Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Need some help understanding MS? How often are the flare ups and how does it get diagnosed?

I had an MRI done early February due to neck and arm pain. That was of the brain and showed no lesions. Since that MRI ..I had a major flare of pain all over and all kinds of symptoms that go along with MS. My vision got blurry and nlood pressure raised. I was a real mess. I was told by the neurologist that since that MRI was negative there is no chance I have MS. I had those symptoms for a few weeks and now I am better. It's really weird how it all went away. Except for the vision part...I still have blurry and distorted vision. Flourescent light drives me nuts!

I am quite concerned as to whether the neurologist could be wrong. I was also told it could possibly be lupus but all the blood work came back negative.

I'm wondering if some of you might be able to help me and guide me in a direction. I am seeing a rheumatologist tomorrow but not sure that's the right doctor to see. What other tests need to be done and who orders them?Need some help understanding MS? How often are the flare ups and how does it get diagnosed?

There are basically 2 "OBJECTIVE" tests commonly used to diagnose MS: the MRI, and the Spinal Tap.

There are, however, many other neurological tests used to document the SYMPTOMS of MS. So, it is important to document your various symptoms, because that can help your doctor(s) determine if what you have is MS or any number of other SIMILAR autoimmund diseases.

As "disabilitylady" I speak from experience and expertise as someone who has been successfully managing the myriad symptoms of MS for over 45 years.

An excellent resource about MS and other autoimmune diseasess is the "virtual village" link at:

Check out the Message Boards link; I'm the Moderator for the MS Forum, where you'll find lots of info about MS, including a link to what the basic MS diagnostic tools are. Also, check out the other disease-specific info in other Forums.

Now, some basic info about MS:

1) MS is an autoimmune disease where one's own immune system attacks the mylin sheath of the nerves, causing resulting "symptoms" in the part of the body "serviced" by those nerves.

2) There are 4 basic types of MS. The first 2 are what most people have, and is called Relapsing/Remitting (R/R) MS - in either the benign or more aggressive state. In this type of MS, the person will have what are called "exacerbations" - read attacks - and then be "ok" for extended periods of time. In most cases, an MRI and/or a spinal tap will show the lesions on the brain or spinal column; then, the doctors can aggressively treat the symptoms with medications like steriods and what we call the "ABC drugs" (Avonex, Beteserone, and Copaxine). The ABC drugs are shots of what is basically interferon.

If caught early enough, these medical interventions have shown EXCELLENT progress in stopping the rate of progress of this disease.

Interestingly enough, many people can experience one or two exacerbations and then go for decades with none!!!

3) The last two types are more difficult: primary progressive (PP) and secondary progressive. In secondary progressive (SP), you have people like me who started out with R/R, and then "progressed" into SP.

In the case of PP or SP, the exacerbations are frequent, and become actual symptoms that do not go into remission like they did in R/R. Symptoms are like your friend's problems with sight and hearing.

The ABC drugs and some others are being used to treat the PP type of MS; there are no current effective treatments to "stop the progression" of SP; we can only "manage the symptoms".

For more information about the specific symptoms of MS, you can use any Internet search engine and plug in the words MS symptoms. You'll find TONS of information.

For information from someone who has the disease, please check out my website: I have 2 blogs there, each containing tons of information. AND, I'm an expert on applying for, and attaining disability insurances!! It is my passion and mission to assist others with disabilities.

So, bottomline, sstart journaling your symtoms to share with your drs. Check out the references I've provided to you. Ask me further questions by clicking onto my Yahoo name!!

Best of luck!!Need some help understanding MS? How often are the flare ups and how does it get diagnosed?
I have an autoimmune disease that mimics MS and is associated with some Lupus patients. It is Antiphospholipid Syndrome. I am including a site that explains this disease and what blood tests you need to have.鈥?/a>

Best of luck.Need some help understanding MS? How often are the flare ups and how does it get diagnosed?
hi honey don't worry i have ms for 15yrs and ur neuro doesn't seem convinced so try not to convince yourself if u need proof u need a spinal tap and such which can be painful and if its unnecessary don't stress so much.from wot u say it could be an number of things so please don't react until something is confirmed first! Wouldn't wish ms on anyone and i will e thinking of u and praying for good news be well x

No comments:

Post a Comment