How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Chip Your Own Question

Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 22280
Experience:  Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
Type Your Health Question Here...
Dr. Chip is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My 35-year-old step-daughter is afraid she has ms. She is

Resolved Question:

My 35-year-old step-daughter is afraid she has ms. She is exhausted, more so than ever before. She has periods of numbness for at least three years -- the numbness seems to be symmetrical. For five years she has had intermittent pain below the breastbone that seems to radiate in a straight line though to her back. She has had tests for gall bladder problems and has had an abdominal cat scan or mri, and all was normal. She had an elevated white blood count in her urine on one test, but a culture of her urine two weeks later was normal. She has a stressful job and three small children, but feels that her exhaustion does not stem from this.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 11 months ago.
Hi--what tests and lab work has she had to get at a cause for all this?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

She will see a neurologist at the Cleveland Clinic on Tuesday. For a long time, she was focusing on the intermittent abdominal pain, so almost all of the test were tests of her gall bladder, which is fine. The doctors then thought she had a bladder infection because of the white blood cells in her urine, but she doesn't have a bladder infection. She does not have mono. She has a sinus infection, which has been treated by three bouts of antibiotics, but she feels that the infection is still present. Several years ago she saw her internist re the numbness, fearing that it was ms. He thought it wasn't because the numbness was on both sides of her body. But she is not scared that she does have ms.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 11 months ago.
Tell me more about the numbness and did she ever have an MRI of the brain or spine?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

She says the numbness comes and goes, and I don't know for how long it lasts. I asked her if it was the same on both sides -- if she had it in her left thigh, would she also have it in her right thigh, and she said yes.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 11 months ago.
Sorry--yes to the MRI's?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

No, no mri of brain. She may have had one for her abdomen - either that or a cat scan of abdomen. But no tests of brain.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 11 months ago.
OK--any vision problems or balance problems or tremors?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

No to balance problems (I think). She says that when she watches television she doesn't seem to see as well out of one eye as the other, but only mentions this in the context of watching television (the tv is far from her couch), so she may simply need glasses. She has not mentioned tremors, but I think she said something about twitches.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 11 months ago.
So because of the random numbness she thinks she may have MS?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

That, and the extreme fatigue. She also read something about the ms hug, which she felt might explain her upper abdominal pain, which comes about once a month.


 


 

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 11 months ago.
OK--the fatigue--I assume she's had her thyroid functions, cortisol levels, anemia screen, and vitamin levels checked?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

I'm not sure about this. She had a lot of blood work and the results were okay. She is not anemic.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 11 months ago.
OK--sorry for all the questions but who referred her to the neurologist and why?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

No one referred her - she just made an appointment.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 11 months ago.
OK--and we can continue after this if you'd like. I don't think she has MS because she really doesn't have the constellation of symptoms along with the usual increase in those over time that goes with MS. Certainly the simplest way to rule it out is with a brain MRI. Potentially this could be ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) but I don't see anything except the numbness that might indicate that. That doesn't sound like the MS hug at all and she may have a problem with a peptic ulcer. As for the fatigue, unless her TSH level were well below 3.0 I'd consider her hypothyroid and she needs to be checked for low cortisol levels as well as for heavy metal (lead and mercury) toxicity. I'm sure the neurologist will take appropriate action here, but I just don't see MS in any of this.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Thank you. I'l suggest she gets her thyroid tested, if it hasn't already been. I don't mean to hold you for any longer, but I was wondering if her symptoms could be related to stress.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 11 months ago.
No problem with my time here--yes stress could cause the numbness sensations and could lead to constant fatigue. Do let me know, though, what the neurologist says and remember to rate my service to you
Dr. Chip, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 22280
Experience: Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
Dr. Chip and 5 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Thank you so much!

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 11 months ago.
My pleasure but please remember the rating of my service

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Nurse Milli, RN

    Nurse (RN)

    Satisfied Customers:

    4043
    20 years experience in many areas of Nursing. Both Hospital and Private Practice experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/NU/nursescare4u/2013-3-31_03429_JApic.64x64.jpg Nurse Milli, RN's Avatar

    Nurse Milli, RN

    Nurse (RN)

    Satisfied Customers:

    4043
    20 years experience in many areas of Nursing. Both Hospital and Private Practice experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/agketch/2008-7-14_184046_drketchresized.jpg Dr. Ketch's Avatar

    Dr. Ketch

    Doctor

    Satisfied Customers:

    102
    Medical Degree, Former Assistant Professor at School of Medicine at Yale University
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FA/FamilyPhysician/2013-8-31_191624_JA550x500Photo.64x64.jpg Family Physician's Avatar

    Family Physician

    Doctor (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    5622
    Emergency Medicine and Family Practice for over 26 years
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/drphophalia/2007-08-23_095626_dr._arun_phophalia.jpg Dr. Arun Phophalia's Avatar

    Dr. Arun Phophalia

    Doctor (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    17025
    MBBS, MS (General Surgery), Fellowship in Sports Medicine
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VA/VANP/2012-6-6_235535_Skye2.64x64.jpg A. Schuyler, NP's Avatar

    A. Schuyler, NP

    Nurse Practitioner

    Satisfied Customers:

    12170
    Board Certified NP, MS, RN. Private practice & hospitalist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TA/tazechip/2012-6-7_135230_drpic.64x64.png Dr. Chip's Avatar

    Dr. Chip

    Doctor (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    10029
    Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/neurosurg/2009-10-06_120923_profile.jpg Dr. Mark's Avatar

    Dr. Mark

    Doctor (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    6234
    U.S. Physician/Surgeon in Neurosurgery