6 Steps to Take If You Suspect MS
Apr 4, 2013 (updated Jan 11, 2014)
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Begin a medical journal documenting your symptoms. Note the type and severity of symptoms, as well as how long they last. This will be a valuable tool for your doctor visits.
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Make an appointment with your doctor
Make an appointment with your general physician and bring the journal so that you don't forget any details. After performing a general exam, they may be able to determine another cause for your symptoms.
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See a specialist
If your general physician finds no reason for your symptoms, ask for a referral to a well-respected neurologist. Keep up your journal and bring it to your appointment. This will come in handy, especially if you are symptom-free by the time of your exam.
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Immediate diagnosis is uncommon. The neurologist will likely arrange for tests such as spinal tap, evoked potentials, and MRI. Ask for copies of all your test results.
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Prepare for the unknown
It would not be unusual for some or all your tests to be negative. The neurologist may tell you to make another appointment when symptoms return. Do that.
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Find a second opinion
If you question your neurologist's diagnosis, or lack thereof, seek a second opinion from a neurologist who specializes in MS. Bring your journal, as well as any prior test results you may have. You can request that your medical records be forwarded as well. Go armed with all the information at your disposal.