Not sure if it's MS or Neuropathy

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Not sure if it's MS or Neuropathy

Postby MarySue » Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:24 am

Hi,
First I got to say I had a heck of a time registering. Must be me since all of you are here, my eyesight seems to be getting worse by the day as is my memory. I'm 52 and have a test tomorrow, Neurologist is doing an EMG and I've been told it hurts. 3 doctors (not specialist) told me I had neuropathy, I had seen the Neuro once and he said neuropathy or MS. Finally the price of the test has come down. I don't have any insurance.

My question, can an EMG tell if you got MS?

It all started with pain so bad down the back of my legs (sciatic nerve) so bad I'd sit there with tears streaming down after work (I do stand on my feet all day). fast forward a year later, balance off, memory shot, extreme hot/cold sensations, legs cramping, difficult breathing on some days, vision worse than it's ever been. about a month ago, out of nowhere both my hands got tremors, not for long but it was freaky since I was not controlling the shaking.

Another question, I've lost about 30 pounds in the last 6 months without trying. Granted, I needed to lose the weight but think the weight loss is from just being in pain?

I quit a job I loved and now have one I don't like at all but they do work with me in keeping it just under 20 hours a week ~ however, each day gets worse there because of my vision and memory. Just yesterday I was giving back change to a customer, it was suppose to be .52 cents, I handed the guy $52.00!!!! Thankfully I caught myself just in time because he was not going to be honest ~ the customer behind him saw it and I was embarrassed big time. Bottom line, don't think this job will last much longer.

Anyway, not sure if it's MS or neuropathy. I did apply for disability a year ago and of course was turned down twice (as expected) and am now waiting for a court and judge to make the decision when that comes up and don't know what to expect from that. I can't find a lawyer that will represent me since last year, I made $13,000 (yeah....rich huh? sarcasm intended).

If anybody reads this, thank you for listening. I try to be a tough lady, but lately consider myself now a sissy that lives like a hermit.
MarySue
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Re: Not sure if it's MS or Neuropathy

Postby euphoniaa » Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:25 am

MarySue wrote:Hi,
First I got to say I had a heck of a time registering.

My question, can an EMG tell if you got MS?

Another question, I've lost about 30 pounds in the last 6 months without trying. Granted, I needed to lose the weight but think the weight loss is from just being in pain?

Anyway, not sure if it's MS or neuropathy.


Hi MarySue, and welcome! It sounds like you're overwhelmed with symptoms, but symptoms of all neurological conditions are so similar that it's very difficult to diagnose by symptoms alone. I hope you find doctors who can lead you through a sometimes long journey to a diagnosis and treatment.

Now to your questions. First, you may have had trouble registering because today in particular, this site is slowing, stalling, and giving us all fits for some reason. Give yourself a break on that one. :smile:

Next question, no, EMGs are not a test for MS, but they only test your peripheral nerves to rule out peripheral neuropathy {edited to add "or other conditions"} as a cause of your symptoms. But... a person can have both. And...EMGs are uncomfortable, but short-lived jolts, so the pain isn't all that horrible. I've had LOTS of those.

In my case, I was diagnosed with both MS and a hereditary peripheral neuropathy by a physiatrist before I saw my 1st neuro. Even after my first EMGs showed carpal tunnel & neuropathy, the doc could tell by my reflexes there was CNS damage as well and sent me for MRIs of my brain and c-spine -- the best way to show MS lesions -- but still not always the definitive test. My brain is loaded with lesions.

And the sciatic pain could be from spinal issue or something else entirely. Sometimes it takes quite a while to figure it all out, so I wish you the best. Hoping that yours is all easily treatable! Keep us posted.
Last edited by euphoniaa on Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:34 am, edited 2 times in total.
Dx'd with MS & HNPP (hereditary peripheral neuropathy) 7/03 but must have had MS for 30 yrs before that. I've never taken meds for MS except 1 yr experiment on LDN. (I found diet, exercise, sleep, humor, music help me the most.)
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Re: Not sure if it's MS or Neuropathy

Postby NHE » Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:55 pm

MarySue wrote:My question, can an EMG tell if you got MS?


No. However, it can be used to exclude other conditions.

Here's a brief write up on the EMG test by the Mayo Clinic.
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/emg/MY ... ECTION=all

Why it's done

Your doctor may order an EMG if you have signs or symptoms that may indicate a nerve or muscle disorder. Such symptoms may include:

  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle pain or cramping
  • Certain types of limb pain

EMG results are often necessary to help diagnose or rule out a number of conditions such as:

  • Muscle disorders, such as muscular dystrophy or polymyositis
  • Diseases affecting the connection between the nerve and the muscle, such as myasthenia gravis
  • Disorders of nerves outside the spinal cord (peripheral nerves), such as carpal tunnel syndrome or peripheral neuropathies
  • Disorders that affect the motor neurons in the brain or spinal cord, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or polio
  • Disorders that affect the nerve root, such as a herniated disk in the spine


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Re: Not sure if it's MS or Neuropathy

Postby euphoniaa » Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:52 am

NHE wrote:
MarySue wrote:My question, can an EMG tell if you got MS?


No. However, it can be used to exclude other conditions.

Here's a brief write up on the EMG test by the Mayo Clinic.
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/emg/MY ... ECTION=all

Why it's done

Your doctor may order an EMG if you have signs or symptoms that may indicate a nerve or muscle disorder. Such symptoms may include:

  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle pain or cramping
  • Certain types of limb pain

EMG results are often necessary to help diagnose or rule out a number of conditions such as:

  • Muscle disorders, such as muscular dystrophy or polymyositis
  • Diseases affecting the connection between the nerve and the muscle, such as myasthenia gravis
  • Disorders of nerves outside the spinal cord (peripheral nerves), such as carpal tunnel syndrome or peripheral neuropathies
  • Disorders that affect the motor neurons in the brain or spinal cord, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or polio
  • Disorders that affect the nerve root, such as a herniated disk in the spine


NHE

MarySue, NHE is right. Thanks for that extended explanation, NHE! I meant to add EMG info -- and I often do -- but I was in a hurry with my message. Plus, I usually note that "peripheral neuropathy" is generally not a specific disease, but more of a generic term for problems affecting the Peripheral Nervous System as opposed to the Central Nervous System (brain, spinal cord, & optic nerve). And there are a gajilion things that can affect the PNS (like diabetes, for example), because the peripheral nerves are every other nerve in your body outside of the CNS.

Of course, in my case I am diagnosed with an official peripheral neuropathy, (HNPP), but ordinarily PN is just a symptom of something else.

Did we confuse you enough yet? Still wishing you easy answers and complete relief from your symptoms. :smile:
Dx'd with MS & HNPP (hereditary peripheral neuropathy) 7/03 but must have had MS for 30 yrs before that. I've never taken meds for MS except 1 yr experiment on LDN. (I found diet, exercise, sleep, humor, music help me the most.)
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Re: Not sure if it's MS or Neuropathy

Postby lyndacarol » Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:40 pm

Welcome to ThisIsMS, MarySue.

Very often, it is not easy or quick to diagnose MS. Before expensive tests even existed to diagnose MS, doctors used to diagnose it on the basis of symptoms and if the symptoms temporarily worsened when the patient sat in a hot bath for a while.

In my case, my initial EMG was perfectly normal. My first three MRIs were also perfectly normal. And yet I had symptoms of tingling, muscle weakness, and the feeling of constriction around my left upper arm. But after several more months of symptoms, a new neurologist, and a fourth MRI which finally showed lesions, I was diagnosed with MS.
My hypothesis: excess insulin (hyperinsulinemia) plays a major role in MS, as developed in my initial post: http://www.thisisms.com/forum/general-discussion-f1/topic1878.html "Insulin – Could This Be the Key?"
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