Here is My Question:
Thank you for the opportunity; I do not currently have a primary care physician. At a very young age (3-4 I believe) I contracted a very serious case of meningitis. I know that I was close to death and had to be taken from Nor Cal to Anaheim. Without a background in medicine Google is a troubling source for self diagnosis. I do have a BA in Journalism and am at least able to filter BS. In short, my symptoms of left hemisphere weakening, numbness, spasticity, gait, etc sure sound like MS is slowly setting in over the past 8 years or so. I know my fever was extremely high when I was young. In short, am I likely correct (I know you can’t do much more than say ‘see a damn doctor already man!’ that the damage to demyelination from my 30 year old illness is a contributing factor to this motor control deterioration? I’ve tried yoga, Thai chi, etc abs still jog daily....Yet engaging/firing the correct muscles to support athletic and daily movement has become near impossible. It was therapeutic just to share that; so thanks. I have no health insurance and I hear constantly about early diagnosis abs therapy. I don’t want charity and I understand the pharmaceutical world more than most. Is there anything I can do (nutrition, supplements, style of exercise) to help slow my symptoms (assuming it is MS). Thank you! Ryan in Portland
You’re right, Dr. Google isn’t an adequate substitute for the actual specialist. The assumption of MS is a big one and I remain unconvinced based on symptoms with a history of meningitis presented. However, I’ll play ball and simply say that in the case of confirmed MS—and in addition to a disease modifying therapy, a healthy/well-balanced diet, exercise, and potentially supplementing with vitamin D3 5,000 IU daily, may be helpful. Patients with MS are not exempt from other health issues that come with age. High blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol problems, etc can also injure the nervous system and increase the rate of disability.
Ultimately, however, a proper evaluation with an MS specialist is in order. Please be kind in response to this post. My knowledge and command of the English language is likely not up to par with a journalist.
A. Scott Nielsen MD MMSc
Neurologist and MS Specialist at Kaiser Permanente
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