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Investigating whether I have MS

I am in the process of the investigative phase to establish whether I have MS or not. I want to describe my situation and see if it sounds familiar to anyone. I am not trying to pre-empt anything but I am becoming somewhat frustrated in my attempts to sort out what is going on with me.

I am a lifelong runner and I am now 51. About 10 years ago I started to experience periods of very noticeable weakening in my legs, particularly in the summer. For example, in winter months I would run 5km in about 18:00 and by the end of summer I would be struggling to break 20 mins. Over the colder months I would come good again. Over the last 3 years these episodes have become much more frequent and the symptoms have become worse.

The "episodes" seem to happen every 4-6 weeks and last for about a week. Fast forward to now and the symptoms are mostly the muscle weakness and fatigue with what I believe is a worsening of my ability to concentrate and my general cognitive "fitness". Still, the heat seems to increase the frequency of the "epsiodes".

The "weakness" is more sever now in these episodes than in the past. For example, my 5k time will go from about 18:30 one week, to about 25:00 a week later when a new episode hits. When I experience such an episode, my legs feel "spastic", in that they struggle to go! Particularly if I hit a hill, I almost have to walk up it. I get tired very quickly and often end up walking quite a way home as even a slow jog/ shuffle becomes too much. Once such an episode passes, I am back to 18:30 within days, as though nothing has ever been wrong. For the record, it is not overtraining which is the underlying problem! 😀

I also get very tired and will be in bed by 9:00 and sleeping solidly until about 6:30. I wake up feeling wrecked and never really get going.

About 5 years ago, I was diagnosed with Graves Disease. I have been on meds for this and my thyroid levels have been quite stable. Lately, thyrotoxicity, medication side-effects and b-12 deficiency have been ruled out.

The major symptom at the moment is described above in the context of my running.

I am wondering whether this sounds familiar to anyone on here? I don't have any symptoms which would suggest something that mimics MS, hence why the current process to look at whether it is the intermittent form of MS.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated 😀

  1. Hi . I am sure you are quite frustrated. We are not medical experts, so we can't speculate as to what might be happening, but I can tell your muscle weakness and cognitive fog could be symptoms of many different health conditions. Here is an article about health conditions that mimic MS that you might find helpful: You might have a long journey to diagnosis ahead given that your symptoms can apply so broadly. Please know that we are here for you throughout the process whenever you need support or a place to vent. I hope this helps. Thinking of you. - Lori (Team Member)

    1. get an mri. The lesions will be quite easily visible, especially to a neurologist and possibly to you as well.

  2. I cant say for sure what is happening and I am im still in the investigative stage myself, but I am much the same as you with the same symptoms and heat + stress are my main triggers.

    1. I hope you get some answers soon as well, , and that you get some relief. Wishing you the best. - Lori (Team Member)

  3. Hi Steve I wondered how things had developed? symptoms? diagnosis?

    You could do an evoked potential, MRI and/or lumbar puncture.

    all best wishes

    1. these are all pretty good diagnostic indicators for MS. However my lumbar puncture was negative. The evoked potential was fairly inconclusive. It was the MRI that truly told the tale.

    1. you could. Hope you have really, really deep pockets. I was on Beta-seron injections. I think it was about $1000 a month if not more. Through my neuro, I got special authorization from the drug company for a gradually increasing increasing dose every other day. I was really sick. I take drugs for the symptoms now.

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