Posted 11/23/2006 8:17 AM (GMT -6)
Yes I live in Alaska in a small town here and I really don't feel that my doc really knows that much or cares to I have though of go to seattle for it, I didn't feel that good about
the doctors in anchorage when I first got chemical overexposure to paints but are these things apart of MS?
Hello. When you ask "are these things a part of MS" -- I'm taking that to mean the symptoms you listed (not the chemical exposure, which is a separate issue...but which can cause some of the symptoms you're experiencing, too.)
The problem is this: There are LOTS of disorders, some neurological in nature (like MS, like the chemical exposure you've suffered)
and some metabolic -- like the diabetes you already have
that can cause similar symptoms. And in order to make any sort of diagnosis and start you on treatment, the doctor has to determine what exactly is causing the symptoms.
There is no one specific determining test for MS, unfortunately, so it's a matter of testing to eliminate or factor in other disorders.
Given your rather complicated medical history -- the chemical exposure, the diabetes -- I think it even more critical that you indeed get to an MS specialist somewhere. I know a couple of folks in Alaska who head to Seattle for care, so you might really consider that. Be sure to take along any medical records you have already, from your current doctors (or when you set up the appointment, give the Seattle folks the names and addresses of your cureent doctor and they can request the records be sent to them.)
As Jen said, you'd be given MRI's of your brain and probably your spinal chord. I don't know why they didn't do a spinal tap on her..generally if the MRI's come back "normal" and the patient is still experiencing symptoms, the spinal tap is next on the list, as that can show not only whether you might have MS, but also if there is some other problems somewhere in your body, like an infection of the central nervous system. You'll also undergo lots of blood tests to try to rule in or rule out other things. And maybe a referral to a rheumatologist, or someone trained in chemical exposure and its long-term effects, to see if what you're experiencing might be related to that. They'd need a complete medical history, so you might want to start now, writing down dates when you were exposed to chemicals, when you were diagnosed with diabetes. Also make sure to take along any meds you're already on -- sometimes drug interactions can cause physical problems, too.
Good luck! Let us know how it goes.
...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....