6 Steps to Take If You Suspect MS

Chris Regal | April 4, 2013 Oct 30, 2016

1 of 6
1 of 6

Document symptoms

Credit: iStock

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.

2 of 6

Make an appointment with your doctor

Credit: iStock

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.

3 of 6

See a specialist

Credit: iStock

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.

4 of 6

Be patient

Credit: iStock

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.

5 of 6

Prepare for the unknown

Credit: iStock

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.

6 of 6

Find a second opinion

Credit: iStock

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.

NEXT: Top 10 Things to Tell Your Doctor If You Have MS
More on this topic

6 Ways to Improve Sleep with MS

Jacqueline Ho

Unusual Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

The HealthCentral Editorial Team

Reducing Falls With MS

Lisa Emrich

7 Stages of Grief After an MS Diagnosis

Eileen Bailey

How Drinking Coffee Could Reduce MS Risk

Lisa Emrich

Who is Your MS Hero?

Lisa Emrich

What Does Intimacy Mean to You with MS?

Lisa Emrich

Is There Such a Thing as a Diet for MS?

Lisa Emrich

Laughing or Crying For No Reason? It may be your MS

Merely Me

Parenting with MS

Amy Gurowitz

Top 50 Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis

Lisa Emrich

Invisible MS Symptoms

Lisa Emrich

Guided Imagery May Reduce Depression and Fatigue in MS

Lisa Emrich

6 Real Life Issues that Affect Your Life with MS

Lisa Emrich

Five Hidden Symptoms of MS

Lisa Emrich

10 Lessons I've Learned Since Being Diagnosed with MS

Lisa Emrich

Traveling Abroad with Multiple Sclerosis

Amy Gurowitz

Which Type of Exercise is Better for People with MS?

Lisa Emrich

What Causes MS to Relapse?

Lisa Emrich

How to Combat MS Fatigue

Lisa Emrich

Healthy Relationships Despite MS

Lisa Emrich

What is the MS Hug?

Lisa Emrich

What Is Spinal MS?

Lisa Emrich

What is the Hoffmann Reflex?

Lisa Emrich

MS Signs vs. Symptoms: The Babinski Sign

Lisa Emrich

MS Signs vs. Symptoms: What is L'Hermitte's Sign?

Lisa Emrich

The MS Personality: Fact or Fiction?

Merely Me

The Neurological Exam: What do they do?

Merely Me

How to Manage MS Fatigue

Jacqueline Ho

7 Stretches and Exercises to Improve Balance with MS

Jacqueline Ho

12 Tips for Cooking with MS

Chris Regal

Seven Common Relapsing-Remitting MS Symptoms

Jacqueline Ho

8 Ways to Reduce Stress with MS

Lisa Emrich

Top 10 Common Myths about MS

Lisa Emrich

What to Tell Your Doctor About Your MS

Lisa Emrich