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MS or just random problems

Sorry for another could it be post!

For a number of years I’ve been having various symptoms that I’ve always put down to being caused by this that and the other. I only really started looking at MS when I had problems with eye pain late last year, but it seems to bring everything together. The symptoms I get all seem to come and go. Sometimes it might be days, sometimes weeks, and sometimes months.

I go through periods of poor balance and dizziness (since I was about 18). When I’ve been to the doctor they’ve done bloods and found I’m not anaemic but given me iron or folic acid anyway, and eventually the symptoms have gone.(though usually the tablets seem to make no difference).

I get problems with my urine whereby I often get severe urgency from no-where, which can then cause urge incontinence. Yet every time I go I seem to urinate a lot. It’s just like my bladder doesn’t bother telling me until it’s too late. Again this will come and go with episodes of being ok and episodes of it being really bad. I’m also pretty sure I have episodes of unknowingly leaking urine (especially over night).

Towards the end of last year I had about 3 months where I was getting regular episodes of severe eye pain. To the point of it making me feel sick, and almost going off work and college due to the pain. I also had a deterioration in my vision (which has now improved). I have keratoconus (rugby ball shaped eye) and thought it may be due to that, however, that is fine and my specialist thought it may have been caused by inflammation. Around this same time I was getting regular episodes of eye flickering.

I will have periods of extreme fatigue, where it just feels like my whole body is filled with lead and just moving takes enormous energy. No matter how much I sleep it doesn’t help, and I can easily sleep 12+ hours.

I’ve had problems with muscle stiffness in my back and shoulders where the muscles just will not relax and this can last for months causing a lot of pain. Massage made it worse and the chiropractor I saw said it’s like my muscles were in permanent spasm. I’ve also had episodes (although usually only short) of my lower back muscles physically spasming so much you can see/feel them moving.

I’ve had episodes of pain in my right shoulder, and down the arm to the hand where its like I can feel the nerve pathway. I’ve also had episodes of siatica type pain where I can again feel the nerve going across my bottom and down my leg. I’ve had episodes of pins and needles, numbness (more common), and one time where I couldn’t pick my right leg up properly to walk. It just kind of dragged.

These symptoms have largely started within my 20’s but some in my teens (I’m currently 28) and as I say they come and go. They all have other possible causes so I’m not sure whether it could be MS or that I’m just someone with various bits that don’t work properly. I’ve struggled to really decide whether it’s worth seeing my doctor as a possibility, so it would be interesting to know what people with more knowledge, and personal expertise, in the area think. I don’t want to bother my GP if it isn’t worth it.

Hello

You seem to have had a whole range of symptoms, coming and going for years.

I should think it’s worth seeing your GP and determining with the doctor whether, and to whom, you should be referred.

There’s no point in saying ‘is it MS?’ because there are so many symptoms associated with MS that are also symptomatic of other conditions. Although possibly the most likely outcome would be referral to a neurologist.

Before you see a GP, write down all of the symptoms about which you are concerned and which you are now tying together. Put some dates to the various symptoms, as best as you can remember, note when they began and roughly how long they lasted. Obviously indicate whether any symptoms have remained with you. Don’t go into too much detail, I’m suggesting this as a memory aid for you, not a great long list to hand to the doctor.

Best of luck.

Sue