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Multiple Sclerosis Community
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Avatar universal

Do I have MS?

I am a 37 year old mother of 3. After my 3 year old was born, things started getting a little crazy. I started getting hive-like rashes every time I went in the sun, fatigue was unbearable, and I had a lot of dry skin/mouth, and was losing a little hair. After a lot of testing, I had a positive ANA and high RA levels and was diagnosed with RA and Sjogren's.

The problem is that over the past couple of years (especially the last few weeks) I have had some crazier things going on. I have started experiencing numbness in my left calf, three toes on my left foot, and my left hand. I sometimes get an excruciating jolt of pain in the lower part of the back of my head that almost paralyzes me for an instant. My headaches are sometimes unbearable and have started having some vision issues (seeing halo's and blurriness). My eye doctor says nothing is wrong, just a precursor to migraines.

Lately I have been getting extremely dizzy, having night sweats, waking up to my hands/arms being asleep. I have some severe pains in my breast bone area which was originally attributed to gall bladder disease (which was removed), but the pains still come and go and actually hurt so bad I often vomit. I have problems with constipation as well as diarrhea. There have even been instances where my bowels have just let go on their own.

Another issue is a burning sensation down my butt and the backs of my upper thighs. And my legs itch like crazy. I often scratch so hard in my sleep I actually wake my husband and my legs are bleeding in the morning. When I get home from work my legs just feel so swollen and they look slightly swollen, but feel worse than they look.

I had a recent MRI with contrast and MRA of the brain to check for aneurysm and stroke (which run heavily in my family), but both came back negative.

My gut feeling is telling me this may be MS, but I'm not sure where to go yet. My family is eat up with auto-immune diseases so this is not going to be a fun journey. There is Lupus, Hashimoto's, Sjogrens, RA, and yes, MS on my mother's side of the family.

Help??? Who should I be talking to? My GP never focuses on what I go in there for and always goes a complete other route.
4 Responses
429700 tn?1308011423
Have you seen a neurologist?  Sjogren's is a mimic for MS and will present problems for your neurologist to sort things out.  You may have central nervous system problems which can be caused by autoimmune diseases like the ones you have been diagnosed with.  

Vasculitis also comes to mind.  It can cause the itchiness of the legs that you've mentioned, migraines, and brain issues.  I'd ask about this.  

It is possible that you can have MS and other autoimmune diseases; however, it sure does muddy the waters. I thought I had lupus for years, only to find out that it wasn't lupus but MS. I also have autoimmune thyroid disease.

If you haven't been to a neurologist, I would start there.  You may need someone that's seen many, many MS patients, an MS specialist, because of your complicated medical history to sort things out given the confusing neurological symptoms.  

1340994 tn?1374197577
If you haven't been tested for Celiac disease, please do so.  It can lead to other autoimmune diseases, and runs in families.  
1756321 tn?1547098925
Hashimoto's runs in families.  Hives is a classic symptom of Hashimoto's Thyroiditis not to mention pregnancy is a listed trigger of Hashimoto's.  25% of Hashimoto's patients may develop additional conditions such as Type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, pernicious anaemia, adrenal insufficiency, lupus. Celiac's is also a noted autoimmune disease to be tested with Hashimoto's.

Vitamin B12 deficiency mimics MS. Conditions that cause B12 deficiency include celiac's disease and autoimmune pernicious anaemia.  In one study, 40% with hypothyroidism (most common cause is Hashimoto's Thyroiditis) had a B12 deficiency. Hypothyroidism can slow down production of stomach acid and you need enough stomach acid to release instrinsic factor for absorption of vitamin B12 in the gut.

You may have MS. A large number of studies have confirmed that your risk of MS increases the farther away you live from the equator. The further you are away from the equator the less the UVB rays to create vitamin D. One such study, published in 2004, found that women who took vitamin D-containing multivitamin supplements were 40 percent less likely to develop MS than women who did not supplement. So if you do not have MS, then supplementing with vitamin D is recommended.

"After evaluating the relationships between these three variables: MS prevalence, Epstein-Barr virus prevalence, and UVB intensity, they found that UVB exposure alone could explain 61 percent of the variations of MS cases across England. When they combined UVB exposure and incidence of glandular fever, 72 percent of the variations could be explained."
Avatar universal
So the visit to the neurologist was a dud. Because I'm "only" 37 he just doesn't think there's any reason to move forward "chasing" MS. He said "there's ONLY ONE" lesion and he thinks it's migraines. The headaches are the least of my issues and I'm really disgusted with the whole visit. I did call the doctor back and he said "Fine. We'll do a spinal tap". I elected not to right at the moment. I don't want a doctor working on me who is only trying to pacify me and doesn't care about my real symptoms.

I called my GP and am having him double check my ANA levels to see if it's worth a visit to my Rheumatologist. I don't have a clue what to do now.
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