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Anyone else had their MS symptoms blamed on menopause?

Hi folks. Hope you are all the best you can be... I am undiagnosed, but that's where the problem is... For some years now I have strong symptoms of MS; I am now in the menopause and my doctor says that's what's causing my symptoms. I cannot see a neurologist without a referral letter from my doctor first so I am up a gumtree. I have tried 3 times thus far to persuade him but now I feel dumped and lost the courage to insist. I am pathetic I know... I wonder if anyone else has had their MS blamed on menopause like me.

  1. Hi ! People have had their MS blamed on so many different things, so I wouldn't be surprised if menopause is one of them. Have you considered getting a second opinion from another primary care doctor? Also, has your doctor ordered a test for Lyme disease just to rule that out before you start down the MRI path? The symptoms of chronic Lyme Disease mimic many of the symptoms of MS. I am sharing a link with you to an article from our editorial team about getting an MS diagnosis. The article includes a link to the symptoms that would clue in a doctor that MS might be the issue: https://multiplesclerosis.net/diagnosis/. I hope you find answers and relief soon. Best wishes! – Lori, MultipleSclerosis.net, Team Member

    1. Hi Lori; My thanks for your speedy response

      It anger's me when Menopause and myself are the scape goats..I protest on behalf of other women like myself as it surely beg's the question as to what doctors would say if I was man!..there it is right there; a direct Discrimination..and if like myself you have something akin to white coat syndrome, well you're about licked.
      I am getting angry right now regard same.

      My pathetic side must get to grip's and grab this bull by the horn's and wrestle the heck out of it to get a refferal to a Neurologist. Gp's don't know that much about MS so how dare they avail themselves of their seat's and deny access to a specialist who does,?..
      I need after three attempts
      thus far, to muster what i am saying here and relay it to the GP ,after all,
      I/we probably know more suffering MS. It's so hard, and for most,year's of denial. I indeed hope i can swerve my way to a Neurologist and secure an answer;
      yes it may not be MS in the end but surely i have the right to find out..I know it's going to be a fight but i must try and in this particular instance, for other's amid the Menopause..
      Wish me luck folk's..any advice etc rabidly appreciated..bye for now..take care comrades...

      1. Hi . Yes, I too have had to call up all the fortitude I possess in the face of those men and women who have more than once robustly reassured me that I don’t have MS, it’s menopause (actually, I’m doing both!) often in an effort to diminish or disregard my situation. While hearing this from friends, fam, clinicians can be infuriating I encourage you to make an appointment with the best women’s healthcare provider in your area. (This is advice which was given to me by the one clinician in my life I actually trust to listen and give me a well-reasoned answer. She is not a neurologist, I no longer go to them for anything.) Get a work up on all of your hormonal activity/realities. Then you can talk to a clinician who focuses on women’s health for that part of your dilemma and you will be fully armed with evidence for the next person who tries to gender-age bias you and maybe some more clarified insight into what is MS/ what might be hormonal? Good luck. This is a hard path but this website has the friendliest voices regarding MS I’ve found so far. Take care and gosh, hope for menopause for sure!

        1. , I was diagnosed with MS years before I went through menopause so I was spared the sexist garbage associated with menopause that you are experiencing (so sorry you have to face that). Although I did experience sexist garbage when MS first appeared, which delayed testing and a diagnosis--but that's another story.

          For me, menopause manifested as only hot flashes/night sweats. Prior to that, I had a problem with heat intolerance and night sweats that were clearly MS-related. But these hot flashes were different somehow. It sent me to my OBGYN to test my FSH and sure enough, I was in menopause. Funny that I hadn't had a period for 4 months and didn't notice that!

          You didn't describe your symptoms, but if you are experiencing mobility problems, numbness and tingling, balance problems, double vision and other visual worsening, and bladder/bowel issues among other things, those are neurological symptoms and should justify a referral to a neuro.

          If you haven't already, describe in detail to the next doc what symptoms you experience and how much it affects your quality of life.

          Diagnostic tests for MS start with blood tests that rule other medical conditions that share the same symptoms as MS. Lyme is one, as Lori mentioned, and there are a bunch of others. There is no blood test for MS. The neuro orders MRIs, a lumbar puncture,evoked potentials, and performs a physical exam that checks your balance, coordination, vision, strength, reflexes, and sensation.

          I hope you'll get some answers and relief very soon! Best, Kim, moderator

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