Thanks for the idea of keeping a diary. I actually did that before the visit to the doctor in February, and I gave it to the doctor to read after my visit.

When I went to the doctor in February I was convinced I had ALS. So when the doctor told me that they did not find anything wrong with me I couldn’t believe it, the doctor even said “You don’t seem happy to hear that”. It was so unreal. In my mind I’m still sometimes convinced that it’s something neurological, since my blood tests where fine and nothing seems to be wrong with the thyroid either. It’s so hard to believe that everything is just stress and anxiety. But on the other hand, if it really would be something neurological I trust the doctor when he say that at least something would have been wrong or different in the neurological exam. So I’m perplexed.

Anyway, do you know if the way to diagnose MS vs ALS differ? Is it correct to say that for diagnosing ALS they use neurological exam, EMG and spinal tap while they use MRI for diagnosing MS?

What was your first symptoms?

/ David