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Old 08-30-2008, 08:31 PM   #1
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Question hypochondriac with MS in the family..

Hello.
This is going to be a very long post, but please bear with me, any assistance is greatly appreciated.

Both my mother and my maternal grandmother have/had MS. I have always been a little scared that I, too, would develop it, and lately, my fears have been increasing.

I am 26 years old, and lately I have lost a lot of feeling in my right big toe. In addition, my limbs, especially my right leg below the knee, and both arms, along the side and up to the pinky have been falling asleep very badly. It's mostly when they are in odd positions but sometimes out of nowhere too.

I have also been having a lot of foot pain, and cramping in my feet and my right calf.

I've also been having a lot of bad vertigo and nausea.

Something just really doesn't feel right, and I'm starting to get scared. I talked to my doctor, and after doing some basic testing of my reflexes and stuff, he said he didn't think I had MS. He thought that it was an issue with my inner ear. I'm genuinely feeling these symptoms though, and they're really scaring me.

I don't know what to do, if I should go to another doctor, or if there are other things that I'm ruling out, or if it's just my nerves getting the best of me.

Anyway, at this point, just someone to talk to would be nice.

Thank you.

I told my doctor about my concerns a little bit, and he told me

 
Old 08-31-2008, 06:33 AM   #2
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Re: hypochondriac with MS in the family..

Hi, Cranky. I think it would be great if you could get an MRI, even if it's just one of the brain. Even though I've seen plenty of people come to be dxed with MS having something like just a numb toe, I can understand why a PCP/GP might be somewhat dismissive, especially if your reflexes and other parts of the exam are okay. However, with what you're experiencing and knowing the history of MS in your family, I think that an MRI would be warranted. At the very least, it may serve to your mind at ease and also be used as a baseline should something else show up down the line. As I'm sure you know, having MS in the family does not at all guarantee that you will get it but the risk is slightly higher than a "normal" person. I hope getting one will also help to alleviate the stress and worry you're feeling -- in general, stress is a great playground for disease!

Good luck, Cranky, and please keep us posted.
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Old 08-31-2008, 10:09 PM   #3
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Re: hypochondriac with MS in the family..

Hi Cranky, We understand your fear, and i don't blame you. Especially when its in your family. But that doesn't always mean you or another member will have it too just like Bearygood said.
I went to my doctor because of a numb foot before i got my dx. Definitely see a Neuro and start there. I'm sure he/she will order the MRI for you. Good luck.

 
Old 09-01-2008, 11:07 AM   #4
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Re: hypochondriac with MS in the family..

Thanks everyone. I really appreciate the support here. If anything, this might be a good place for me to visit just in general considering MS has already affected me in many ways.

One thing I would like to be more clear on is how genetics actually plays into MS, I've done a bit of reading, but it's really all over the place.

 
Old 09-01-2008, 04:46 PM   #5
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Re: hypochondriac with MS in the family..

genetics do not play a place in MS...however there are stuidies being done which suggest that having a predisposed gene for ANY autoimmune disorder might be a very valid concern.
The question is, if they can identify that gene, and know that someone has a predisposed chance at developing a autoimmune disease, what will they do?

There is less than a 3% chance of passing along MS from what I have been told- and very few people are in your situation, where they see it run in the family...
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Old 09-01-2008, 04:58 PM   #6
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Re: hypochondriac with MS in the family..

This is unforrtunately not the case. While MS is not considered to be hereditary there is thought to be a genetic component -- if not in all, in at least some cases (if you subscribe to the theory that more than one thing might cause MS). In terms of running in families, it absolutely happens -- I've seen it on several occasions. While there is no way of telling if this is "the" accurate statistic, the NMSS has the risk as 1 in 40 if you have a parent with MS as opposed to 1 in 750.

Cranky, I would just say that it is reason to be watched more closely and taken more seriously if sx present.
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Last edited by Bearygood; 09-01-2008 at 05:00 PM.

 
Old 09-01-2008, 05:03 PM   #7
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Re: hypochondriac with MS in the family..

Sorry, here is a more accurate quote:

"The average person in the United States has about one chance in 750 of developing MS. But relatives of people with MS, such as children, siblings or
non-identical twins, have a higher chanceóranging from one in 100 to
one in 40. The identical twin of someone with MS, who shares all the same genes, has a one in three chance of developing the disease."
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Old 09-01-2008, 05:42 PM   #8
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Re: hypochondriac with MS in the family..

Cranky I have also read what bearygood has posted and I believe this to be true ,I have also read there is more chance if the parent with ms is a female I heard this from my ms specialist. Don't panic it may not be , wait and see a neuro but I would go and see if you can get an mri.While chasing my dx because of the fact that it has run in my family they were a lot more dismissive of me I hope you don't find the same. So many people that I have spoken too have said they have it in their family. My father had it his sister, now her daughter and now me. But if you have it in your family you would also know that their are many levels of ms if you can call it that. Everybody is different so keep your chin up don't panic and get an mri.
Chin up
Michele

 
Old 09-01-2008, 06:34 PM   #9
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Re: hypochondriac with MS in the family..

Michele, it's interesting. I've actually read statistics that state that the risk is higher coming from the paternal side. However, just solely in terms of antecdotal observations, I've seen many more incidents from the maternal side.
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Old 09-01-2008, 06:48 PM   #10
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Re: hypochondriac with MS in the family..

In my case its from my dad but it more often from mother so the ms specialist said,and I also read in a book by professor George Jelinek that now my brothers have an extra increased risk due to the fact that I have it.The book I am sure you have heard of Taking Control of Multiple Sclerosis Natural and Medical Therapies to Prevent its Progression .A great read if you have not already read it. He is a Professor o f Emergency Medicine he has MS and his Mother also had Ms.
Michele

 
Old 09-01-2008, 06:52 PM   #11
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Re: hypochondriac with MS in the family..

So interesting how the stats and opinions can vary depending on the source, isn't it?

I know all about the book but have never seen it. Thanks for the reminder! This is one I'd like to read -- I've heard so many good things about it!
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Old 09-01-2008, 07:09 PM   #12
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Re: hypochondriac with MS in the family..

Just come back to claify I am not saying you inherit ms but that you inherit the susceptibility to the disease and your odds change according to who has it in your family etc. I got the book on line from amazon us.
Michele

Last edited by zadie; 09-01-2008 at 07:09 PM.

 
Old 09-02-2008, 06:51 PM   #13
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Re: Hypochondriac with MS in the family..

If you have a family history of MS and you have symptoms that concern you, than insist that your doctor order an MRI of your head to see if you have any lesions. You might also want to consult a neurologist who specializes in MS. There are specific test that must be done so that an MS diagnosis is not missed.

 
Old 09-06-2008, 12:55 PM   #14
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Re: hypochondriac with MS in the family..

hey thank you all for posting in this thread. i haven't been online for a few days so i was unable to check. i have heard so many theories regarding the genetics of ms and it's nice to hear this discussion.

i'm definitely scared, as my mother's health has seriously declined and she has been in assisted living for about ten years. my grandmother, however, walked briskly through shopping malls until liver cancer took her life.

and yes, i'm a bit worried about how doctor's will react to my concerns. being that i am somewhat of a hypochondriac, i have become the girl who cries "wolf".

 
Old 09-06-2008, 01:42 PM   #15
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Re: hypochondriac with MS in the family..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crankyrobot View Post
hey thank you all for posting in this thread. i haven't been online for a few days so i was unable to check. i have heard so many theories regarding the genetics of ms and it's nice to hear this discussion.

i'm definitely scared, as my mother's health has seriously declined and she has been in assisted living for about ten years. my grandmother, however, walked briskly through shopping malls until liver cancer took her life.

and yes, i'm a bit worried about how doctor's will react to my concerns. being that i am somewhat of a hypochondriac, i have become the girl who cries "wolf".
It's very hard not to be a hypochondriac while in limbo and wondering why your body is doing odd things. You aren't alone in this one

Due to family history, yes MS is on your radar, but that certainly does not mean that you too will develop MS. Also as you've seen from your grandmother and mother, the disease courses are completely unique in each individual. So, with that said, even if you did get diagnosed with MS, your disease course may be completely different than that of your grandmother or mother.

As you're having some types of neurological symptoms, I would strongly urge you to visit a neurologist and request an MRI with and without contrast, of the brain, optic nerve and spine. If your mother has a neurologist, perhaps you could contact them and discuss this further and your concerns? MRI is the starting point for investigation. Best to get on that right away to see if anything is happening.

Good luck, and be assured that there is a lot of support for you here .
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