Other conditions with similar symptoms

Hi, I have been experiencing MS type symptoms for a couple of months and i’m waiting for my first neuro appointment at the moment. My body seems like it’s doing some really crazy stuff lately, but every time I check out a new symptom, I seem to come back to MS. I am reading on this ms other forums that there are many other conditions which present similar symptoms to MS, but I don’t seem to be able to find out what they might be.

Just to be clear: I am not looking to self-diagnose. I’m trying to very patiently wait for appointments with my GP, and each time I go with a ‘shopping list’ of new stuff that is going on (the latest being that I am walking as if I am wearing a nappy - widened gait, kind of a waddle due to leg muscle weakness - wtf!?!)

I just wondered if anyone could help with info about other possible causes of numbness (facial and arms, shoulders and fingers), twitches, neck pain, terrible fatigue, brain fog, clumsiness, pulsating nerves, itching and vertigo.

I really do appreciate any advice or info. I feel like i’m going a bit nuts!


I don’t know too much but some common things that can mimic MS symptoms are, ME/CFS, Lyme disease, some auto immune disorders, fibromyalgia. That’s a few but there are lots of others

hope that helps!


Also, Functional Neurological Disorder (see What Is FND - FND Hope International), some vitamin deficiencies: B12 particularly.

Basically the list goes on and on. You are more likely to not have MS than to have it.

But it’s a good idea to start writing a history of what has happened to you and when, a kind of timeline to take with you whenever you get your appointment with a neurologist. They’ll be interested in taking a verbal history of what’s been happening to you in the past as well as your current symptoms. S/he should then do a physical examination, reflexes, walking pattern (gait), balance, eye movements and many more tests.

If warranted, the neurologist will refer you for diagnostic tests, depending on what your physical exam shows up. Only then will you get some real answers. It’s not usually a short path to diagnosis, of MS or indeed anything else. So you are likely to be spending quite some time in the place we call ‘limbo’ (nothing to do with dancing).

Try to avoid random googling to find answers. If you want to research MS, use this site (see the tab marked About MS?) or the MS Trust for information.

Try to rest well, eat well, do whatever level of exercise you are capable of and keep as healthy as possible. I know that when you are suffering mysterious ailment the temptation is there to sit on the sofa watching films and box sets while eating chocolate, but you’ll do yourself no favours doing that (I have spent my time doing just that, I know what it’s like).

Best of luck, I hope your neurology appointment comes soon. Keep coming back to this site if you have questions, worries, fears, fellow feeling.


Hi Ellebee, My first post here. Don’t mean to hijack your thread but need to provide my own brief background… I have all the symptoms that you have described. I was finally diagnosed with ME 3 years ago after feeling exhausted most of the time for the best part of 20 years… I am currently having regular crashes, flare ups, relapses, what ever you want to call them… Stuck in the latest one for the last two weeks and having to drag myself through life at the moment… 2019 has been a terrible year so far, spent more in crash mode than out of it. My quality of life is severely diminished as a result and I am constantly frustrated by my crashes. I am struggling, but just about managing, to hold down a job and family. I’m not looking for sympathy, just an honest reflection of where I am. I have been questioning my ME diagnosis for sometime now… Basically you are only diagnosed with ME by having a chat with a “specialist”, there are no medical tests as such. There is also no cure or medication to help alleviate symptoms. With that in mind I conducted further research and discovered that I have the majority of MS symptoms (fully aware of cross overs with other illnesses and dangers associated with self diagnosis). I have therefore decided to speak to my GP and ask for a referral to a neurologist. Hopefully to rule out the possibility of having MS with thorough testing but you never know. In answer to your post, I would definitely ask your GP to explore the possibility of MS and hopefully rule it out. It might also be worth speaking to some folks on the forums associated with ME/CFS and fibromyalgia. Phoenix rising is a good forum! Wishing you all the best! Vaiders

Thank you all for the helpful advice. You’re right about googling symptoms, it generally just makes you panic even more, but I do find it useful to read about other people’s experiences as it’s much less isolating in the wait between appointment and results. Makes me feel less like i’m going completely bonkers and more like I should be insisting that the HP takes this seriously.

Thank you so much for the support x

to be honest M.E. fibro and MS are virtually the same symptoms. ME. though has post exertional malaise which is different as it just crashes you. fIBRO has 18 sensitive points on BOTH sides of the body. so they match.

in both : There should be no abnormalities in the neurological examination, although the reflexes are often quite brisk.

basically thats it the symptoms can match MS a lot. sometimes i am lost as to which forum i am in lol. as i have 2 daughters with fibro and one with fribro and M.E so try to help them where I can.

Neither have abnormalities when they have had neurological examinations and both sides of their body are affected.

Welcome to the forum Vaiders.

It sounds like you have the right idea, get a referral to neurology and see what they think. There are very many people suffering with misdiagnosis. People diagnosed with MS in error as well as with ME/CFS/fibromyalgia.

All the best


Thanks Ssssue,

It’s interesting how there can be so many similarities between the illnesses yet only a marker identified for MS. No one in the NHS suggested MS to me or offered any tests; despite me, on reflection, presenting blindingly obvious symptoms. Basically told to man up and rest more.

Do you think there is a call for all ME & Fibro patients to have the MS tests? What if they are all strains of the same thing? I’m probably just getting ahead of myself but there must have been some research? I guess the NHS would struggle with the sheer numbers involved so better for them to avoid…

I am going to book a blood test for EBV too. Again a common thread between MS, ME & Fibro. It’s seems that the most recent research is concentrating all its efforts into eliminating EBV… Don’t think the NHS do that test so I’ll have to do it privately. Not sure that it will help but another piece of the jigsaw perhaps…?

Just out of interest, how are the NHS generally with MS patients? I only ask because my experience of everything I’ve been through so far has been shocking!

Rant over…!

Nice to be onboard!


Tumour or other Cord compression, Stroke, Acute Disseminated EncephaloMyelitis (ADEM), Lyme disease, Sub-Acute Sclerosing Panencephalitis, Neurosyphilis, Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Cerebral Arteritis, Complicated Migraine, Diabetes, Hypothyroidism, Myasthenia Gravis, Acute Transverse Myelitis, Herpes Simplex Encephalitis, Polyarteritis nodosa, Sjogren syndrome, Behcet’s syndrome, Sarcoidosis, Paraneoplastic syndromes, neuromyelitis optica (Devic’s syndrome), HIV-associated myelopathy, Adrenomyeloneuropathy, other Myelopathy, Spinocerebellar syndromes, Hereditary Spastic Paraparesis, Guillian Barre Syndrome, Polymyositis, Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo, Parkinson’s Disease, Cerebral Haemorrhage, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Mononeuritis, Huntington’s Disease, Post-Infectious Encephalitis, Arteriovenous Malformations, Arachnoid Cysts, Arnold-Chiari Malformations, Cervical Spondylosis , many more. George

Hi vaiders, years back now i did a lot of research about M.E. I had never even heard of fibro to be honest thats say 15years ago now. what the hell was it?

M.E. well i did research it was classified in the 1969/70 as a mental health disorder mind you so was MS at one point lol.

The suddenly in the seventies M.E. was classed as a neurological disorder WHY? IT WAS classed by the WHO. I mean no one is saying WHY it was classed as a neurological disorder. This makes good reading about it.

I found an article a few years ago now where a team was wondering if M.E. was in actual fact a benign form of MS.

Now Fibromyalgia, jeez like i said i had never heard of it before. Yes i had heard of MS and M.E. but never fibro. YET it was discovered in the 1800.

Now nearly everyone i know has fibromyalgia, WHY? What on earth is going on. I mean its massive. I read also that lymes can have fibro with it, so are people with fibro actually having lymes as if you read the symptoms of lymes its like reading fibro lol.

something is going on without doubt. I rearly hear of people with M.E. now its all down to fibro. feel stiff and achey have muscle pain…you have fibromyalgia. I dont know anyone yet who has been diagnosed by a rheumatologist.

its just yes you have fibro take all these horrible drugs for it.

oops sorry its just close to me as i have 2 daughters both of them being diagnosed with fibro, and one with M.E. my husband was told he had fibro.

my daughters friends have fibro.

I had private blood tests through breakspeare clinic. they found i had a reactive EBV which was >95. I meant i had it at some point in my life, and instead of it only showing <5 which it should have been it was showing >95 and the doctor said to me it showed that there was something in my body stirring up my auto immune system.

the GP had all my blood test results and just dismissed them as usual.

i found the journey to diagnosis for MS quite an experience, one i would never want to go through again. x

this is my journey.

Hi Vaiders

(That Crazy Chick knows her stuff!)

Re the EBV, I’ve not had it, I only recently noticed that I was tested for the antibodies for it right at the start of being tested for MS (22 years ago) and was negative.

It’s only one of many factors which could cause a person to have MS, ME, CFS, etc. There are so many others, having the test isn’t necessarily going to take you that much further in your quest for a final appropriate diagnosis.

Best of luck.

(And have you seen the immense list George has written - he’s another one who’s been here a very long time, and knows his stuff!)


Hi Crazy Chick,

I read your blog with great interest. I am so sorry for everything that you have been through, especially the loss of your husband. Stay strong, you sound like a remarkable lady!

Big hugs


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Ellebee, thanks for your pm. The system won’t let me reply for some reason?!? I keep getting a failed response. Good luck with everything and keep in touch through your journey.