I've been struggling with some symptoms for the past few months that have been really unusual for me, and I'm worried that it could be MS or something neurological. I'm a 20 year old female, which I know is really young, but I'm still worried.
My symptoms started in March when I had a pretty bad virus and extremely high fever. Within a few weeks of taking antibiotics and recovering, I noticed that my skin felt like it was constantly crawling. It wasn't itchy, and there were no visible symptoms, but it was really disconcerting. I even went to the doctor thinking I had scabies or something awful like that, but she assured me it was probably just stress. The crawling went away after about three weeks. I had full bloodwork done in May and everything came back normal.
Since then, I've been feeling progressively worse. I've dealt with weird little things like numbness in my legs and buzzing and electrical shocks in various parts of my body for a few years now, but in recent months I've been having crawling sensations across my body, and it bothers me enough to keep me up at night. I've recently starting feeling buzzing and tingling in my face as well. I have been having experiencing spasms of my arms and legs when I'm trying to fall asleep. I've been extremely tired, no matter how much I sleep at night, and have been napping every day, something I used to do only once in a blue moon. I also used to exercise almost every day, but have recently been experiencing extreme weakness and shakiness in my body, especially my limbs, like my arms and legs are made of jelly and my hands shake. I have occasionally been having weird twitching sensations in my fingers as well, and sharp pains in my head. Cognitively, I feel confused a lot of the time, and forget things quite frequently now. I used to be extremely hard-working and active, but lately have been so exhausted mentally and physically that I can barely accomplish anything most days, which is obviously really difficult to deal with as a student and young person.
I know this is a lot. I want to see a neurologist because I'm concerned, but I'm worried that I won't be taken seriously because I'm young, and have already been told that this is "just stress." Has anyone experienced any of these things, or have any advice for me? Anything would be appreciated.
I'm a little unclear on what you experienced in March. Was it a virus or a bacterial infection? It is not unheard of for a virus to leave some residual effects such as intense fatigue.
Much of what you describe sounds unlikely to be MS. The nature of the sensations and the fact that you describe them in all limbs on both sides of your body is not usually the way MS manifests. As MS symptoms are due to damage in the central nervous system (often in the brain) the symptoms will manifest (roughly) on the opposite side of the body to the damage.
For instance, most of my lesions are on the left side of my brain meaning I have more issues with the right side of my body (loss of right foot dorsiflexion, right internuclear opthalmoplegia, etc.). This is a rather broad statement, but it's a general tip-off to a doctor that they're likely dealing with something else if they hear "my limbS, like my armS and legS are made of jelly".
All this isn't to say that you shouldn't be looking for answers and relief, just that nothing is shouting "MS!" to me. It *might* (we're not medical professionals) be something more like a post-viral neuropathy. That would seem to account for a few of the things you mention. Absolutely follow up with a medical professional, but I think concerns about MS are premature.
Your age is not too young, most common age for dx is between 20-40 yrs old and MS is most definitely still dx in people younger and older than what's most common BUT having said that. What you've described would be untypical for MS, because your sx's are too varied, and wide spread through out your body and MS doesn't do that on a first attack.
To me, it does all sound more typical to what can happen with some viral infections eg mono and if the catalyst was a really bad viral infection, then it's quite possible that your after sx's are still all related to it. You need to keep in mind, that you have been really sick with a viral infection, you are probably still getting over it, and understandably it could take months and months before you feel your self again.
Try not to worry because anxiety does have the 'potential' to make everything worse, if by worrying you are paying more attention to your body than you would ordinarily do. It would probably be better to give your body more time to recover, and focus on doing what ever necessary to be as health as you possibly can.
I just joined this community with a question about my 20 year old daughter who may or may not have MS, something I am not expert in. While the symptoms could be a residual of earlier illness, you report symptoms prior to that. One thing I have looked into a lot as it is one of my daughter's possible diagnoses is Vitamin B12 deficiency.
With your prior to infection neuro symptoms, you would be more than justified in asking your doctor for tests for B12. Testing is tricky for several reasons. Your doctor will probably just run a serum B12 test. The normal range for this test is too low--it is something like 200 in the US, although it is 550 in Japan. If you are below 450 you should be presumed to be Vitamin B12 deficient and treated. If you are above that, you should get additional tests for methylmalonic acid and homocysteine, as the three tests together are much more accurate.
Treatment is easy and cheap--you take B12. If you are in rather bad shape you may need it initially in injection form. It is very important if you think you may have a B12 deficiency to NOT supplement with B12 just in case before getting checked because it messes up the tests.
There is an excellent book on this subject "Could it Be Vitamin B12?," which describes the symptoms and treatment. It includes a self test you can score to see if you are high risk for vitamin B12 deficiency. You can find much more information on the web. Check out B12awareness.org.
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