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    Old 03-25-2013, 04:05 PM   #1
    rainbowfountain
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    What really defines MS symptoms?

    I'm worried I have the early signs of MS, that said, google any symptom and you'll be told you're dying when it's likely you only have a cold.

    So I wanted to ask people who know...

    What really are the early symptoms?

    Everywhere I've looked is very vague, it says things like tingling, numbness, or weakness in the limbs.

    But what is that?

    Are we talking mild numbness/pins and needles that instantly vanishes when you move your arm/leg from its offending position?

    And what about weakness? Are we talking weakness as in when you've pulled a muscle or are recovering the day after lifting something heavy, and your arms still function perfectly well but feel a bit weak and heavy?

    And how often? Is it normal to get mild pins and needles, fairly quickly, every time you cross your legs, kneel, rest on your arm etc.


    If you can't tell, I've recently started to develop these very mild symptoms, but frequently. Whereas in the past I can probably recall the 3 or 4 times in my childhood I ever had proper pins and needles, it was that rare.


    I have astigmatism in my left eye, have had for 3 years, don't require glasses as my right eye compensates, and it's not getting any worse.

    So, thoughts? Am I being a hypochondriac? Or is it time to visit the doctors? If not, any alternative theories?

     
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    Old 03-25-2013, 05:47 PM   #2
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    Re: What really defines MS symptoms?

    Hi there.I do NOT want to call you a hyperchondriac as I do not know your history with thinking you have illnesses...but let me first say, that looking up symptoms is the absolute worst thing you can do for any health issue....

    None of what is on the Internet is monitored...therefore, alot of the info you are seeing is fallacy, not fact- and outdated...when you look up tingling, youll find MS at the top of the list, simply because its the most looked up disease...however, not all MSers have tingling.

    I do, and no- it is not temporary until you move your legs or uncross them..its chronic. MS is a disease of the central nervous system and when a nerve is attacked or damaged, it doesnt regenerate, therefore the type of numbness and tingling that a MSer has, is usually permanent. Ive lived with no left hand usage for over 8 years now....it will not get better and Ive retrained my brain to do things that I cannot feel.....just because for so many years I knew how to type, play piano, etc...I can still do those things, but I can also stick my hand in a 450 degree oven and burn it without feeling the heat....

    You asked about early MS symptoms. MS is a snowflake disease. No two patients have the same onset symtoms or the same set of symptoms- no two cases are alike...therefore there really is no "normal' Some of the more common symtoms are optical neuritis, which doesnt affect every MSer, but many a times, it is an onset symptom. Astigmatism is not Optical Neuritis...Optical Neuritis, or ON as its called, is inflammation of the optic nerve...the central nervous system affects the brain, spine and eyes...

    MS symptoms are not mild. They do not come and go....they are chronic and due to an attack on a nerve. What may start as off and on, rapidly becomes more on than off......balance is affected, many people are affected by the heat- from hot and humid days to hot baths and showers, many MSers cannot tolerate changes in body temperature...for some, the cold is just as bad. Most MSers complain that they feel disconnected- cognitive issues...memory can be affected, or even the ability to run or walk a straight line...many neurological tests are similar to a drunk driving test, following a finger while it moves with your eyes, walking heel to toe- these are things that only a neurologist can give and tell if they are abnormal.

    if you seriously think you want to rule it out- there are many tests which have to be done. There is no ONE test for MS...no blood work picks it up- usually a MRI of the brain and Cspine is first...EMGs (nerve conduction tests) and EEEGs (testing the response of brain waves) are all done..and to get a diagnosis, you have to rule out everything else first.

    MS presents like 400 other diseases. Therefore, the chances of actually having MS based on symptoms, is only 1:400.....every other disease from Lupus, to Lymes, to certain vitamin deficiencies, all present the same way, but these all have tests which can confirm or rule them out..

    You need to see a MS specialist, not a regular Neuro, if you truly think you want to be tested for MS, but based on your description of symptoms, I would say your chances are very low. Instead, I would see your GP, ask for a complete blood panel, including vitamin levels- and see if maybe your vitamin D levels are low..this presents similarly. Good luck! Its not fun knowing something is wrong and not knowing what it is.....but remember, MS is progressive and has no cure- it doesnt come and go.....

    Nikki
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    Old 03-25-2013, 08:49 PM   #3
    MSJayhawk
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    Re: What really defines MS symptoms?

    rainbowfountain,

    Welcome. I do not feel that your symptoms would indicate MS. As Nikki has told you, an MS Specialist would be the doctor to be able to settle the question of MS. As you are in the UK, I would suggest you visit the UK MS Society's website or inquire at their local office. They have information which is more reliable than trying to search the internet and getting conflicting information. They can also help point you to an MS Specialist. Your family doctor or GP can run tests which will identify any non-neurological problems.

    If your problems are real to you, you need not feel like a hypochondriac. Many patients have avoided seeing doctors out of fear of being seen as hypochondriac.
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    Old 03-26-2013, 02:26 AM   #4
    rainbowfountain
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    Re: What really defines MS symptoms?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MSJayhawk View Post
    rainbowfountain,

    Welcome. I do not feel that your symptoms would indicate MS. As Nikki has told you, an MS Specialist would be the doctor to be able to settle the question of MS. As you are in the UK, I would suggest you visit the UK MS Society's website or inquire at their local office. They have information which is more reliable than trying to search the internet and getting conflicting information. They can also help point you to an MS Specialist. Your family doctor or GP can run tests which will identify any non-neurological problems.

    If your problems are real to you, you need not feel like a hypochondriac. Many patients have avoided seeing doctors out of fear of being seen as hypochondriac.

    So even in the earliest stages of symptoms they're server enough to cause alarm? Rather than a bit of a nuisance?

    I guess I am a bit of a hypochondriac, as a child I had a twitch/tic and had MRI scans, the works, all came back fine. I've also had pain in my left side (like a dull ache) especially in my leg, since I was very young. Not constantly, usually just a night, it was originally diagnosed as growing pains, but I continued to get it into my late teens. I'm 23 now, and only get it very rarely.

    I went to the opticians last week, my astigmatism is no worse, and he did a full eye examination, so definitely no ON.

    I don't think I have MS, the increase in pins and needles is unfortunate, but I know there's a possibility I have nerve damage from having shingles last year, so maybe that's the culprit.

    I shouldn't have a vitamin deficiency, I've been on multi-vitamins pills, mostly centred around increased vitamin D and D3, for 3 months now.

    Thanks for your help guys.

     
    Old 03-26-2013, 03:04 AM   #5
    MSNik
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    Re: What really defines MS symptoms?

    First of all, if you had Shingles, thats a very strong possibility as to why you are having nerve pain....you need to visit that doctor again and get that checked. There are drugs which will help if you wish to explore that.

    Second, just because you take a multivitamin, doesnt mean you do not have a vitamin deficiency. And if you DO have one, taking a multivitamin for 3 months, or even a year, will not fix it. Vitamin deficiencies require much more than the standard multivitamin of levels in order to increase them...however, taking more than the recomended dose, if you DO NOT have a deficiency can be dangerous...so this is something that absolutely needs to be done under a doctors advice, and with blood work, regularly.

    No, MS isnt something you need to worry about. If you had MS, you would have listed a multitude of symptoms which are severe- and you would have either been hospitalized or have at least been bed bound and sick enough to require a visit to your doctor by now. No one who has MS has it "so minor" that it comes and goes...even in the beginning. MOST people who have MS do not realize they have it (and live with it for years and years) until the first symptom attacks...and when it happens, its something that WILL take you to an Emergency Room or at the very least to a doctors office... you can let this one go.

    But since you now tell us you had shingles (youre extremely young to have shingles) you definately should follow up with the doctor who treated it for nerve damage.....this is something you dont have to live with....drugs such as Lyrica or Gabapentin, can help that sort of tingling...

    Feel better soon.
    Nikki
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    Old 03-26-2013, 03:14 AM   #6
    rainbowfountain
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    Re: What really defines MS symptoms?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MSNik View Post
    First of all, if you had Shingles, thats a very strong possibility as to why you are having nerve pain....you need to visit that doctor again and get that checked. There are drugs which will help if you wish to explore that.

    Second, just because you take a multivitamin, doesnt mean you do not have a vitamin deficiency. And if you DO have one, taking a multivitamin for 3 months, or even a year, will not fix it. Vitamin deficiencies require much more than the standard multivitamin of levels in order to increase them...however, taking more than the recomended dose, if you DO NOT have a deficiency can be dangerous...so this is something that absolutely needs to be done under a doctors advice, and with blood work, regularly.

    No, MS isnt something you need to worry about. If you had MS, you would have listed a multitude of symptoms which are severe- and you would have either been hospitalized or have at least been bed bound and sick enough to require a visit to your doctor by now. No one who has MS has it "so minor" that it comes and goes...even in the beginning. MOST people who have MS do not realize they have it (and live with it for years and years) until the first symptom attacks...and when it happens, its something that WILL take you to an Emergency Room or at the very least to a doctors office... you can let this one go.

    But since you now tell us you had shingles (youre extremely young to have shingles) you definately should follow up with the doctor who treated it for nerve damage.....this is something you dont have to live with....drugs such as Lyrica or Gabapentin, can help that sort of tingling...

    Feel better soon.
    Nikki
    Last year I went to a GUM clinic because I thought I might have a herpes rash on my thigh, however the symptoms weren't severe enough for a primary attack of herpes, and I was single at the time. The doc did the tests, came back negative, and she diagnosed stress induced shingles instead. It happened during the time of my final year exams at university, I've never been so run down in my life.

    One year on and the rash hasn't come back, just get the odd twinge for a moment or two, every now and again, but it's certainly not frequent or troublesome. I was treated with Acyclovir at the time, but I don't think I need meds now.

    Last edited by rainbowfountain; 03-26-2013 at 03:16 AM.

     
    Old 03-26-2013, 05:52 AM   #7
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    Re: What really defines MS symptoms?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rainbowfountain View Post
    So even in the earliest stages of symptoms they're server enough to cause alarm? Rather than a bit of a nuisance?

    I shouldn't have a vitamin deficiency, I've been on multi-vitamins pills, mostly centred around increased vitamin D and D3, for 3 months now.

    Thanks for your help guys.
    I think Nikki has answered other questions.

    If you are observant, you can find early symptoms for many different diseases (if you are affected) which can allow for early intervention. You should not obsess over everything, however, because this causes stress and anxiety which can , on their own, mimic MS.

    Multivitamins are fine, but you need to be cautious regarding taking D and D3 both. You can take too much vitamin D which can cause a toxic buildup and do you harm. If your doctor has tested your D levels and found them deficient or low, he might give you a short term prescription D to be followed by D3- NOT D- but D3. De is more like the D we get from sunshine. Your doctor can determine how much you nee each day.
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    Old 03-26-2013, 09:24 AM   #8
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    Re: What really defines MS symptoms?

    Rainbow,
    It doesnt matter what brand of over the counter vitamins you are taking..they are all the same, no matter what brand you buy.

    When you have a vitamin deficiency, no over the counter vitamin will help....which is why 2 things have to happen. Your doctor MUST monitor your levels via blood work monthly (as Jayhawk pointed out, too much can be toxic) and you must have a prescription for the vitamin you are deficient in- they do not sell vitamins in the doses you need to correct a deficiency over the counter.

    If you go to the doctor and ask to have a blood panel for vitamin deficiencies done- the answers are very black and white and usually take under a week to get.....treatment, can take 3 months to a year to correct- but monitoring it while on high levels of correcting doses is crucial.

    Nikki
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    Old 03-26-2013, 09:30 AM   #9
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    Re: What really defines MS symptoms?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MSNik View Post
    Rainbow,
    It doesnt matter what brand of over the counter vitamins you are taking..they are all the same, no matter what brand you buy.

    When you have a vitamin deficiency, no over the counter vitamin will help....which is why 2 things have to happen. Your doctor MUST monitor your levels via blood work monthly (as Jayhawk pointed out, too much can be toxic) and you must have a prescription for the vitamin you are deficient in- they do not sell vitamins in the doses you need to correct a deficiency over the counter.

    If you go to the doctor and ask to have a blood panel for vitamin deficiencies done- the answers are very black and white and usually take under a week to get.....treatment, can take 3 months to a year to correct- but monitoring it while on high levels of correcting doses is crucial.

    Nikki
    Ok, I'll ask my GP about vitamin deficiencies

     
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