I know I have to go to the doctor soon. I have rather bad symptoms, regardless of what's causing them. How do you talk to a doctor about having MS without sounding like a hypochondriac who self-diagnoses constantly? Most of my symptoms have been going on for 5+ years and kind of flare up and cool off. Most of them are severe. I'd do a list but it'd be long.
Hello and welcome to ThisIsMS, odinite.odinite wrote:I know I have to go to the doctor soon. I have rather bad symptoms, regardless of what's causing them. How do you talk to a doctor about having MS without sounding like a hypochondriac who self-diagnoses constantly? Most of my symptoms have been going on for 5+ years and kind of flare up and cool off. Most of them are severe. I'd do a list but it'd be long.
#1. Make an appointment with a GP or internist you trust and respect – someone who wants to be a "disease detective."
#2. In the quiet of your home, compose a concise timeline and list of your symptoms to send to your doctor or to hand to him at your appointment.
#3. Discuss your symptoms, but do not mention any particular diagnosis – leave the diagnosis to your doctor. The diagnosis of MS is made only after other more likely possibilities have been ruled out first.
#4. If your symptoms include numbness/tingling in the arms/hands or legs/feet (a.k.a. peripheral neuropathy), you can share information on the plan of investigation for this suggested by the University of Chicago:
http://peripheralneuropathycenter.uchic ... #bloodtest\
Note that the first blood test the U of Chicago suggests is for vitamin B12. The serum B12 test alone is not adequate to determine a deficiency; a serum homocysteine test, a serum or urinary methylmalonic acid test, and possibly a HoloTranscobalamin (Hcy) test are necessary to confirm a deficiency in the blood as well as in the tissues.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
Oral glucose tolerance test
Antibodies to nerve components (e.g., anti-MAG antibody)
Antibodies related to celiac disease
Hepatitis C and B
Please watch the following: "Everything You Want Your Doctor to Know about Vitamin B12"
I highly recommend this 50-minute documentary 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."
By the way, do not take vitamin B supplements before any vitamin B blood test, as this will skew the results.
#5. Request your own copy of any test results. (It is important to have the actual numbers; our memories often fail us.)
We wish you all the best.
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