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Author Topic: A Thread for Newcomers Worried about Multiple Sclerosis (MS)  (Read 108950 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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