Very nervous, looking for advice please

Hello and thank you in advance to anyone who may offer advice to me. I had an MRI for something unrelated to MS a few months ago and they happened to find some brain lesions. I had no symptoms of numbness, losing feeling or any vision problems so the MS specialist I saw wanted to have a wait and see approach and redo the MRI at a later date.

The doctor wasn’t prepared to diagnose me as having MS. I broached the possibility if the lesions were from bad reactions from paints, as being a painter I’ve had reactions like brain fog, lethargy, and what felt like possible inflammation of my head from paints. I’ve had issues with bad inflammation in my body causing injuries. Also have psoriasis and healed from psoriatic arthritis. Just to give an overview of my body. Him and another neurologist didn’t think the lesions could be caused by strong paints.

Since the MRI, which I had a bad reaction to the contrast(caused me severe lethargy and headaches for days), I have since developed chemical sensitivities. I was getting more stronger reactions to paints and other everyday chemicals now. Causing lethargy, fatigue and brain fog.

I did some work outside on a home, used a mild chemical(sodium percarbonate/ basically oxyclean) to clean mold in the sun. When I got home to wash my face my left eyebrow was numb. Next day I experienced lethargy, brain fog and was thinking clearly for a bit. The numbness went to the forehead above left eyebrow. I saw a general doctor because I was nervous about it being an immediate problem, that he ruled out. Recommended I see the neurologist as soon as I can. The past couple days

I’ve done my best to try and not work out in the sun(as I know heat can cause problems for MS sufferers). But the numbness has gradually gotten worse. The brain fog only last the first day but I’ve had weird situations like the top/ back of my head feeling numb in my brain. I’m just worried about the possible multiple sclerosis, yes. But worried if it might be the aggressive type. It’s a bad time for me as I cannot take off work to rest. And I’m worried if I am doing more damage.

I don’t know if there is any little everyday things to help not make it worse. Maybe knowledgeable people can offer tips. And if getting numb in areas of the face is common for people with MS. My sister has MS and I am actually working on her house and I haven’t told her because I don’t want her to worry or stress. As I know stress can be a trigger and I don’t want her’s to become worse. I might have to talk to her because I need advice, hopefully people may help me here. Thank you.

Hi and welcome to the club you may not need to join, hopefully!

I don’t have ms myself, but was wrongly diagnosed with it for 10 years…hence my lurking around the forum!

The thing you mention about working in the sun making ms worse…I think that would be the heat factor and fatigue.

Thermometers fail to work in ms, so heat and cold can both bring on difficulties.

Neuros tend not to rush ms diagnoses, as mistakes can be made…me for eg!!

The best advice I can offer us to say to pace your activities and try to get good quality rest when you can.

Hopefully you will get more replies soon.


Have you got a follow up appointment with the neuro?

Thank you for your encouraging words. No, I don’t have a follow up just yet. It felt good just to make this thread and vent a little. Just been bottling this up for months about brain lesions, and now with the face numbness. Just don’t want people around me to worry about it. It is what it is, and it may become whatever it may become. It is nowhere near what people with MS have to suffer with on a daily basis, and the countless other people with major disabilities. So I need to suck it up and just see what happens, and we’ll see what time brings. I am very busy at work during the day so it helps keep my mind off it.


I found your post interesting regarding the paint situation. I became unwell about 5 years ago with severe fatigue, giddiness, brain fog, headaches and numb and burning patches. Initially I totally blamed where I work due to paint fumes, lack of fresh air and a good dose of stress thrown in. I had an MRI and was found to have 3 specific lesions relating to MS. After further tests including LP which were negative I was told it probably isn’t MS but if it was its mild. I had another MRI a couple of years later which showed no change and was told I don’t have active MS. ?? I asked about the paints and if they could be to blame but was told that it was highly unlikely. I’ve since found out the paint contains toluene which can affect the CNS and it makes me high in a bad way with evil headaches and fuzzy head which lasts for days. The paint doesn’t seem to affect anyone else in the factory. I have since diagnosed with fibromyalgia and I also have raynauds syndrome and Gilbert’s syndrome. I have always wondered about the later as I am more susceptible to toxins etc and I’m not supposed to drink alcohol even.

I know need to stop worrying and look out and look after myself better but when I get this blank brain it’s very difficult and frustrating. I hope you get some answers real soon as it’s worrying if you think you could be harming yourself unintentionally and to find out what it is you’re dealing with x

Hi, That is interesting. Did you only get symptoms after being around the paint fumes at your work? It sounds like you are around where they use factory finishes. Usually I think they use very strong solvent types of paint for that. Solvent types of paint definitely cause CNS problems. But even latex paints can. I usually only use latex, but many will cause me brain fog, lethargy/fatigue, sickly feelings. I found only a couple paints that I could use everyday without a respirator. I would recommend a respirator with a Multi Purpose cartridge filter, one from 3M brand is good. If you wear that when you are around the fumes it will protect you. If it’s feasible to wear that, hopefully you are not around the fumes every day and only need to wear it occasionally. Do you have reactions to other chemicals, like household cleaners or maybe pesticides? I’m sensitive to many things like that. The day before the numbness started on my face I was cleaning a lot with rubbing alcohol, so I had that in my system. Not sure if related though. I fully believe that paint fumes can cause CNS problems. Now if they can cause actual brain lesions I don’t know. I don’t think a lot of doctors put much weight in the dangers of paint fumes. I was reading a link today I’ll leave for you. It talks about multiple chemical sensitivity and the effects the chemicals can have on the brain. I thought it was interesting. A little dry, with lots of talk about different studies, so maybe check it out when well rested: Possible Mechanisms for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: The Limbic System and Others - Multiple Chemical Sensitivities - NCBI Bookshelf I had gotten a tip from a sufferer of multiple chemical sensitivity to try activated charcoal pills to clear toxins out of the system and it worked for me a handful of times. Really helped me feel better. It binds to toxins in the stomach and leaves you. Bu it hasn’t helped with what I am dealing with now, so I’m thinking it is something else for me. I will try it again and a hot bath with natural salt(sweat pulls out toxins as well).


thank you for your reply. Luckily I don’t have to suffer the paint fumes the whole time as its in an extracted area, but it sometimes gets blown in my direction by outside ventilation. What doesn’t help is the fact the paint is being heated with heat guns. I worry because I actually get high so it must be getting to my brain.

Im not sure if symptoms I have are just from the paint but I know it doesn’t help I remember years ago having problems in east Berlin with the old car fumes as I would get horrendous headaches but this only seemed to affect me

Thanks for tip about the charcoal tablets I shall give them a try


Try the activated charcoal pills on at a time when you are feeling what you think may be symptoms from paints/ chemicals. They recommend taking them on an an hr or two before / after eating or taking vitamins.

If you really feel bad in the moments after smelling the heated paint(I agree that makes it worse), then maybe think about a possible respirator. I have noticed that when I am on the highway that I will feel worse afterwards, so I think car fumes plays a part for me.

My numbness is getting a little worse and my brain feels like it is swollen. I think I will have to change careers and stop painting, I don’t know what I will do.

I don’t know if it is the chemical sensitivity possibly causing my crazy brain inflammation and lesions, if they can even treat that. How do you would they that, to try and shrink brains lesions if they are not caused by MS? I almost am hoping that I do have MS so it is treatable.

Did anyone see an article in the mail on line the other day about exposure to aluminium and MS as it also mentioned paints. Research was released in July about chemicals in paint and varnish may increase people’s risk of developing MS. I am so certain that it’s the paint fumes that have caused my problems whether it has anything to do with ms or not.

Hi. have just had a similiar MRI result from a GP and I was totally unprepared for it!!

I thought we were dealing with an old head injury a trapped nerve or me being neurotic. I had a very strange sensation of having cold water tipped down by left side and then that subsided

Hearing I had lesions -was so worrying, it makes things very real and then fear and obsessive self diagnosis take over don’t they? I think if you chose to tell her your sister could cope she may be someone who knows best what you are thinking and feeling. I admit I didn’t deal with it very nobly or bravely and broke down in front of my parent.

I cant say don’t worry, but I can say you aren’t alone, we both have more to find out first.

Take care