are my syptoms Multiple Sclerosis?

This is the place to ask questions if you have symptoms that suggest MS, but aren't yet diagnosed.
chad
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are my syptoms Multiple Sclerosis?

Post by chad » Thu May 15, 2014 9:52 pm

Hi my name is Chad. I am new to the board and would like to present my symptoms for your evaluation.

It all started when I was 15 years old. I began having temporary vision loss from time to time. The vision loss was always followed by a terrible headache. The vision loss is difficult to portray, but I will do my best to paint the picture. I remember sitting in class and looking at the whiteboard and would only be able to see 60% of my normal field of vision. It seemed as though 1 1/2 eyes were working. It seemed as though a gray piece of cloth was covering a portion of my left eye. If I closed my left eye, the vision problem was still there. This would last around an hour or two and my vision would restore to normal. After about a dozen of these episodes I seen an eye doctor who told me my eyes were fine and the problem I was having was neurological. I had these vision loss episodes for about a year or 2, roughly monthly.

Speaking of headaches, I had frequent severe headaches for years leading up to and shortly after the vision loss episodes went away. I rarely get headaches now at the age of 30, but when I do get them they are severe.

Around this same time I would frequently have what I called dizzy spells. I remember sitting in a chair and it would feel like the room was spinning around me. Sometimes spinning like a ticking second hand on a clock. These have not happened since my teens.

My muscles have always twitched since I was a teenager. It doesn't hurt, but random muscles will just start throbbing.

I have had ED problems since my early 20's. I have a very low testosterone level 300 if I remember correctly.

I constantly feel as if I need to urinate strongly, but usually not much comes out and the stream is weak. It also leaks for a few minutes after I feel I am done urinating. Urinate 4-5 a night.

I am quite constipated, and go several times a day. Although I do have a dietary item that gets things moving quite effectively. I will talk more about this later.

I am often fatigued throughout the day even after a restful nights sleep. There's times my energy level just hits the floor.

When I was about 23, all of a sudden my diet changed. I would get sick when I drank milk. My body stopped digesting nuts & seeds, and I was diagnosed diabetic. I have since been 'cured' of diabetes, I can eat nuts again, but the intolerance towards milk is still there.

I've alway felt a little 'down' although I wouldn't call it depression except maybe there for a year stretch in my early 20's was the 'lowest' I felt.

I recently started dropping everything and the sensation in my hands has obviously decreased.

Part of my left foot is always tingling and numb.

I often slur words sounding as if I was drinking heavily. I often talk louder or softer than I intend.

My balance is always swaying and I'm always having to grab something to stabilize myself.

Always bump into objects getting bruised as I don't seem to know where my body is in relation to the objects around it.

I can get moody going happy to frustration quite quickly for no apparent reason and vice versa.

I have had 1 neurologist diagnose me with MS just based on an office visit and description of my symptoms. This was around age 23. At 25 I had an MRI of the brain, but MS was not showing itself at the time.

I come to you for some guidance, as I feel stuck between whether I actually have MS or not. As I know it can be present and not yet show on a MRI. I also come to offer knowledge on ways I have relieved some of these symptoms MS or not. I feel that if I do have MS, it is relatively minor or hasn't progressed too much yet for me.

There's more I'd like to add tomorrow. Thank you for taking the time to read my story and I welcome any questions or answers you have.

Wondering
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Re: are my syptoms Multiple Sclerosis?

Post by Wondering » Fri May 16, 2014 1:39 pm

Hi Chad, welcome to the board. I don't have much to offer regarding whether it is MS or not, as I am also undiagnosed. Ive never had the eye issues, other then a bit of light sensitivity. It sounds like you are doing everything you can to get some answers, but it may take a while.

Good luck to you!
Cathy

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jimmylegs
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Re: are my syptoms Multiple Sclerosis?

Post by jimmylegs » Fri May 16, 2014 3:43 pm

hi there and welcome. have any docs run serum essential nutrient tests for you? if not i'd consider asking for serum mag and serum zinc to start...

vision loss - possibly zinc related.
headaches - possibly magnesium related
dizziness - possibly zinc related
muscle twitching - likely magnesium related
ED and low testosterone - likely zinc related
fatigue - possibly magnesium related
food sensitivity - likely zinc related
feeling down/moodiness - likely zinc, magnesium and fatty acid related
peripheral neuropathy - possibly zinc related

re: 'I am quite constipated, and go several times a day'. i would need clarification on that statement.

chronic disease patients in general, and ms patients in particular, have nutrition problems that are even worse than the common insufficiencies seen in the general public. zinc and magnesium are on the list. if your diet regularly includes 400mg of magnesium and up to 40mg of zinc, with no lifestyle habits that would interfere with absorption and retention, you would probably be able to rule these out as possible contributors to your experiences.

here's a list of mgs per serving for healthy mag rich foods (note that the serving size for spinach and chard applies to COOKED servings)
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tnam ... #foodchart

and the same for healthy zinc rich foods
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tnam ... #foodchart

(i would consider adding a weekly tin of oysters to the dietary routine, even though they are not on the list. they are a superior source of zinc and it's no coincidence that they are considered an aphrodesiac :D )

and now for my question: what's your level of physical activity been like in general?
take control of your own health
pursue optimal self care at least as actively as a diagnosis
ask for referrals to preventive health care specialists eg dietitians
don't let suboptimal self care muddy any underlying diagnostic picture!

chad
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Re: are my syptoms Multiple Sclerosis?

Post by chad » Fri May 16, 2014 7:35 pm

I am constipated without my 'supplement'. My supplement gets things moving immediately, and I usually go to the bathroom 3, 4 sometimes 5 times before noon after taking it.

I will see about that testing thank you for that. I do eat lots of spinach and I take hemp seed oil for fatty acids. I swear by that stuff. When my chest pains flare up, one pill settles them down. I've seen that stuff successfully treat a lot of different things, but I'm getting off topic.

Another symptom of mine is when a spot on my skin feels as if a bug is crawling on it. I get wet feeling spots too.

How about gray hair since 7th grade?

Another thing that happens is my body will get extremely cold to the point of shivering, even when the room is warm and I'm sitting on the heater with a blanket. These episodes last about 30 minutes, but I've not had them for a few years.

chad
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Re: are my syptoms Multiple Sclerosis?

Post by chad » Sat May 17, 2014 6:51 am

Oh and how could I forget....my knees sound like rice krispies when I go up stairs. Not much pain yet, but I understand this may likely be osteoarthritis at age 30. They are getting louder it seems by the day.

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jimmylegs
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Re: are my syptoms Multiple Sclerosis?

Post by jimmylegs » Sat May 17, 2014 7:36 am

no probs :)

hope you get some useful info from the tests (keep in mind you need to get your own copy of the results - they would come back 'normal' but ms patients have low normal levels and healthy folks have mid to high normal levels)

gray hair and osteoarthritis sound nutritional as well.
take control of your own health
pursue optimal self care at least as actively as a diagnosis
ask for referrals to preventive health care specialists eg dietitians
don't let suboptimal self care muddy any underlying diagnostic picture!

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NHE
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Re: are my syptoms Multiple Sclerosis?

Post by NHE » Sun May 18, 2014 12:04 am

chad wrote:How about gray hair since 7th grade?
Early gray hair can be a sign of vitamin B12 deficiency. It also causes varying neurological problems. Please see the book "Could It Be B12?" by Sally M. Pacholok and Jeffrey J. Stuart. http://b12awareness.org/could-it-be-b12 ... diagnoses/ It sounds like you might want to get tested for B12. A youtube video is also available at and is a good place to start.

chad
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Re: are my syptoms Multiple Sclerosis?

Post by chad » Sun May 18, 2014 7:30 am

Wow 12 minutes into that video and just wow! So I've been a vegetarian for 3 years, and I rarely drink milk or eat eggs. I do eat a lot of cheese. My forearms are skinny relatively. I take tums regularly for heartburn. I was on metformin for 6 months or so until my diabetes was 'cured'. First gray hair was around age 13. Was about half gray by my mid 20's. My family has a history of heart disease. My mother has aneurysm in brain and heart. Thought I'd mention I am 6'7" 225 lbs.

Looks like I need to get tested for b12 levels, anywhere I should look? I haven't gone to a primary Dr. for about 3 years.

chad
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Re: are my syptoms Multiple Sclerosis?

Post by chad » Sun May 18, 2014 8:25 am

Also my left big toe has been numb for 8 years. Had my circulation checked and it was fine. I experience foot drop in that foot. I wear out the tread on my left shoe much quicker than my right. Had nerve conduction tests that showed abnormalities that they couldn't attribute to my back injury. I have been getting chest pains off and on for 8 years.

I have had a few instances of short breath accompanied with very strange & scary body sensations I can't even describe in words. People just told me I was having panic attacks.

I was put on anxiety and depression pills for a short period, until I decided, along with a counselor that I didn't need that stuff.

I also have some autistic tendencys. I am quite intelligent scoring 141 on IQ exam, but I feel I have this mental block of putting it to good use.

Also I have high cholesterol.

My stools are rarely 'normal'. Usually runny, chunky small bits. Sometimes with a small bloody looking mass attached to some pieces. I bleed a little when I wipe, but I had always thought that was from going 5 times before noon daily. I can go, feel empty, then have to go again, at times, not even 10 minutes later.

I am currently not taking any medication.

Thanks again so much for that video, it really hit home and I will be looking into b12 testing and treatment immediately.

chad
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Re: are my syptoms Multiple Sclerosis?

Post by chad » Sun May 18, 2014 9:35 am

I would like to add that my gums bleed even when using a soft bristle toothbrush and my skin is pale enough to see some of my veins, mainly my arms and hands.

Sorry for being all over the place. I have difficulty organizing my thoughts and putting them into writing most times.

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jimmylegs
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Re: are my syptoms Multiple Sclerosis?

Post by jimmylegs » Sun May 18, 2014 2:12 pm

if you're vegetarian b12 is key. i was a vegan before all this happened, and my levels were undetectable.

b12 deficiency has been a known differential dx for ms for decades. http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.asp ... eid=374102
it's a no brainer go to kind of thing for any symptomatic vegetarian. mine went unaddressed by the docs at dx, who didn't believe i had deficiency on my record due to a glitch in my doc's computer system.

leading up to dx, i hadn't taken my symptoms seriously at all - didn't understand what risk of neurological symptoms meant, had no idea i was damaging my spinal cord. at one time, i could totally reverse my symptoms. it went on too long and now i do have some permanent sensory loss.

zinc is key for vegetarians too. at my first test my levels were single digits. terrible. high cholesterol can be a sign of low zinc as well. same for depression.

bleeding gums can be from low vit C. i can't see how that would happen to a vegetarian though.

panic attacks and anxiety really sound like magnesium.
take control of your own health
pursue optimal self care at least as actively as a diagnosis
ask for referrals to preventive health care specialists eg dietitians
don't let suboptimal self care muddy any underlying diagnostic picture!

chad
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Posts: 37
Joined: Thu May 15, 2014 9:00 pm

Re: are my syptoms Multiple Sclerosis?

Post by chad » Sun May 18, 2014 2:35 pm

So it seems my first step is zinc, magnesium and vitamin b12 testing? Do I need a Dr. aprroval or can I get this done at a blood lab on my own accord?

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lyndacarol
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Re: are my syptoms Multiple Sclerosis?

Post by lyndacarol » Sun May 18, 2014 2:53 pm

chad wrote:Wow 12 minutes into that video and just wow! So I've been a vegetarian for 3 years, and I rarely drink milk or eat eggs. I do eat a lot of cheese. My forearms are skinny relatively. I take tums regularly for heartburn. I was on metformin for 6 months or so until my diabetes was 'cured'. First gray hair was around age 13. Was about half gray by my mid 20's. My family has a history of heart disease. My mother has aneurysm in brain and heart. Thought I'd mention I am 6'7" 225 lbs.

Looks like I need to get tested for b12 levels, anywhere I should look? I haven't gone to a primary Dr. for about 3 years.
Welcome to ThisIsMS, Chad.

The symptoms that you list in your several posts are found too often on the lists in the video.
Signs and Symptoms of B12 Deficiency:
Tingling/Numbness
Sore Mouth or Tongue
Fatigue
Anxiety
Irritability
Depression
Weakness
Abnormal Gait
Mental Impairment
Visual Disturbances
Migraine
Orthostatic Intolerance
Chest Pain
Tachycardia
Difficulty Breathing
Edema
Elevated Homocysteine
Elevated MMA
Stomach and G.I. Problems
Blood Abnormalities
Neurological Lesions
Limb Movement Disorders
Psychosis
Thoughts of Suicide
Cardinal Signs of Anemia Due to Vitamin B12 Deficiency:
Fatigue
Shortness of breath
Dizziness
Pale/yellowish skin
Swollen tongue that may appear dark red
Weight loss
Diarrhea
Numbness or tingling in your hands and legs
Muscle weakness
Irritability
Unsteady movements
Mental confusion or forgetfulness

On page 214 in the book, Could It Be B12? the authors say:
A number of prescription drugs, too, can deplete B12 stores, particularly in older patients. Among the most common are proton pump inhibitors, metformin (Glucophage), H-2 blockers, antacids, anticonvulsants, some antibiotics, and colchicine.
I think you definitely need to be tested for a vitamin B12 deficiency. Find a PCP – a GP or internist – who is willing to work with you. To determine if you have a B12 deficiency in the blood (in other words, you have a malabsorption problem), doctors usually start by ordering these four tests: #1 serum (blood) B12 test, #2 serum folic acid test, #3 serum homocysteine test, and #4 a urinary methylmalonic acid (MMA) test.

The testing required to determine if you have a deficiency in the tissues is more involved and more expensive. In my opinion, an inexpensive therapeutic trial of B12 injections is more reasonable – it is not toxic, there are no side effects, it is not expensive. But this is best worked out between you and your doctor.

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jimmylegs
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Re: are my syptoms Multiple Sclerosis?

Post by jimmylegs » Sun May 18, 2014 3:09 pm

it's probably just dietary deficit not malabsorption, LC. sublingual b12 in the short term and a diet switch in the long term did the trick for my b12 status no problem.

re the tums, posted this elsewhere yesterday:
http://www.thisisms.com/forum/general-d ... ml#p225325
also:
Drug-Nutrient Interactions
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8584285
The largest group of agents recognized to cause interactions along the gastrointestinal tract are gastric antacids. ... by modifying gastric pH. Increasing gastric pH leads to diminished absorption of calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc.
take control of your own health
pursue optimal self care at least as actively as a diagnosis
ask for referrals to preventive health care specialists eg dietitians
don't let suboptimal self care muddy any underlying diagnostic picture!

chad
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Posts: 37
Joined: Thu May 15, 2014 9:00 pm

Re: are my syptoms Multiple Sclerosis?

Post by chad » Sun May 18, 2014 3:27 pm

So the tums is no good for me then?

I have recently started having a little difficulty swallowing. Food goes down then seems to get stuck somewhere in my abdomen area. Chaser of water always gets it down though. At first it was just bread rolls, but now other foods are getting stuck.

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