Family History of MS, Strange Symptoms, but I'm Only 18

This is the place to ask questions if you have symptoms that suggest MS, but aren't yet diagnosed.

Family History of MS, Strange Symptoms, but I'm Only 18

Postby JordanaDG » Tue Jun 04, 2013 3:24 pm

Okay, so here is my recall of what's been happening lately. I had posted it on another forum, and don't want to spend another hour and a half second guessing whether or not I made sense lol.

My family has five or six people with diagnosed MS. I don't know what kind of MS they are however. Recently my Doctor did my physical, and ran my blood work, and I have Hyperthyroidism. She asked if there was a family history, and I thought "No." but, my mom spoke up and said that my family members with MS had it. That those were some of the early symptoms they had. Well as you can imagine, my inner hypochondriac was enthralled with the idea, it terrified me.

I waited it out a few months and I was fine, and the idea had come and gone, and I was onto my next possible medical condition. I have at least one or two migraines a month, and got myself prepared the one day. I had never, felt such excruciating pain than that. Being in the boonies, nobody heard me until my Aunt came down to visit. She came running into the house, and was going to call the ambulance but no less than 2 minutes after she got in the house and noticed, it stopped. I was exhausted. She was noticeably worried and I told her I was okay. She proceeded to tell me that I looked like I was going into unconsciousness and I'd wake up screaming. Freaked me out for sure, seeing the woman who had seen everything! Lol

I went to my Doctor, and mentioned what happened, she said it was likely just a bad migraine. I agreed it was likely that; but since then, in the following months, I have had some strange symptoms some of which I've had before but have escalated since.

-extreme fatigue, yet insomnia tendencies
-recent blurred and double vision requiring prescription changes around every two months
-pretty severe tremors and shakes
-muscle spasms and involuntary body twitches
-numbness in pinky and ring finger on left hand (before episode) now moved up to partially up to my wrist
-joint aches and pains in knees, wrists, ankles, shoulders
-full numbness (then that pins and needles feeling) in my left arm consistently and now my one or both of my legs, and while walking, causes me to go arse over tea kettle
-constant dizziness and fainting (not BP related said the Doctor)
-unable to pronounce words properly, and mom says I'm slurring pretty badly now, where it sometimes is hard to understand me
-hearing problems
-exhaustion with every day activities
-extreme muscle weakness (previously being a fire fighter, 80-100lbs was nothing, now holding a cup of coffee hurts, and exhausts me)
-recent clumsiness (dropping things, tipping things over, running into things I know are there, tripping over myself, falling down stairs -yes, not as awesome as the stuntmen in movies make it- tripping up stairs)
-noticeable loss of intelligence, having difficulty finding the correct words or phrases when speaking casually with other people. I have to have someone read over what I write to correct my errors and try and make better sense of what I am writing. Highly aggrivating when you excelled in English Literature, and had the highest grades in your class (this is recent, and has gotten progressively worse, making me feel foolish trying to have an average conversation with someone when you can't remember the work to respond with)
-the one that may have bothered me the worst however, I always sing and hum songs around our house and mom stopped me one day and looked at my pupils, asking if I was okay. Apparently now, I can no longer carry a song and start changing songs halfway through (I don't think I'm changing songs though,) she is worried about minor memory loss kind of thing, that alone kind of worries me.

I don't know if I am over thinking it, but they are such an interference that my prospective career in emergency services seems to be an impossibility, even just functioning properly is a difficulty. I just was always told that it typically begins in your 30's, however I'm only 18. My life has gone downhill in the past 3 months, and I don't know if my symptoms relate to anyone here?

I'm just concerned, and if I do have it, I want to do what I can to slow it down, learn what I can do preserve my health and the person I am. Seeing my family members with it, they tell me all of their struggles and how they have lost themselves to it. My family who has it thinks that its a good possibility, but I just want to get an external view of the situation. I don't want to bother my Doctor if its not plausible from the amount of times I've seen her this month from appointments. Please give me some insight and advice.

Thanks for reading my novel of a post lol. If anyone thinks this could be the symptoms of MS, I'll recommend that to my Doctor, but I don't want to seem like a hypochondriac.

Thanks again!
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Re: Family History of MS, Strange Symptoms, but I'm Only 18

Postby jimmylegs » Tue Jun 04, 2013 3:35 pm

hi jordana welcome. any reason you can think of that your nutritional status might possibly be suboptimal?
READ ME key info on nutrient targets - www.thisisms.com/ftopict-2489.html
my approach: no meds so far - just nutrient-dense anti-inflammatory whole foods, and supplements where needed
info: www.whfoods.com, www.nutritiondata.com
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Re: Family History of MS, Strange Symptoms, but I'm Only 18

Postby JordanaDG » Tue Jun 04, 2013 3:59 pm

Hi jimmylegs,

Thank you for the welcome. I take daily supplements, of vitamin D, B, C, E, A as well as cod liver oil, fiber (there's a few more, but I don't recall the names.) The doctor said my potassium was low when my physical was done, so she recommended two or three banana's a day. I work out every day for an hour, and eat clean organic products and only white meat, and I do get 10 glasses of water a day. I try and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Now my health flip started last month but I seem to have difficulty losing my weight.

When you are a 195lb woman, at 18, clearly not healthy. The disappointing part is that my start weight was 197lb. So a 2lb difference, no inches lost and still lacking all stamina is peculiar to me; especially after a month, just minor changes blow my mind.

Is there any nutritional aspects I should be focusing directly on to see if my symptoms improve? I try and now maintain a healthy lifestyle, and the majority of the symptoms began before my diet change, yet have remained the same in many aspects. :confused:
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Re: Family History of MS, Strange Symptoms, but I'm Only 18

Postby jimmylegs » Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:21 pm

ok this is a good start. can you tell me exactly what products you are using for supplements so that I can look at nutrient forms and amounts? also would you be comfortable outlining typical breakfast lunch dinner snacks and all fluid intake for a sample of three typical days for you? if I had that info I could look for nutritional gaps that match your symptoms and/or match nutrient problems common among ms patients. if you don't want to post it out here you could private message me (the little 'pm' button).
READ ME key info on nutrient targets - www.thisisms.com/ftopict-2489.html
my approach: no meds so far - just nutrient-dense anti-inflammatory whole foods, and supplements where needed
info: www.whfoods.com, www.nutritiondata.com
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Re: Family History of MS, Strange Symptoms, but I'm Only 18

Postby lyndacarol » Tue Jun 04, 2013 5:23 pm

JordanaDG wrote:...Now my health flip started last month but I seem to have difficulty losing my weight.

When you are a 195lb woman, at 18, clearly not healthy. The disappointing part is that my start weight was 197lb. So a 2lb difference, no inches lost and still lacking all stamina is peculiar to me; especially after a month, just minor changes blow my mind.

Is there any nutritional aspects I should be focusing directly on to see if my symptoms improve? I try and now maintain a healthy lifestyle, and the majority of the symptoms began before my diet change, yet have remained the same in many aspects. :confused:

Welcome to ThisIsMS, Jordana.

MS has the same symptoms as many other diseases/conditions. Your problems could be due to MS or any of several other conditions.

With your symptoms, your weight, your family history, I suggest that you ask your doctor for a "fasting blood insulin test." This is NOT the same as a glucose test. You want the optimal result of 3 UU/ML or lower for the insulin test. Insulin is necessary for the body to put on weight/fat; bodybuilders have even been known to use it to bulk up. I think excess insulin is involved in my MS symptoms (My test result has never been lower than 9 UU/ML.).

In general, the body produces excess insulin in response to a diet high in carbohydrates (starches and sugars). I encourage you to follow a diet that will limit carbohydrates (which convert to glucose and then stimulate insulin production).
Last edited by lyndacarol on Wed Jun 05, 2013 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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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Re: Family History of MS, Strange Symptoms, but I'm Only 18

Postby JordanaDG » Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:44 pm

Jimmylegs, I would love to learn more! I may just post it here to see if it can sort of help people who may have similar diets. My mornings are consistent for my meal plan.

Breakfast
1 egg, 1/2 a grape fruit, slices of cucumber
OR if I want a big breakfast
Quinoa with dried cranberries, raisins, flax and some almond with soy milk

Snack
Almonds
Flax
Mixed nut
Dried berries
Apple

Lunch
Tuna or chicken wrapped in romaine lettuce, cucumber, cilantro and a vinaigrette dressing x2
OR
Chicken with lime, cup of wild rice or quinoa
OR
Cucumber salad with apple, raisins and nuts

Snack
Cucumber and home made salsa
Sliced tomato with pepper
Part of an avocado

Dinner
Chicken breast with barbecued apple
Steamed kale with vinegar
OR
Pork with garlic
Asparagus
OR
Salmon with lemon juice
Broccoli

Desert - Cause I do love sweets
Ricotta cheese and mixed fresh fruit
OR
Simmered fruit with brown sugar
OR
Vanilla frozen yogurt and raspberries

Total drink intake per day
Milk - 3 glasses
Coffee - 1 cup
Green tea - 1 cup
Water - 10 cups



Lyndacarol, thank you for the welcome!
My diet consists of low carbs and avoid them at all costs. I will have to talk to the doctor about the fasting test! I didn't think that they were connected, but it would make sense! :)
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Re: Family History of MS, Strange Symptoms, but I'm Only 18

Postby jimmylegs » Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:52 am

what a delicious-looking diet! i'll go through it in more detail but it will take me a little time - lots of things to get done today.
READ ME key info on nutrient targets - www.thisisms.com/ftopict-2489.html
my approach: no meds so far - just nutrient-dense anti-inflammatory whole foods, and supplements where needed
info: www.whfoods.com, www.nutritiondata.com
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Re: Family History of MS, Strange Symptoms, but I'm Only 18

Postby jimmylegs » Wed Jun 05, 2013 5:23 am

in the meantime, a little reading

http://www.ithyroid.com/supplements.htm
"Hypers: Everything that I've experienced myself, seen in others, and read about in scientific studies indicates that the primary deficiencies involved in hyperthyroidism are copper and iron. The balance between copper and zinc seems to be critically important in determining the rate of thyroid hormone production. Copper slows down the thyroid while zinc increases thyroid action. Copper should be supplemented first and if zinc is presently being supplemented it should be discontinued for two to three weeks or until the thyroid slows down. Copper absorption and utilization is increased by molybdenum and the B-complex vitamins, including extra biotin and PABA. Zinc is essential for health but excess amounts may increase thyroid hormone production. You will have to experiment to determine how much zinc you can take. Try to maintain a zinc/copper ratio of about 3:1 to 5:1 at first...
[note: i don't know if that means in the supplement, or in your blood, but my ratios are REALLY different than described here. in serum, you want your zinc copper ratio to be about 1.1, ie zinc between 18 and 19 umol/L or so, and copper around 17 umol/L. in supplements, i go for a product that contains 50mg zinc balanced with 2mg copper, so that's more like 25 to 1.]
...Most hypers and hypos are deficient in iron. Iron may be low because of insufficient intake or deficiencies of minerals such as manganese, copper, or cobalt (vitamin B-12), or B vitamins, which are essential for iron utilization. Copper and iron work together to form hemoglobin and need to be supplemented together. Supplementing with either alone can lead to a deficiency of the other.
Studies show that a deficiency of selenium usually causes a decrease in the conversion of T4 to T3. However under abnormal conditions, a deficiency of selenium can cause the body to increase conversion of T4 to T3 which can lead to higher levels of T3. Selenium is very important for normal thyroid function. Start by taking 100 micrograms per day and gradually increase up to 300 micrograms.
All of the supplements listed are necessary either to correct the underlying causes of hyperthyroidism or to supplement nutrients which are used up by the hyper metabolism."

i think an extremely wise step would be to have serum zinc, serum copper, serum ferritin, and serum selenium tested. when the docs tell you the results are normal, smile, nod and request your own copy of the actual results, then bring them here :) if you can't get the doc to order the tests for you, as long as you're in the states you can order your own tests from life extension.

here are some food source links, including amounts of nutrients per serving, in milligrams.
copper http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tnam ... oodsources (sesame seeds are amazing for this. do you ever eat tahini? also cashews, mushrooms, spinach and swiss chard - see the iron section below for more on those last two)
iron http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tnam ... oodsources (spinach is right up there but you need vitamin C with it for absorption; green swiss chard also excellent - boil either for 3 mins to cook off the oxalic acid, then enjoy 1c at a time seasoned to taste. i'm assuming veal liver would not make an appearance on your menu, but just a heads up that organ meats are generally very rich in iron)
selenium http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?dbid ... oodsources (halibut, tuna, cod, shrimp, sardines, salmon - nb all these little lists are presented in descending order of nutrient concentration. also nb re tuna, I wouldn't go overboard due to concerns re heavy metal contamination...)

thought i'd also add potassium, since you'd mentioned you tested low..
potassium http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?dbid ... oodsources (oh look, guess who tops the list? yep spinach and swiss chard. such veggie rock stars!)
READ ME key info on nutrient targets - www.thisisms.com/ftopict-2489.html
my approach: no meds so far - just nutrient-dense anti-inflammatory whole foods, and supplements where needed
info: www.whfoods.com, www.nutritiondata.com
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Re: Family History of MS, Strange Symptoms, but I'm Only 18

Postby jimmylegs » Wed Jun 05, 2013 5:40 am

also there's more about copper, iron and selenium deficiency here (this site is detailed and technical though - will likely require looking up a bunch of words)

VITAMIN, MINERAL & NUTRITION RELATED SYNDROMES - NEUROMUSCULAR DISEASE CENTER
http://neuromuscular.wustl.edu/nother/v ... htm#copper
http://neuromuscular.wustl.edu/nother/vitamin.htm#iron
http://neuromuscular.wustl.edu/nother/v ... eleniumdef
READ ME key info on nutrient targets - www.thisisms.com/ftopict-2489.html
my approach: no meds so far - just nutrient-dense anti-inflammatory whole foods, and supplements where needed
info: www.whfoods.com, www.nutritiondata.com
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Re: Family History of MS, Strange Symptoms, but I'm Only 18

Postby JordanaDG » Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:45 pm

Jimmylegs, just wanted to thank you for looking into this for me, it'll be good to know what I can adjust to see if that balances me out! Trust me, when I first started eating right, I was going through sugar and starch withdrawal, which I didn't think really existed .. Now that I'm into it far enough, I don't really recognise starches as a meal component lol.

Awesome, I love reading health information, thank you. :-D

Oh! I did forget to mention one meal that I eat around twice a month 1) because I do love the taste, and 2) I hear its awesome for iron. I love my beef liver, and yes I know many quiver to the thought of eating the part of a digestion and filtration track, but I strangely enjoy it. Lol

Thanks again for doing this! It will be great information to try and get things working right again, and bring up to the doctor.
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Re: Family History of MS, Strange Symptoms, but I'm Only 18

Postby jimmylegs » Thu Jun 06, 2013 11:57 am

will be in touch again soon - super jetlagged :)
READ ME key info on nutrient targets - www.thisisms.com/ftopict-2489.html
my approach: no meds so far - just nutrient-dense anti-inflammatory whole foods, and supplements where needed
info: www.whfoods.com, www.nutritiondata.com
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