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Scared about Multiple Sclerosis. Do genetics come into play?

Hi there- I’m scared at the moment as I’ve gradually been linking symptoms together worrying they are possible MS symptoms. Firstly, i’m 20 and my Mum has MS. She has remitting and relapsing and secondary progressive MS and was diagnosed in her late twenties. No other family members that I know of have MS although my grandad has fibromyalgia which may actually be MS? I’ve never really worried about developing MS until recently as my Mum always said it wasn’t genetic. Well I’ve read lots of posts on Internet forums about families in which several family members have got the disease. This then triggered my anxiety levels. I worry too much anyway and have an anxiety disorder but lately I’ve been having odd symptoms which is terrifying me. Well a few years back (when i was about 13)I had a blind spot in my eye that got bigger and lasted a couple of hours. It terrified me as I couldn’t see properly. I was sent to the opticians and they said it was a migraine with no headache. I didn’t believe them and never found out what it was. (I’m now thinking that that may of been my first symptom?) well lately I’ve been habig chronic headaches which is exactly what my mum had an still has now. I’ve also been having slight tremors and shooting pains all over my body. I’m terrified. Is this MS? The doctor is sending me for a CT scan and maybe an MRI. What if the MRI shows no lesions but I do actually have MS? I’m so scared. Is the blind spot a common first symptom? Are my sypmtoms MS symptoms? Also what’s the genetic facts? Am I more likely to develop MS? Also I’m pale and ginger so I’ve never has much exposure to sunlight. I’m also a female. I’m Worried I’m at a high risk

Sweetie stop… Take a deep breath. Before falling pregnant with my daughter I did alot of reading into how likely it would be for me to pass it to her and the chance is very unlikely. I would never of had children if I thought that there was a risk of her developing MS. There are chances of MS developing in families but it is just as likely that you might get run over by a bus. In my family it’s brain tumours. Four family members have had four different kinds of brain tumours… Migraines are horrible and my mum and I both suffer but she doesn’t have MS and no one else in my family has it either. You can have visual disturbances with a migraine and not get the headache. Go and have your scan and put your mind at rest. Good luck honey

I agree with lollypop. You have done the right thing in talking to the GP about your concerns rather than keeping them to yourself and losing sleep - there is nothing worse than that. I hope the process sets your mind at rest very soon.

If there is someone in the family with MS, all that does is raise the risk of getting it oneself from minute to tiny. Not worth worrying about. If you do want to quantify that to help set your mind at ease, you will find some information on the main part of this site - link below. The thing to remember is that the risk is too small to be worth wasting a single moment of sweet life worrying about.

http://www.mssociety.org.uk/what-is-ms/information-about-ms/causes

As lollypop says, migraines and headaches are horrible; migraines and headaches are also very common. MS is rare. Remember: common things are much more common than rare ones are. You are much more likely to have something common the matter than something rare. Sounds so obvious, I know, but it is so important and so easy to forget.

Alison

Have a look at http://www.mssociety.org.uk/what-is-ms/information-about-ms/causes might put your mind at rest

Try not to worry and make patterns that aren’t necessary I know thats easier said than done, but you’ll only drive yourself crazy

Good luck with scan and please don’t worry!

BeckyX

Hi

I tried to reply before but it hasn’t appeared so sorry if I’m posting twice, I tried sending you a link but actually it’s the same one Alison has already sent you!! Good thinking Alison I like your style!

Please try not to worry yourself too much, We find patterns in things that aren’t always there and in the process drive ourselves crazy.

Good luck with scan

Take care

BeckyX

I just don’t know what my symptoms are? I’ve got really bad pains all over my body and aching weak legs. I’ve been having chronic headaches and muscle tremors too. I don’t see what else this could be? I’ve seen loads of people on this forum saying that it has run in their family. There are a few posts saying that they and all their sisters and their mother had it. So it obviously isn’t THAT rare? Very scared. Don’t know how long it will take for the scan to come trough

You might also find this helpful:

http://www.mstrust.org.uk/research/updates/articles/update130703.jsp?utm_medium=email&utm_source=MS+Trust&utm_campaign=2785282_Research+Update+130703&utm_content=riskfactors&dm_i=157R,1NP4Y,9IYF43,5TCMB,1#item01

As others have said, deep breaths. As difficult as it is, try and remember that there are lot of things thst could be causing your symptoms other than MS.

Does your mum cope well with her ms? Try not to worry too much until you’ve had your tests but as you can see there are plenty of people here to help and give good advise.

I have MS - nobody in my family has any history of it. From things I have read it might be genetic - everything from the mother not getting enough sunlight in early pregnacy through to environmental - virus etc.

The truth is that no-body really knows why people get it. But if you do have it - and I hope you don’t - then remember that not everyone has the same symptons. If it was not for the neurologist telling me I might never know. I still exercise and I dance - I read lots - I enjoy shopping with friends and I can still be going strong when they give up.

BTW - I’m a pale and ginger female too - and nothing stops us!!!

I’m also pale & ginger too x

Do you think being pale and ginger makes you at a higher risk of developing MS? Due to less sun exposure?

It is a fact that Scotland and Northern Ireland have a higher incidence of MS than other places in the UK. I have seen some research that it might be the about of vitamin D the mother gets during pregancy that has a genetic effect on the foetus. I believe there is also a higher incidence of MS suffers being born in May and June so would therefore be in early developement during winter months.

Honestly I think there are so many factors involved and there are always exceptions to any finding that being pale & ginger does not mean to will get it but then being dark & from sunny places does not mean that you won’t. What I can tell you is that stressing about it will make you ill - whether you have MS or not. Worrying about it will not cure it, so I don’t worry about it - I’ll still fight it every step of the way thought.

I have m.s and my grandad had it. For this reason when diagnosed I met with the nurses and asked about the genetic fact as I had not long been married and we wanted children. I was told there is a genetic factor however this said it only increases the chance by 2% and in fact the chances of getting other diseases such as cancer, having an accident etc is much much higher. If I thought that there was a high chance my child would have it I would not have gone on to have my beautiful four year old boy. I also thought other things…such as treatments come on and if and its a big if he did end up having m.s then there may be advances in treatment etc and even a cure. Definitely not something that would make me think twice. I’m not sure if this answer has helped you but I am writing it positively. I have always been active and still am even with my daft left leg. Just slower and little limpy. I am also pale and ginger too. Although I have never hid from the sun and I have to say I read some info on vit d absorption and apparently red heads with pale skin actually absorb it faster. Hope you get some answers as if it s m.s and again that’s a big if its best to know so you can adapt as necessary and accept it and live your life hun. Xxx

Thank you so much for all your kind words and responses! I really appreciate it. I guess I just worry MS will ruin my life. I admire you all so much for being so positive. How do you do it? There seems to be a lot of gingers with MS! Weird?!

By the way guys, what were you first symptoms/warning signs and what age did they start?

Go to Page 5 and there is decent article on risk in the family. Try not to worry too much about something you have no control over and hopefully, the MRI results will be available soon.

http://www.mstrust.org.uk/downloads/open-door-1302.pdf

I don’t think the pale ginger bit explains much as I’m also both but was born and lived most of my life in a warmer climate and now at 43 I’ve just been diagnosed. I had loads of sunshine growing up though I can’t be described as tanned. X

Maybe that’s because we gingers are taking over the world :wink: honesty if it is it won’t ruin your life… You can’t let it because then it’s won. My first symptoms were pins and needles xxx

My 16 year old daughters first known symptom was when she was 15 and it’s only looking back that she now has her diagnosis that we realise it was a symptom was a numbness across her back then a couple of months later her left leg felt bigger and as if it did not belong to her, she says it felt longer than her right leg and that when she walked she felt as though it slapped onto the ground rather than her have control of it. She went to doc who diagnosed a trapped nerve. Then a couple of months after that, her left eye went blurry and her left arm went numb, she walked funny and walked into doors and staggered a bit. She also developed vertigo and sever vomiting and headache which led to M.R.I and lumber puncture which gave her her diagnosis. There must have been 5 different maybe things wrong with her before they got to M.S. but I think M.S. was at the top of the list they just had to discount the others as so many things mimic M.S. Try not to worry too much as stress leads to all sorts of physical symptoms and if you have a specific worry you may make things worse understandably. My other daughter felt sick today and as she walked out the kitchen she walked into the door, my heart jumped into my mouth as my first thought was “oh god, please not her too”. I have looked at the genetic links and realise my other daughters chances of having it are only marginally increased but I will try not to project my fears onto every ache or pain she has. It’s hard and it must be so hard for you to look at your mum and see the same symptoms in yourself and not come to the conclusion that you too have it. Hopefully the M.R.I. scan will show you are clear and maybe stress is causing your symptoms. Keep us posted please. Linda x