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is it multiple sclerosis?
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is it multiple sclerosis?

hi. it's about 15 days now. first i felt a kind of swelling in my fingertips. but no... it's numbness. it started exactly symmetrical and in all fingertips and now i have it in both palms of my hands too. also my tummy is numb and sometimes i feel a tight band around my lower ribs?
i don't have any other symptoms like fatigue or ... .
as all symptoms are symmetrical and exactly the mirror image, can it be MS. i'm 30 yrs old. no diabets or high cholestrol, my esr is normal too. :(
Avatar_dr_m_tn
Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with a doctor.

Without the ability to examine and obtain a history, I cannot tell you what the exact cause of the symptoms is. However I will try to provide you with some useful information.

Numbness in multiple locations is a relatively nonspecific symptom. Patients who have MS usually have symptoms like: sudden loss of vision in an eye from optic neuritis, sudden weakness, numbness or stiffness in one or more limbs, loss of balance and incoordination. If numbness occurs in MS it usually starts as an attack on one side of the body, it would be unusual to involve both sides of the body at one time in other words symmetrical like the tight bands around your lower ribs you are describing

Multiple sclerosis is a disease that primarily affects the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord, nerves from the eye, the optic nerves). Symptoms may be mild to severe, ranging from tingling and numbness to paralysis. There is not one test alone or one symptom that can diagnose MS, but there are well-established criteria that help neurologists make the diagnosis. These include taking a thorough history, doing a thorough physical exam, conducting an MRI of the brain and sometimes the spine, and sometimes ancillary testing such as lumbar puncture and visual evoked potentials ((a test of how the nerve from the eye, the optic nerve, is functioning). If an MRI of the brain and spine is normal, the diagnosis of MS becomes highly unlikely. Alternatively, if someone has several lesions on the brain MRI, but they have not had distinct episodes of neurologic symptoms, or they have specific findings on neurologic examination, then a diagnosis of MS cannot be made.


It is probably unlikely you have MS if you are not experiencing the above mentioned symptoms but if you are concerned I would advise going to your PCP and discussing these concerns with him. Bilateral symmetric numbness can commonly be caused by benign electrolyte abnormalities, anxiety, stress, hyperventilation etc.

Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions, I hope you find the information I have provided useful, good luck.
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