Could this be MS?

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

Could this be MS?

Postby GreenPurple » Fri Apr 11, 2014 6:05 am

I'm 16 I never thought about MS up until about 2 weeks ago and since then I have started to feel the symptoms. I am constantly fatigued and had a twitch under my right eye for 5/6 days. For the past 5 days my left arm has felt heavy but not in pain, as has my left leg. I must also mention that the day before these symptoms came about I was out shopping all day and walked for 5/6 hours, only eating food at 1:00 p.m, only to go on to drink roughly 15 units of alcohol that night with minimal sleep. I've spent most of the past 3/4 days asleep trying to get back to normal but that hasn't helped. I went to the doctor and he says that I have trapped a nerve in my neck from the way I slept and that's causing the sensation in my arm, but said nothing about my leg. That's as much as I can think of, if I remember anything I'll add it but thank you to anyone who reads and responds!
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Re: Could this be MS?

Postby lyndacarol » Fri Apr 11, 2014 8:30 am

GreenPurple wrote:I'm 16 I never thought about MS up until about 2 weeks ago and since then I have started to feel the symptoms. I am constantly fatigued and had a twitch under my right eye for 5/6 days. For the past 5 days my left arm has felt heavy but not in pain, as has my left leg. I must also mention that the day before these symptoms came about I was out shopping all day and walked for 5/6 hours, only eating food at 1:00 p.m, only to go on to drink roughly 15 units of alcohol that night with minimal sleep. I've spent most of the past 3/4 days asleep trying to get back to normal but that hasn't helped. I went to the doctor and he says that I have trapped a nerve in my neck from the way I slept and that's causing the sensation in my arm, but said nothing about my leg. That's as much as I can think of, if I remember anything I'll add it but thank you to anyone who reads and responds!

Welcome to ThisIsMS, GreenPurple.

With the symptoms you described, MS is always a possibility until the other conditions that share the same symptoms are ruled out. MS is an exclusionary diagnosis.

Numbness/tingling/heaviness/even pain in the legs and arms is the textbook definition of "peripheral neuropathy." This is a common symptom in MANY conditions. In investigating the cause of peripheral neuropathy, the University of Chicago suggests the following:

http://peripheralneuropathycenter.uchic ... #bloodtest\

Blood tests

Blood tests are commonly employed to check for vitamin deficiencies, toxic elements and evidence of an abnormal immune response.

Depending on your individual situation, your doctor may request certain laboratory tests to identify potentially treatable causes for neuropathy. These include tests for:
Vitamin B12 and folate levels
Thyroid, liver and kidney functions
Vasculitis evaluation
Oral glucose tolerance test
Antibodies to nerve components (e.g., anti-MAG antibody)
Antibodies related to celiac disease
Lyme disease
HIV/AIDS
Hepatitis C and B
Please note that the first blood test the U of Chicago suggests is for vitamin B12. I definitely think this is the place to start. Your family physician, GP or internist can order the tests to rule out a vitamin B 12 deficiency. There have been several malpractice cases won (for several million dollars each!) when doctors did not look for vitamin B 12 deficiencies and patients went on to develop irreversible neurologic damage.

You may find information in the following video useful: "Everything You Want Your Doctor to Know about Vitamin B12"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvEizypoyO0

I highly recommend this 50-minute documentary from the filmmaker Elissa Leonard, featuring Sally Pacholok, RN, BSN & her husband Jeffrey Stuart, D.O. (authors of the book, Could It Be B12? An Epidemic of Misdiagnoses); Lawrence Solomon, M.D., hematologist with Yale Medical School; Ralph Green, M.D., hematologist at UC Davis; and Donald Jacobsen, PhD, at the Cleveland Clinic (Homocysteine Research Lab).

@1:23 "The neurological manifestations well precede the hematological manifestations."

@1:46 "In 1948 scientists isolated a red crystalline pigment and named it vitamin B12. It is a primordial molecule responsible for the health of all the DNA in all our cells. The Framingham Offspring Study suggests 40% of Americans have suboptimal B12."

By the way, drinking alcoholic beverages depletes vitamin B12 – not good, if you are even borderline B12 deficient.

If you are found to have a vitamin B 12 deficiency, it is easily treated with B12 supplementation; when it comes to MS, the cause is unknown and the "experts" have no effective treatment for it.
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Re: Could this be MS?

Postby jimmylegs » Sat Apr 12, 2014 7:04 am

hi and welcome gp!

ms patients are known to have quite a few nutrition problems linked to energy levels and muscle function.

one of the first things you could do would be to make sure that nutrients are in no way contributing to your fatigue and muscle twitching issues.

may i ask what your diet is like, and if you are female? also, would you say your consumption of alcohol is linked in any way to helping with sleep or anxiety issues?

i'd like to draw a couple of essential nutrients to your attention:

IRON
the single most common nutrition problem anywhere is with iron. low iron means low oxygen delivery to cells and that means fatigue. young women are at particular risk.

Nutrition of Women and Adolescent Girls: Why It Matters
http://www.prb.org/Publications/Article ... tters.aspx
"Although malnutrition's effects on this group have been recognized for decades, there has been little measurable progress in addressing the specific nutritional problems of women and adolescent girls. Ignorance about the symptoms of malnutrition, such as the lethargy and depression caused by iron deficiency, may be dismissed as "normal" or unimportant, further exacerbating the problem.1"

http://kidshealth.org/parent/growth/feeding/iron.html
-Adolescent boys should be getting 11 milligrams of iron a day and adolescent girls should be getting 15 milligrams. (Adolescence is a time of rapid growth and teen girls need additional iron to replace what they lose monthly when they begin menstruating.)
-Young athletes who regularly engage in intense exercise tend to lose more iron and may require extra iron in their diets.

you can compare what you eat iron-wise to the daily targets given above, by checking the food chart here:
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tnam ... #foodchart

MAGNESIUM
another commonly neglected nutrient is magnesium. low magnesium status also results in fatigue, as well as muscle twitches and anxiety (not to mention that magnesium can help with PMS pain and mood issues).

http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnes ... kFacts/#h5
"The diets of most people in the United States provide less than the recommended amounts of magnesium. Men older than 70 and teenage girls are most likely to have low intakes of magnesium."

compare this chart to your diet to see if you are getting at LEAST 400mg magnesium per day http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tnam ... #foodchart

alcohol consumption depletes a wide array of nutrients across the board. magnesium is a significant one, and so is zinc.
low levels of these minerals affect your ability to absorb and/or utilize other nutrients such as b12.

http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/zinc-teens-4589.html
"teen boys between the ages of 14 and 18 should consume 11 milligrams of zinc daily. Teen girls of the same ages require 9 milligrams of zinc each day."
https://wrightnewsletter.com/2005/05/30 ... eficiency/
"In this country, teenagers are at the highest risk of zinc deficiency, since zinc is used at higher rates by the body during times of intense cell growth and division."

here's the food chart for zinc - make sure you are getting enough! http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tnam ... #foodchart

you'll notice some overlap between the food lists and that's great - it means you can be working towards multiple targets with each food serving.
do focus on unprocessed food as much as possible to address your need for these various essential nutrients. you'll get far more out of whole healthy foods than just these single essential nutrients on their own. if you just can't get there with healthy food, at least try to get part way and only use a supplement to top up where necessary.

note that in addition to the detrimental effects of alcohol, that high consumption of wheat bread can also make it challenging for your body to absorb nutrients. it's all about balance :)

looking forward to hearing more about your diet, so we can help you figure this out!
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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