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Can MS be misdiagnosed as CFS/ME before MRI or LP are carried out?

I was diagnosed with ME a year ago after many other years of my worsening symptoms being ignored (this is the UK and thus not private healthcare so tests don't get carried out unless I really really push). However, since this diagnosis I have continued to deteriorate and after further research of my own I realised that the presenting symptoms of ME and MS are incredibly similar and this made me wander whether I should be pushing my GP to consider investigating a diagnosis of MS. Obviously, with the different approaches to each diagnosis being pretty considerable (ME is not given half as much care and consideration as MS) I'm quite scared that a possible diagnosis of a deteriorating disease is being ignored and that therefore I am missing out on the help that I could be getting.

How the heck do I bring this up with my GP without his thinking I'm attention seeking or a hyperchondriac.
2 Responses
1281603 tn?1283798699
One of the criteria for diagnosing ME/CFS is that other illnesses must be ruled out. If they haven't ruled it out, shame on your Dr.
There do seem to be a lot of similarities in the way the 2 illnesses present, especially in the early phases of illness.
Can you not just ask whether it was considered? If you are worried about looking like a hypochondriac, why not say a friend brought it up as a possibility?
Avatar universal

I am in the same position and know the feeling of having to push for other tests.

A couple of years ago I was having problems with my foot and I explained my symtoms to my GP who said he thought it might be MS and so referred me to a neurologist.
Neuro subsequently ordered an MRI and that came back clear.

Went I went for my follow he was very brisk and when I wanted to ask some questions he got up, opened the door and said there was nothing more he could do with me and that I should stop try and find something other than ME to blame my ill health on!!
I was very upset and frustrated.
Since then I've ping ponged about with various GPs who I now rarely see.

You are so right about the treatment differences between those with ME v MS, it's really upsetting that you  get no help at all from the medical profession and you can't even see a neurologist once or twice a year for a check-up and see how you are, suggest physio or new drugs etc.  Even though it is classified as a neurological condition there's no neuro support!

I know they have to rule other things out before dx ME but I wasn't offered an MRI or LP before they made the dx so how could they have been sure?

Helen41 makes a good point about suggesting a friend spoke to you about it.

Good luck x
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