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Author Topic: A Thread for Newcomers Worried about Multiple Sclerosis (MS)  (Read 122254 times)

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Offline roro82

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Re: A Thread for Newcomers Worried about Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
« Reply #165 on: June 02, 2014, 03:10:24 PM »
Here's a great article about MS and anxiety I recently read.

MS is a common worry amongst hypochondriacs because the symptoms of MS are easily confused with anxiety. At least that's the way it appears on the surface. A deeper dive would reveal the reason these symptoms appear to be similar to MS. Let's examine how the typical hypochondriac convinces herself that she has MS. One day out of the clear blue the patient notices that her hands and or feet are tingling. It feels a bit like pins and needles, but isn't very uncomfortable. This feeling is stored in some part of the brain and is ignored for now. Another day the patient notice what appears to be a blurring of her vision. Feeling stored, and might be ignored if transient. On a third day the patient notices what she assumes to be a weakness in her legs. Feeling stored, and perhaps ignored. When these separate symptoms are repeated on a future date the hypochondriac determines that a pattern has developed. A search to discover the source of the pattern is begun. The typical hypochondriac consults the internet for answers to "the pattern". She googles "blurred vision and tingling hands" . MS will appear in the search results as the number one or number two item. Panic results. The hypochondriac then takes a superficial foray into the symptomatic world of MS. As she reads about MS she discovers that there are visual symptoms of MS. More panic occurs when she recalls that she has had a couple of episodes of "blurred vision". As she reads a bit more she discovers that numbness or tingling is a common complaint of people with MS. Oh my God, she thinks, I've had tingling hands and feet. I've had that twice this week. Oh MY GOD. Within a matter of an hour or less this poor girl has completely bought into the mistaken belief that she has the symptoms of MS. They all match. She thinks she has multiple symptoms. It's over... she has MS. Now for the reality check. The first symptom she experienced was "tingling hands". The most common reason for tingling hands is anxiety, followed by poor circulation, followed by nerve compression, followed by nerve damage. MS is nerve damage. It's the last in a series of possible causes. What really happened was that she was unconsciously breathing a bit faster than normal. The extra oxygen and the decreased carbon dioxide levels in her blood caused a chemical change in the way her peripheral nervous system responds to ambient conditions. In other words she was slightly hyperventilating. It doesn't take but a slight change in the bloods CO2 levels to create tingling. Most people wouldn't notice the increased respiration rate. The body notices very quickly. Her very first symptom was caused by hyperventilation, not MS. Her second symptom was "blurred vision". MS causes sudden loss of vision not simple blurred vision. The typical report of "blurred vision" isn't related to vision at all. There isn't any defect in the eye, nor in the nervous pathways from the eye to the brain. The perception of blurred vision is a combination of the increased pulse rate associated with anxiety coupled with the brains inability to sort out the visual signals from the noise of anxiety. In other words the anxiety is using up a ton of brain power and this usage is clogging up the other systems. Blurred vision is a very common anxiety symptom. Other causes aren't transient. One can have blurred vision from a focal problem, or an astigmatism, but the problem is present 100% of the time, and doesn't improve or relent. Because the patient doesn't have a professional understanding of symptoms, a transient episode of "blurred vision" matches the description of a visual symptom of MS. One plus one now equals six. Wrong answer, one plus one is always two. The leg weakness is also the result of anxiety. A common symptom which isn't measurable or objective, but rather subjective. The patient "feels like her legs are weak". If she were to have an objective third party measure the strength of her legs against a known baseline, she would not have a measurable loss of strength. When MS strikes the nervous pathways which control muscles, the weakness isn't perceived, it's measurable. The arm that could previously lift 50 pounds, can now lift only 10 pounds, or 20 pounds. This is the loss of MS. It's not a feeling it's a measurement. Hypochondriacs sometimes read deep enough to understand this disconnect, and then they begin a period of self testing. They try standing on one leg to check balance. They squat on one leg to check strength. They do all sorts of crazy self tests. The problem is that these tests are judged by a biased party, the hypochondriac. The hypochondriac is not objectively measuring anything. Ok, sorry for the long reply to a simple question. I'm not a doctor and I haven't examined you, but I'll bet your doctors are right. You don't have MS, and you don't have symptoms of MS. The fact that you report that these symptoms are constantly changing is so typical of anxiety and so atypical for MS, that I could have based my entire argument on that one sentence. Here's the idea you need..... go see a therapist who specializes in Cognitive Behavior Therapy.
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Offline cloud

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Re: A Thread for Newcomers Worried about Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
« Reply #166 on: June 18, 2014, 12:54:32 PM »
I feel more at ease reading everyone's story and knowing I am not alone with this fear.

I have had numbness/tingling on my entire left side for over a week now. It started with my face and it slowly creeped down to my legs by the end of the week. At first I pretty calm about it and thought it will go away after a day or two, but then my anxiety kicked in and I began to google (worst decision ever) and the first thing that showed up was MS. I ended up going to the ER and they did an MRI (w/out contrast) and blood work. Both were clear. The doctor told me to follow up with a neurologist. I did. I then had a Cervical Spine MRI done and I am waiting on the results. I am a basket case. I am really scared that I have MS or something even worse. I am a very anxious person, but before the numbing/tingling started, I actually had one of the most relaxing weekends I have had in a long time. That's why I don't think this is anxiety related. That and the fact that I only feel this on my left side.

Anyone else having symptoms on just one side for a long period of time?
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Offline I.Will.Win

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Re: A Thread for Newcomers Worried about Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
« Reply #167 on: June 18, 2014, 04:37:59 PM »
The left side of my face goes numb and tingles all the time. It was one of my first symptoms. I hardly notice it anymore.
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Offline cloud

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Re: A Thread for Newcomers Worried about Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
« Reply #168 on: June 18, 2014, 05:56:38 PM »
Will, thanks for responding!

 Does your left arm or leg go numb/tingle too? Does it last for days/weeks?

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Offline I.Will.Win

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Re: A Thread for Newcomers Worried about Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
« Reply #169 on: June 18, 2014, 08:29:54 PM »
I've had issues with my left calf. Sometimes it tingles and others like it was crawling. My face is actually numb as I type this! It started about 2 years ago. Sometimes it's gone completely. Your brain eventually habituates where you don't even realize it. That's my personal experience.
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Offline rckstr1253

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Re: A Thread for Newcomers Worried about Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
« Reply #170 on: June 26, 2014, 12:04:40 PM »
This is where I am at in my life.  I'm scared I might have ms or some deadly disease.  I wrote my symptoms down in the ha part of the forum.  Idk what to think but I am worried for sure :(
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Offline TheOneHandedHandyMan

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Re: A Thread for Newcomers Worried about Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
« Reply #171 on: July 31, 2014, 11:10:34 AM »
The initial post made me laugh and shed a tear all at the same time. Acceptance is key, but none of it is easy. It took a while to get this way, it may take a while to get back to normal. Hang in there everyone. We can't continue living in fear, as that is not truly living.
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Offline Paulus90

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Re: A Thread for Newcomers Worried about Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
« Reply #172 on: July 31, 2014, 02:07:50 PM »
I want to thank everyone who has contributed to this post. I can't say I'm constantly convinced i have MS. Sometimes my logical reasoning kicks in and I'm almost sure it's all just anxiety. Reading about people with similar symptoms and not having MS is so relieving! Even reading about people who do have MS, but hardly notice it is reassuring. Our brain is incredibly strong and can cause a lot of physical and mental problems. I guess this is what freaks me out the most.

One thought that's very helpfull to me; I'm sure that 99,9% of you is sure they have an anxiety disorder. You wouldn't be on this forum otherwise. It's proven that anxiety can cause all kinds of symptoms, often very real and frightening. These are all just facts and so far, can be applied to every single one of us. You KNOW you are overly anxious and you KNOW the symptoms you are experiencing are common physical symptoms caused by anxiety. Right? Just take one moment now to think about the chance you have MS. This chance is very, very small. It's a rare disease. And do you know what would be even more unlikely? You having MS AND an anxiety disorder! I hope this makes sense to some of you, it does to me.

Another thing which reassures me i don't have MS is something my doctor said, it's a kind of 'thumb rule': "The more (different) physical complaints you have, the more likely it is you do NOT have a serious illness." Most diseases, especially like MS, are characterized by very serious, but fairly few symptoms.

I'm just like most of you. Even as I write this stuff, part of my brain tells me there's definitely something wrong and that I DO have MS... But everything I just typed is true. It's the constant doubt. Doubting yourselve, mainly, but also doubting your doctor. I have an appointment scheduled with a neurologist (1st time) next week. I'm terrified but also excited (weird, eh?) to finally addressing my biggest fear.

Just hang in there folks, I know it's hard, but I try the same.
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Offline emeroolechner

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Re: A Thread for Newcomers Worried about Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
« Reply #173 on: August 09, 2014, 11:01:41 PM »
Paulus90- good luck with your appointment. I am in the same anxiety boat. When I talk myself down I can be pretty sure that I don't have MS but the weakness I have just won't let my mind rest. Its funny because I was out all day and I didn't even notice it until I was on my way home now its all I can think about!  I just had a appointment with a neurologist and have an MRI scheduled for tomorrow. I am so scared I will not be able to go through with the MRI because I am just so scared to find out the results (and to be stuffed into the MRI machine!). I need to look the beast in face - and face the fear. Please keep us posted.
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Offline Paulus90

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Re: A Thread for Newcomers Worried about Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
« Reply #174 on: August 13, 2014, 02:04:55 PM »
Paulus90- good luck with your appointment. I am in the same anxiety boat. When I talk myself down I can be pretty sure that I don't have MS but the weakness I have just won't let my mind rest. Its funny because I was out all day and I didn't even notice it until I was on my way home now its all I can think about!  I just had a appointment with a neurologist and have an MRI scheduled for tomorrow. I am so scared I will not be able to go through with the MRI because I am just so scared to find out the results (and to be stuffed into the MRI machine!). I need to look the beast in face - and face the fear. Please keep us posted.

I just read you reply and am very curious to hear about your appointment. How was it to confront your fears? I can totally imagine how hard it must be, but aren't you just a little bit relieved that you're going to hear you don't have MS (I'm sure you won't.. Remember, it's all anxiety)?

My appointment was a bummer. I'd hoped the neurologist would be able to speak some 'sense' into me, and tell me there's nothing wrong with my muscles/nerves. Instead the appointment was over in 30 minutes. He checked me out, told me he didn't see any weakness and made some future appointments. I have been to a sports doctor (don't know what you call it in English...). That doctor checked my heart, lungs, blood pressure and (again) my muscles. After that I had to cycle for about 10 minutes until I was completely exhausted. During all of this everything was measured. One important thing was the amount of lactate in my blood. The results will be sent to my neurologist, along with the results of some blood tests I had to do (vitamins, minerals etc.). In two weeks I have another appointment with my neurologist during which he will take an EMG (muscles/nerves test) and tell me the results of the other tests.

It now seems like my whole life is revolving around this appointment in two weeks... I'm SO scared there's something wrong and deep down I have a feeling there really is... On the other hand, I can't wait because I'm so sick and tired of feeling this way, this uncertainty and anxiety. While I'm typing this I notice I make tons of typing errors and my fingers just don't seem to move the way I want them to.

Well, I'm curious to hear about other people's experience regarding going to the neurologist and thinking there's something wrong with their muscles.

Hang in there everyone!
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Offline lilian

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Re: A Thread for Newcomers Worried about Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
« Reply #175 on: August 18, 2014, 04:02:06 AM »
hi evey body im new here im so glad to find this site after a lot of search on google!that made me so anxiuos im afraided from ms for 3 months now but i had this fear when i was so younger about six years ago too but after mri of those time i forgoted the subject and i believed that it was just stress signs i have always scold my self with such a foolish thought that made me delay on my life but some thing so rediculouse is that it repeated for me again these days with severe signs and obssesive toughts every things starts with googling then signs become obvious i went to my Neurologist gave mri it came back clear i was so happy for some days and then i wanted to control not be more anxious but i couldnt googled again and my anxious made me crazy and paniced so i exprienced twitched every where then i considered about ALS that was more frightening than ms i fall in visious cycle each day i felt new things from that day to now one day headache one daye light headed and shaking in side feeling depressed and... i cant believe all of this is because of stress and i have a tought that maybe all this stress made me really get ms!!!?this is my new thought i went to my dr he said there is no need another mri do you think this is normal??!! :spineyes:
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Offline kingdylan

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Re: A Thread for Newcomers Worried about Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
« Reply #176 on: August 23, 2014, 01:35:34 AM »
Hi, I'm a new person to this forum and I'm currently going through the same thing you posted on I suffer from health and social anxiety I'm worried that I'm gonna die from ms and nobodies going to help me everytime I twitch I end up googling just to see ms pop up on it
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Offline kingdylan

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Re: A Thread for Newcomers Worried about Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
« Reply #177 on: August 23, 2014, 01:42:35 AM »
My anxiety of ms almost feels better reading this post I am sick and tired of googling I feel as I am helpless and I have to be diagnosed with a disease. I finally had the courage to come to this forum to find out many more people are going to the same thing as me I thought I personal was the only one who was suffering but here its a whole community.
 
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Offline j-lo

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Re: A Thread for Newcomers Worried about Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
« Reply #178 on: September 17, 2014, 07:55:50 PM »
Thanks for this post! I too fear I have MS. I used to have panic attacks in my late 20's but that disappeared. I'm now 44 and last month felt tingly all over my body. I had been under some stress. My body felt heavy and I started panicking and went to emergency, where they did blood & urine tests along with an ekg and scheduled a "stress test" for my heart since I thought I was having a stroke & they thought my blood pressure was a bit high.

Then a week ago, I felt the same tingling sensation and it's been non-stop for 8 days now. I made a doctor's appointment the next day and he went over the test results from the hospital (all normal) & re-did my reflexes which he thought were "brisk" (I thought strong reflexes were a good thing) - it's not (another sign of potential MS). He made an appointment for me to see a neurologist and get an EMG test. I go next week.

In the meantime, I'm sure I have MS. I have tingles, a couple of months ago I woke myself up because it felt like I had been zapped/electrocuted, and I have jerky muscle contractions especially when trying to sleep. I'm now remembering that 3 years ago I was getting out of our car and stumbled and felt dizzy....I noticed that I'd feel dizzy getting up from a sitting position. The dizziness disappeared so I never thought about it until now. I'm also having hot flashes, but who knows, maybe that's because I'm getting older (ha!). I've always been a nervous/anxious person, so these could all be signs of anxiety - I guess that's what the EMG test & the visit with the neurologist will help to figure out (I hope).

Anyway, I just thought I'd share since obviously I'm not the only one going through this!
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Offline Minnegirl

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Re: A Thread for Newcomers Worried about Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
« Reply #179 on: September 18, 2014, 10:35:54 PM »
Wow, I thought I was alone in thinking for sure I have MS.  I've had anxiety for years but just recently began getting a lot of tingling all over.  One google search and all I saw was MS.  I've been distraught ever since.
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