Here is My Question:
I saw a neurologist to discuss MS due to the following symptoms: severe fatigue, intention tremors, heat sensitivity, cognitive issues, and right arm weakness. I had these symptoms about 10 months ago following a viral infection. The symptoms resolved but recently returned and symptoms are reoccurring in the same sequence as before. The doctor very quickly told me fatigue has nothing to do with MS and that I’m actually depressed and could have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I have read so much information about MS and fatigue that I’m confused as to why she would say that they aren’t related. The description of MS fatigue is exactly how I feel and all my symptoms worsen when I get hot. I don’t know if I should be relieved or get a second opinion.
It is unfortunate that you experienced this response from a neurologist. MS can be difficult to diagnose at times, but we do have very good diagnostic criteria nowadays that help to shorten the interval of uncertainty for many patients. However, certain symptoms are not terribly useful for diagnosing MS. These symptoms, while often known to support a diagnosis, would never be used as part of the diagnostic criteria because they lack any specificity for the disease and are commonly seen with other diseases. Fatigue probably tops the list in this category and most fatigue worsens in the heat. This does not mean the symptom is not important; it only means that most clinicians would not rely on this symptom, regardless of the description, to make a diagnosis of MS.
I would recommend finding a more empathetic specialist to help you better understand the basis of your symptom complex. Keep an open mind and focus on reaching an outcome that makes you feel better.
Revere P (Rip) Kinkel, MDProfessor of Neurosciences
Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Program
University of California San Diego
#multiplesclerosis #MS #chronicfatiquesyndrome
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