I have been to two neurologists and have gotten 2 MRIs. Both have been abnormal MRIs. They tell me they believe its MS but they are not sure. Everywhere I go they have not confirmed that I have MS. I am a 22 year old student and the symptoms I currently experience are right head and right eye pain and some blurriness at times. I had other symptoms 2 years ago that were all MS symptoms according to my doctor but I stopped thinking about this disease and change my lifestyle, I lost weight and ate healthy and experience no symptoms at all for 2 years! Until now again. I feel tired most of the time and always sleepy. I come from a Latino family and have no family history of this disease. I am scared to start medication because besides these symptoms I feel fine. I have a new appointment with an MS expert in SD in a month and if he confirms MS, I will need to start medication. Will the medication make me feel better or make me worse? Thank you so much for all the support and for answering questions.
Those are all good questions. If you end up seeing me in San Diego, we can address them in more detail. Here are my brief responses:
1. MS is really a clinical diagnosis. MRIs are confirmatory in the correct clinical context only. They are also somewhat useful to prognosticate the severity of the disease. Please read my earlier blog on establishing a diagnosis of MS. READ BLOG
2. It is actually typical for patients to improve and remain stable for a while only to have symptoms return. This is why we refer to the symptoms as relapsing-remitting.
3. There are many good treatments for MS but all are, by and large, preventative. This means it most important to start treatment BEFORE problems develop.
4. Some treatments can restore function and improve symptoms but responses, especially early in the course of the disease.
Revere (Rip) Kinkel, MD
Director of the UCSD Multiple Sclerosis Center