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Does this sound like MS?

I'm a 29 year old man. I've been dealing with strange symptoms for 5 years now. In that time I've gotten 2 MRI's, one in the first year when I started feeling strange flush sensations on my face, it came back clear with "2 unremarkable white spots". I passed the neurologists strength/reflex tests no problem though with some hyper-reflexivity in my legs. Fast forward to 2-3 years later, symptoms continue to persist and mostly consist of:

- Both feet are cold almost constantly. Elevating them seems to help, but I'd say this is the most persistent single symptom.
- There's a sort of flush/light burn sensation in my lower cheeks/jaw. Sometimes it's worse than others. Usually it's dull and just annoying. I'm always "aware of my face".
- Slight tension/pressure in my brow.
- Persistent pressure in the back of my head/neck
- Jumpy/Anxious
- Frequent urination
- Memory is pretty bad. I was never good at names/faces but since all this ramped up everything has been pretty cloudy.

That's the bulk of what I deal with on a daily basis. My energy levels have been pretty good/consistent. I lift weights and I haven't noticed any issues with my strength... There's just these persistent symptoms that never seem to let up. Oh and I almost forgot, I had a 2nd MRI about a year ago (year 4 into all this) and that came back the same as the first. 2 Unremarkable white spots. Passed all the reflex tests with similar slight hyper-reflexivity. No red flags.

Saw a neurosurgeon last week about the possibility of Chiari Malformation (to explain the head pressure), he looked over the MRI, said no. To quote him "You're the most neurologically normal person I've seen all day." Ran all the reflex tests on me. Said he didn't know what was going on with me and offered to refer me to a neurologist.

So I don't know everyone, I'm depressed about the symptoms. The cold feet in particular. My PC checked my feet and said "you could run a marathon if you want". But they always feel icy. When I'm in bed in the evening I point a space heater at them to combat it.

Could this be some kind of hardcore generalized anxiety disorder I've spun into? Do I have MS with 2 clean MRI's 4 years apart? Wouldn't things get worse over the course of 5 years?

I'm tired and sick of all this and I don't know where else to turn. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated as I basically have a bunch of doctors (including neurologists/neurosurgeons) shrugging and chalking it up to anxiety.


Thank you,
A Worried Guy

  1. Hi Worrier25,

    I'm sorry that you've been going through this for so long. We are unable to give medical advice or guess at diagnoses.

    Have you talked with your primary care physician to explore other potential causes of your symptoms? For example, vitamin deficiency and hypothyroidism can cause numbness and tingling, although that is not one of the symptoms you mention.

    It's true that anxiety can cause all sorts of strange symptoms at times. Did your doctors prescribe anything for that and did it make a difference? Did they suggest any stress reduction or mind-body exercises such as yoga or meditation? If so, did it make any difference assuming you gave it a serious try?

    I deal with anxiety on occasion and it certainly can magnify symptoms. BTW, anxiety can be a symptom of MS so finding ways to reduce that can benefit you no mater if you have MS or not.

    Best wishes, Lisa

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