Questions about lesions

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

Questions about lesions

Postby StressedOutNana » Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:16 pm

I have had a variety of symptoms over the past several years that would come and go. Sometimes more than one symptom would be present at a time, sometimes not. Longest lasting time frame was about 6 -8 weeks. My symptoms include (not in any particular order): vertigo, blurry vision, major short term memory loss and some long term loss (this has been constant now for past year or so), weird vibration sensation (like a cell phone vibrating under my skin) on breast, arm, leg and foot, tingling, numbness in extremities, problems with going to the bathroom, incontinence, no sex drive, fatigue, pain in muscles/joints and just recently I have woken up with a feeling of constriction around my body from under my breast to my waist. I especially feel it in my back. Feel short of breath, like I am being squeezed. I noticed it only in the mornings upon awakening, after some stressful days prior and it seems like if I leave the window open at night (and it gets chilly) it makes it worse. Takes me forever to get out of bed. Today it took several hours to subside - still feel it a little. it seems moving around helps ease it. Oh, and before this squeezing feeling, I was having general issues in the morning - like everything is achy and tired and takes awhile to get going. I have lost some strength and also have noticed I am clumsy, with hands and at times walking and with speaking. I mispronounce or 'stumble' my words. I saw a neurologist who did all kinds of blood work....all okay. He did a brain MRI - without contrast and it came back normal. Can I have MS without lesions showing? I have to go back to see the Dr. He was thinking maybe fibromyalgia. Are all the symptoms the same? I looked online about this constricting pain feeling and came up with MS hug. Any suggestions about lesions needing to be present in MRI would be appreciated or if anyone can tell me what else has similar symptoms. Thanks.
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Re: Questions about lesions

Postby jimmylegs » Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:50 pm

hi there welcome to the forum :) I would consider having a few nutrients tested to see if they are playing in to your experience at all..

here's your symptom list with a major nutrient suspect added for each one
vertigo-zinc
blurry vision-zinc
memory loss-zinc
tingling/numbness-zinc
sex drive-zinc
fatigue-magnesium
pain in muscles-magnesium
pain in joints-vitamin d3
constriction-magnesium
shortness of breath-magnesium

fibro patients are notoriously low in magnesium too.

the docs are not likely to have tested key nutrients, it's not part of the mainstream routine. and to my knowledge the optimal target levels aren't published in one place. yet. except here: regimens-f22/topic2489.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: Questions about lesions

Postby StressedOutNana » Mon Sep 02, 2013 6:31 pm

Thanks for the welcome!
Actually they did, and mine were all fine, almost on the high side. They also did SS-A Antibody. SS-B antibody, ANA, Erythrocyte, Rheumatoid Factor, CBC, etc etc. Only thing off was RBC was high, HCT was high and MCH low. I do take supplements and eat fairly well, always making sure I have spinach (put in wraps or on sandwich or in salad), eat nuts, fruit (esp. blueberries, bananas etc), salmon. I am curious about the MRI not being with contrast, if that makes a difference for seeing lesions, or if I can have MS without lesions.
I am in my early 50's if that makes a difference. I will check the website you supplied. Do you have MS jimmylegs? Thanks for the info.
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Re: Questions about lesions

Postby jimmylegs » Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:17 pm

hey no problem :) re the tests, we may have to go over the normal range tutorial here.. do you have the nutrient test results and the normal ranges in your files? do you have results for serum zinc magnesium and d3? I have seen ranges that are so off that a patient can think their level is high when they're actually deficient. there is a lot of research out there documenting deficiency within established normal ranges and lab normal ranges are all over the place and often very low.
I have an ms dx but it was only really bad the first few years. good news on your diet, although it can be tough to get a meaningful volume of dark leafies in, when eaten raw.
technically they will want to see lesions before then give an ms dx. I am no mri expert but very simply with contrast shows active vs old lesions. without contrast can show lesions but you don't know which ones might be active right then.
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: Questions about lesions

Postby euphoniaa » Wed Sep 04, 2013 9:17 am

StressedOutNana wrote:... I saw a neurologist who did all kinds of blood work....all okay. He did a brain MRI - without contrast and it came back normal. Can I have MS without lesions showing? I have to go back to see the Dr. He was thinking maybe fibromyalgia. Are all the symptoms the same? I looked online about this constricting pain feeling and came up with MS hug. Any suggestions about lesions needing to be present in MRI would be appreciated or if anyone can tell me what else has similar symptoms. Thanks.


Welcome Nana, but I'm sorry you have reason to visit us here! I thought I'd pop in just to add a few cents' worth of info as well. Yes, you CAN be diagnosed without lesions showing, but symptoms alone -- even lots of them -- are similar in pretty much all neurological diseases, and there are dozens (hundreds?) of those.

Like Jimmylegs said, you don't need contrast to show lesions, but it will only show which ones are active. I am concerned, however, that the neuro didn't order an MRI of your C-spine, since many have MS spinal lesions without brain lesions. You might consider asking about that, since the fact he/she ordered a brain MRI means MS was considered a possibility.

I'm glad to see that you eat a healthy diet, because it's important to optimize your general health no matter the ultimate diagnosis. I feel that my healthy diet, and even more important, my exercise routine, has helped immensely in keeping me so mobile and relatively unscathed by probably 40 years of MS.

I was diagnosed at age 52 myself, 10 years ago, with a brain full of lesions, although at that time I was feeling really great. Go figure. Considering what my brain looks like (see here: general-discussion-f1/topic16335.html ), I cringe whenever someone posts that they got an MS diagnosis with an empty brain! Er, uh, I mean a clean brain. Er, uh, I mean an uncluttered brain. :smile: Okay, I guess I mean when they have no brain lesions at all.

Best of luck and keep us posted.
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: Questions about lesions

Postby grandsons4 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:19 am

From the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's website:
The Criteria for a Diagnosis of MS
In order to make a diagnosis of MS, the physician must:
Find evidence of damage in at least two separate areas of the central nervous system (CNS), which includes the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves AND
Find evidence that the damage occurred at least one month apart AND
Rule out all other possible diagnoses
Given this, its difficult to understand how, in the absence of lesions, a diagnosis of MS was made.
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Re: Questions about lesions

Postby euphoniaa » Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:29 am

grandsons4 wrote:From the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's website:
The Criteria for a Diagnosis of MS
In order to make a diagnosis of MS, the physician must:
Find evidence of damage in at least two separate areas of the central nervous system (CNS), which includes the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves AND
Find evidence that the damage occurred at least one month apart AND
Rule out all other possible diagnoses
Given this, its difficult to understand how, in the absence of lesions, a diagnosis of MS was made.


Well, grandsons4, if you're talking about the original poster, I don't think that she's been diagnosed with MS yet. In the absence of lesions, her neuro suggested fibromyalgia, but hadn't checked the c-spine for lesions. Or at least that's what I think I understood from the first post. :smile:

Edited to add that if you're talking about my reference to patients I know who were diagnosed without lesions, yes, there are many I've run into at MS forums (and here) who finally get a diagnosis with no lesions showing on MRI. I don't understand how either, but sometimes all the other signs must be too plentiful to ignore. In my 10 years of frequenting forums I've also seen plenty of MS patients UN-diagnosed as well, even after years of taking MS meds. So that's why I urge caution.
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: Questions about lesions

Postby grandsons4 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:39 am

You're right, I stand corrected. I was lax in trying to answer her question, "Can I have MS without lesions showing?"
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Re: Questions about lesions

Postby stillfighting » Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:20 am

In order for a neuro to know that 2 or more area's of the brain or spine are affected. He has to see this on a neuro exam. These are things that can't be faked.

I am not totally familiar with what they would be there are too many to name.. the babinski sign.. Optic N.. ( a trip to an eye specialist for an OCT scan might be helpful) it can see ON an MRI can't really)
Gait disturbances.. vestibular distubances. Optic palor. Absence of reflenxes.
They would come and go.Wax and wane. An MRI won't alway's catch a lesion anyway. As it is always becoming bigger and smaller and healing itself.
More so in the beginning. WE HOPE. An MRI is not a good indicator of disease activity at best. It's only a tool.
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Re: Questions about lesions

Postby stillfighting » Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:47 am

http://www.msdiscovery.org/news/news_sy ... -meets-eye

I was not sure I could find this link. I am posting it many of you may have seen it. I found it very interesting. Of course I know we/I am not a dr. It does not take a genius to see with the eye why an mri is not the whole story.
With MS the brain is always changing.

That is part of the disease
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