Do You Have MS? Take The Quiz!

quizThere’s a good reason our neurologists and MS nurses warn us not to google MS. A tweet went round recently with a link to a website that promised to diagnose you with MS or not, just by answering 12 simple questions (here).

I took the quiz, with the knowledge I have already been diagnosed with highly-active relapsing MS. The website’s Androctor Anna, however, gave me unexpected news – ‘I screened you for multiple sclerosis. Based on your answers, you don’t fit the diagnostic criteria for the screened disease.’

I admit, when my neurologist first diagnosed me with Clinically Isolated Syndrome, which may or may not lead to MS, then told me not to look for answers on the internet, the first thing I did when I got home was pour myself a stiff drink, boot up the computer and surf. Endlessly. I’ll bet most of you guys did too.

I can laugh at these quizzes now, but if I had found them back then, would it have been a more serious matter? Would it have reassured me? Through trial and and a lot of errors, I eventually stuck to only two websites – The MS Society and the MS Trust. Friends were just as naive as me though – my inbox was flooded with links to various websites. One admonished me for drinking diet Coke, whilst others offered amazing herbal cures or secrets to beating MS, if only I paid hundreds of pounds for the privilege.

More worryingly, other websites chastised me for putting sun cream on my son. By ‘denying’ him vitamin D, I had unwittingly increased his chances of developing MS. And it’s not just internet websites. Have a look at some of the books for sale about beating MS:

  • The Hippy Guide to Eliminating Multiple Sclerosis (Sugar Diet Illness)
  • Talking Back to MS – How I Beat Multiple Sclerosis Using Low-Dose Naltrexone
  • Fighting the Dragon: How I Beat Multiple Sclerosis

I’m sure some of these books have merit, but MS is still an incurable disease. Providing false hope through books, diets or remedies is cruel. MS can be managed, not cured. And are we under pressure to fight back at all costs, rather than concentrate on disease modifying drugs and adjusting to a life with MS?

One thing is certain though, where there is illness, you can be sure there are people out there making money off the back of it.

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52 thoughts on “Do You Have MS? Take The Quiz!

  1. those books drive me insane!! its daft worded titles like that that give false hope to people and often stop a person from getting help from someone who actually knows about MS.

    talking to a friend online, who really does sound like she has MS, she is in denial about what doctors say and instead goes to a quack doctor that she thinks has cured her because the symptoms have gotten better or disappeared. she doesn’t listen when i say she needs to go back to the neurologist but she doesn’t want a confirmation of having MS because she doesn’t want to lose her driving license :/

    7 years later, i am still getting people telling me i should try the newest things. when the whole liberation treatment thing was in the news, family wanted me to get it done, um no :p and now the studies are saying it does nothing, would have been pointless and possibly really dangerous

    sorry long ranty commeent :p

    • stumbling in flats says:

      My point exactly! And I say that as a trained homeopath. I would never ever offer to cure a patient of mine. But I know of homeopaths who do and it gives us a terrible name.
      In my experience, homeopathy is best for adjusting to change and the emotional effects of it.
      All these books and cures drive me bonkers. Managing MS, yes, not curing it. I can’t stand that people make money from this!!
      Ranty reply, lol.
      X

      • it does all come down to people wanting to make money off of people that are uninformed :/

        • stumbling in flats says:

          Definitely. Back in the 70’s, my mum was offered an MS cure for my dad. It was some kind of serum from the Eastern bloc or something. She handed over most of her savings out of sheer desperation. She was never given the serum. Sad really.
          X

  2. Tricia says:

    Well I took the test, and good news for half a second, I don’t have MS, Imm I thinks I best tell the doctors they have got it ALL wrong lol !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Suzy says:

    Oh joy – I (still) might have MS. All those expensive MRI scans and 50+ tysabri infusions., NNot to mention rebif, physio sessions haven’t been a wate of precious NHS resources. Seriously though, I shudder that people (prob those without the benefit of the NHS aka Americans) might think that this is a quick and easy and free way to get a diagnosis of what we know is a life changing condition which needs proper knowledgable support from real experts.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Exactly! It’s worrying that something to serious has been trivialised into a quiz. It kind of blows my mind. I thought it was a joke to start with. Well, it is, but some people could be easily influenced by this rubbish.
      x

  4. Samantha Thompson says:

    Well according to Androdocor I don’t have it either! I wish!

    Sam x

  5. Sue says:

    Googling our syptoms is never a good idea, think I’ll stick to the proffesionals I’ve died twice already after googling ๐Ÿ™

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Couldn’t agree more!! I’m sure if my cat took the quiz, she’d be diagnosed with MS, lol!
      X

  6. Sandy says:

    Nope, don’t have it. Willchuck out the wheelchair, sticks, scooter, tena ladies – nomore need !

  7. Gill says:

    Well i just took the quiz + was told, yes i do have MS. Its a gud job i already knew because i think that’d be a horrible way to find out it might be a possible explanation of your health problems, especially if its givin out incorrect answers.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Know what you mean – it’s ‘curious’ when you’ve already been diagnosed, but what about people still searching for answers?
      x

  8. Sally says:

    Hallelujah!! I’ve been cured!!!! Am going to sign up for a marathon

  9. worried person says:

    well I used that to actually check if it was possible I could have it after a few unexplained problems because my mom has it and my dad thinks I do too how do I go about getting an mri asap

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Hi there,
      Really sorry to hear that. I’m not sure where you live, but here in the UK, the first step is to go to your GP to explain all the symptoms you’ve been having and ask them for an urgent referral for an mri and appointment with a neurologist.
      The MS diagnostic period can take months, years, so it’s vital to start the ball rolling. Also, if it turns out you do have MS, the sooner you start disease modifying therapy, the better.
      Hope everything works out well for you.
      X

  10. Donna says:

    Well according to Doctor Anna I have MS, it’s a shame in a way that real doctors don’t have a proper questionnaire instead of choosing to break you up into different parts and send those parts to different “specialists” who seem unable to connect the dots ๐Ÿ™

    • stumbling in flats says:

      A very good point Donna! I know what you mean. I think until there is one definitive test for MS, this will continue ๐Ÿ™
      x

  11. Theresa says:

    What is Clinically Isolated Syndrome

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Hi there,
      Essentially, it’s when you’ve had one recorded relapse. What they say is that you may never have another one, so it is not multiple sclerosis (for which you need to prove that it affects more than one area of the brain). So until you have a second relapse, affecting a different part, you remain with the clinically isolated syndrome tag.
      Hope this helps!
      x

  12. Joyce Tribble says:

    I answered yes to all of the questions but Dr Anna says she can’t interpret my answers.I have SPMS.Never mind, Ian Duncan Smith said “Parkinson’s and MS are recoverable.”

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Apparently they are – guess that’s why we have to be re-examined by the DWP, despite a lifelong, degenerative, incurable illness!
      x

  13. Aideen Butler says:

    I have been having an odd sensation in my legs for some years now, it only occurs when I’m in bed. I say odd because I don’t think tingling is an apt description. Recently I had blurred vision that lasted a few seconds. There is M.S. In my family and I had an MRI many years ago when I experienced numbness in my legs. My neurologist gave me the all clear then. I have also been having urinary problems recently and suffering with constipation. I also have Crohn’s disease which is more likely the cause of the constipation. I am 58 years old and aside from the Crohns enjoy good health. Quite frankly I’m silently freaking out as I know first had what M.S. can be like, as my mum, uncle and auntie had it and my cousin does too. I feel I can’t speak to anyone about it as I don’t want to upset them. I intend seeing my doctor but am also afraid to do so in case it is bad news. I would very much appreciate some feedback.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Hello there,
      I’m really sorry to hear what you have been going through.
      First things first, freaking out silently is way more horrendous than going back to your doctor. I know you went years ago and had the all clear but it may be time to go back and ask for another one? Even if it doesn’t show up MS, and I hope it doesn’t, it will at least pave the way to allow your doctor to explore other reasons for your symptoms?
      Believe me, I went through hell and I was actually ‘happy’ to have a diagnosis at the end of it all. At least I could then access treatment! And that’s at the heart of all this, the sooner you start the ball rolling, doctor-wise, the sooner you can get the help and advice you need.
      I know it’s awful but even though your family members have a history of MS, don’t think it will be the same for you. My dad had primary progressive MS and died from complications at the age of 35. I have MS and have had the most incredible treatment. I’m still working, studying and raising my son and life is good.
      I really hope you can find some answers.
      Let me know how it goes? Always here if you need me ๐Ÿ™‚
      X

  14. Emma says:

    Hi. I’m seventeen, and I’ve been having these symptoms for a little less than a year now, and they’ve been progressively getting worse. At first it started with my right leg, but now it’s both. I have attacks where I lose the ability to move one of my legs (the entire leg, it’s only once happened with both at the same time), there is a tingling, searing sensation, and it lasts ten to forty-five minutes. Walking around normally speeds up my recovery from these attacks so that its ten to twenty-five minutes, but it’s incredibly painful. It happens multiple times a day (one to four times normally, but it’s been as bad as four to eight times on bad days), and appears generally at random (though strenuous exercise, or staying still for long periods of time trigger it more often), people see me limping around all the time, and I’ve developed some vision problems. Everything is so blurry, and my vision is getting increasingly worse (this started around the same time my symptoms first appeared), it’s also painful to close my eyes, because it feels like my eyes are rolling in weird directions (since when someone closes their eyes they roll back), I have bad spasms (A typical spasm includes my face contorting, blinking, my abs moving, my arms violently flailing, my shoulders rolling, and one of my feet stomping), I normally get these spasms over two hundred times a day (yes, there was a test at one point to find out how often, and it’s only gotten more often since then), I have gotten notably worse at remembering things, and it’s affecting school. My neurologist hasn’t been able to figure out what’s wrong with me, and the Internet’s been no help. I’m starting to get really frustrated, and desperate, so any ideas would be amazing.

  15. Emma says:

    I also forgot to mention that I have gotten worse with coordination, and I’m always walking into stuff even though I can see it (with the great help of my glasses), though my little to no motor skills can be explained by my executive functioning disorder, everything else can’t though. It’s frustrating to not be able to remember what’s been said to me a few seconds ago all the time, and not be able to remember something over three days ago. Period.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Hi Emma,

      I wrote a long reply to you and deleted it by mistake, so sorry for delay! First off, I want to say how sorry I am to hear what you have been going through – it must be really frightening, especially as you’re so young.

      You don’t say whether you live in the UK or America/elsewhere and they have very different health systems, but I’m surprised you haven’t been referred for further tests by your neurologist. Perhaps you can get a second opinion or visit your family doctor/GP to see if they can help you navigate your way through the healthcare system (mind did a fantastic job).

      Also, it could be worth visiting your optician – they’re trained to know about MS vision symptoms and may be able to guide you.

      Most importantly, are you having support from your parents? As the mum of a 17 year old, I know it can be tricky to talk to your parents, but it sounds like you’re holding a lot of stuff in. If not your family, is there a teacher at school you can speak with?

      You really need emotional support right now – could you let me know how you get on? If there’s any advice I can give, I’ll try. I wish I was a medic and could help more.
      Bxx

  16. Emma says:

    I live in the US, and let me tell you the medical system in the US is faulty at best, though my view may be a bit biased. I’m autistic, but I have a much higher than average IQ, and I managed to learn the necessary social skills in order to function in society without others knowing (though it took me until I was around thirteen to master them to the extant the rest of my peers have). Due to the discrimination against autistics, especially by doctors, finding one who won’t put me down, and say I’m nothing, but a piece of trash has been particularly difficult. Additionally up until I was fourteen trying to prove to my Dad that I’m not some mistake, so I don’t have the best relationship with him, my mom is a total control freak that goes through my phone every night, and is too paranoid to let me out of the house for more than just school, and the discrimination against autistics has made it next to impossible for me to trust any teachers. I’ve had teachers, and classmates abuse me, and teachers have made fun of me, and taken advantage of me at best, so no, there is no one to talk to, or that I can trust. I’m not allowed to have friends as it is, because my mom is so scared of what will happen to me if she doesn’t keep me locked up, and supervised 24/7. I also think she’s too scared to risk other doctors too. I’ve been trying to get her too, but it’s totally hopeless. That woman is as stubborn as a dead ox.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Hi there,

      Right, so that makes things a lot more difficult. What happens when you turn 18? Would you be able to assume responsibility for choosing your own healthcare options without consulting your parents, so you can find another neuro? Or does all the paperwork still go through them (I’m a little hazy on your healthcare system).

      Ultimately, there is obviously something wrong with your health and you need help as soon as possible. One last option, does your national MS Society have a helpline? They may be able to throw further light on what your options are?
      xx

  17. Emma says:

    I would be able to choose my own Healthcare system when I turn eighteen, but I literally just turned seventeen a few days ago. All the paperwork for the new neuro would be supplied by the old one. I’ll see about whether our MS Society has one, though my mom won’t let me contact them until I’m eighteen anyway. I’m glad someone who knows what they’re talking about is able to help me. Sorry about replying so late. I’m terrible with getting back to people in a timely manner. Also, it’s been kind of hard to get back to you with the whole five hour difference in time thing, and when I’m at school I don’t normally have time to reply to people, and when I get home I seem to forget.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Hi there,
      You can certainly call the MS Society helpline at any age, you don’t need to go through your mom. My son thought about calling them when he was 12 and I was first diagnosed but in the end he confided in a friend who also had a mother who was ill. So please don’t let that hold you back. Maybe you could give them a call when you’re at school, on lunch break?
      As all your options seem to be on hold until you’re 18, I really think starting with the Helpline is the best choice. They probably know a lot of stuff I haven’t even thought about and can chat through various things with you.
      Let me know how you get on? And a belated happy birthday to you ๐Ÿ™‚
      Bxx

  18. Emma says:

    Thanks for the help, and for the happy birthday. I’ll see about calling the MS Society.

  19. Emma says:

    With some MAJOR work I FINALLY got my mom to take me to the neuro!!! MS has been ruled out, but the neuro thinks I’ve got Periodic Paralysis. Apparently I fit a near perfect description of Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis. The doctor managed to convince my mom that I need genetic testing to determine if I have it. I’m going to get a blood sample taken and the doctors are going to look at my genes and compare them to a list of the discovered genetic mutations that can cause Periodic Paralysis. Since not all the mutations have been discovered a negative genetic test doesn’t necessarily mean I don’t have it, in that case, from what I’ve heard I’ll probably get diagnosed anyway because my symptoms perfectly match. Additionally paralytic attacks cause damage to the muscles and eventually I’ll have muscle weakness, that’s the reason why stopping a paralytic attack in its tracks is important. Luckily, I’ve heard eating a candy bar, or something high in sugar can stop a paralytic attack for some that have this disease, so now I can look forward to eating candy bars multiple times a day! No more candy limits!!! Or, at least I hope if I have to fit into a disease catigory it’s that one. Though since it’s an inherritated and occasionally sporadic disease my family will need testing if I get diagnosed. It’s likely my mom is a carrier, and she got the disease she’s carrying from her estranged father who she’s only met on a couple of very brief occasions before he died sixteen years ago, so it would make sense if no one had any idea he had it. Either that or mom has it, and has had no symptoms, not everyone with this disease shows symptoms in their life, or has only had a couple of attacks, so she wrote them off. The spasms would be just spasms then, and same with the vision problems. Less than 200,000 TOTAL in the U.S. have this disease, so it’s not suprising no one could figure out what’s wrong.

  20. Ashley says:

    I just turned 30 on the 11th of June. I have been having symptoms of possibly MS for about a year and a half. The back of my eyes hurt, I have areas of my arms and legs that will go numb for 3-8 hours at a time and I have to walk with a limp because my hip pains me always. I went to the dr and they found a knot, lump around my shoulder area below my neck, that they said was a muscle knotted up. All they wanted to fo was have me go to therapy 3 times a week for 6 weeks. Needless to say, that was a washout. And they told me I had to do the therapy before they could an mri per insurance. What approach do I need to take next?

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Hi Ashley,
      I’m really sorry to hear all you have been going through recently.
      I don’t know a huge amount about American healthcare. Is there any way you can have a second opinion in order to push for an MRI? Or can you pay for an MRI independently and skip the therapy?
      The problem with MS is that the symptoms can often make up so many other illnesses, so it’s incredibly difficult to diagnose. Can your general doctor help? Maybe run some neuro tests?
      Sorry not to be of more help – let me know how things go?
      Bx

  21. Kellie b says:

    I have TMS. I got it in 2013 and I was 14 years old. My tumor was in the middle of my brain stem. So far KNOCK ON WOOD๐Ÿšช๐Ÿšช I haven’t had any other tumors. It would really really be nice if I can meet an other person with the same MS as me with the same tumor spot too.

    I live in Davis CA.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Hi Kellie,
      I’m really sorry to hear this. I wonder if you could contact your local MS Society and see what kind of social events they run, so you could meet other people?
      X

  22. Bryan says:

    Iโ€™m 48 & just started seeing a neuro. I currently have hypothyroidism & plaque psoriasis that I take Humiara for.
    About 3.5 years I started having foot pain that felt like walking on broken glass. They made me orthotics, but they donโ€™t help. My right big toe is always numb & I canโ€™t bend it.
    When I move my neck up & down, I feel tingiling in my big toes.
    After a break up 2 years ago my life fell apart. I stoped playing basketball & rearly golfed, but when I did I would only have right knee & some low back pain.
    After I stoped I started feeling great, very little pain anywhere except some in the feet when I would stand for a period of time.
    Then last year my low back started killing me. Iโ€™ve went to a chiropractor & pain specialist. After two injections in L2 & L4 the pain was the same. MRI showed some arthritis & vertebrae movement but nothing serious. They suggested surgery but I said no way. My back feels a bit better but my entire body feels as if I have severe flu, Cronic fatigue, pain in my neck shoulders, both hips, knees & feet. Iโ€™m 6โ€™6โ€
    I hate my life so much. I try to stay active & workout, but I just want to lay in bed & sleep.
    All my bloodwork is fine. I just had an MRI on my neck & they did some electro stuff on my hands & poked my muscles with probe things. He said he was expecting different results but didnโ€™t say what kind. They put me on Gabapentin @ night , not sure itโ€™s working.
    I see him again Thursday & hope to get some answers. I have no social life & no true friends to talk to.
    Thanks for listening.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      HI there, I’m so sorry to hear you’re in so much pain and feeling alone.
      I really hope you get some answers very soon. Let me know how it goes?
      Sending hugs X

  23. LISA CLARK says:

    For the last 5-6 years I have been experiencing pain. Extreme tiredness. It’s hard for me to sleep at night. I have joint pain and everything seems to fall asleep at night. Sometimes just my arm(s), hands and sometimes an entire side of my body including the leg. I get hot so easily and at night I get hot but it doesn’t feel like pre-menopause hot (that feeling of being on fire from the inside). My arm will go numb (right) just for no reason. I lose my balance a lot and drop things I know I had a firm grip on. Going up and down stairs I have to hold on and count so I don’t trip down the stairs. My memory is so bad that I cannot even remember things I have said to the point I think I am crazy. I have trouble swallowing sometimes and other things. I asked my doctor about the numbing feeling and she had no answer. I was dx with fibromyalgia and I still feel it’s not what I have. They did xrays for arthritis and it’s not that. I am afraid to ask my doctor because I already seem to complain about everything. I have a brain MRI in March for this ear disorder I have (SSCD) and I wonder if that will possibly show anything. I know reading the internet and you think you have everything but deep down I know something is causing all my pain and discomfort that isn’t fibro.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Hi Lisa,
      I’m so sorry to hear everything that you are going through, it sounds truly frightening and all you want are answers. Please, please don’t be afraid to ask your doctor about it – it’s what they’re there for. I know what you mean, but please, your health is the most important thing.
      I wonder if the MRI shows lesions when it’s being taken for something else – perhaps worth asking your doctor about this?
      Stay strong, there’s a huge online community for support and I really want to hear how you get on. Please stay in touch!
      Bx

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