Re: Convinced I have MS
Hi Bayberry. Cute name. And, welcome to the boards.
Sorry to hear you are going thru all this. And really happy to hear that you have not only a Neuro appt, but insurance starting soon! Youll definately need it to get a dx...You said that the only way to get a MS dx, is with a MRI...yes and no. YES you definately need to start with a MRI of the brain and spine, with and without Contrast. What this will do is show if there are any lesions on the brain/ spine...and if they are active or not.
Not all lesions are MS. They can come from migranes, prior brain trauma, infection and other things...lesions, are basically scars which form and show up as spots on the films. The placement, shape and size of the lesions is what determines if they are MS lesions or not.
You might also need to have a host of blood work done. Things like Lymes disease, deficiencies in certain vitamins, Lupus, things like that, present much the same way as MS....so in order to dx MS, you have to rule those things out. You might also be asked to do a spinal tap, or Lumbar Puncture (LP). what this does, is show the doctor if Obands are present in your central spinal fluid- these are not definate for MS, but do indicate an autoimmune disease.
So, as you can see- there is no simple test for MS. You might want to read up on the McDonald criteria, which is what the doctors need, before diagnosing MS. I do hope you have a Neuro who is either a MS specailist, or at least has patients with MS...ask! Make sure the Neuro you see isnt a Parkinsons Specialist, or a Migrane specialist....those guys are not familiar with the different ways that MS can show up.
Because everyone with MS has different symtoms, they call it the snowflake disease. No two cases are exactly alike. Keep that in mind- especially if you start "comparing" symtoms....
And thats about it....unless you can think of something else? Welcome to the board...keep us posted...and congrats- at least you are on your way to getting answers.
RRMS- dx 05