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Brainmaster
Brainmaster, Board Certified MD
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 58
Experience:  ABPN certified. 6 years of outpatient general neurology practice experience. No malpractice cases
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My 24 year old daughter has received a tentative diagnosis

Customer Question

My 24 year old daughter has received a tentative diagnosis of MS. However, I believe her symptoms may be a cause of her alcohol abuse. She was clean and sober for 4 years and then began drinking again around 6-7 months ago; which also happens to be around the same time frame of her symptoms:

*constant shaking of her hands, arms, and now legs (which she says stops after a drink or two...)
*tingling of her arms and legs
*fatigue
*difficulty of beginning to urinate
*2 occurrences of "mini-seizures" (which happened prior to the 6-7 months time frame)

So, my question is can alcohol abuse cause symptoms that mimic MS?

She has a history of 3 MIP's and 2 DUI's. At times she can drink until she actually blacks out.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Neurology
Expert:  drhihashmi replied 4 years ago.

Hello and welcome to justanswer!

 

I think the symptoms of your daughter are more consistent with MS than alcohol abuse.The symptoms of MS are more induced by heat , and stress and if the stress is gone due to any thing it can alleviate( Mask) the symptoms of MS for sometime.I think she could be diagnosed properly by doing , 1.MRI with contrast to exactly locate the problem in her CNS.2 .By electro physical test to locate nerves which are involved and 3. By examining CSF ( The fluid around brain) to find certain chemicals which are raised in MS.After that her adequate treatment can be initiated.

Hope i have answered your question.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
However, she didn't have any MS symptoms until she went back to drinking heavily and often (5-6 days per week). No one saw her "mini-seizures" when they occurred. Perhaps she just blacked out from too much alcohol?

Also, alcohol affects the CNS.....are there some less expensive tests she could have?

Of course with all the alcohol, her diet is not good. Could it be a vitamin defficiency?
Expert:  Brainmaster replied 4 years ago.

hi

let me try to be short, but to the point.

1. get MRI of the brain with or even without contrast +/- spinal tap to make MS diagnosis definitive.

2. AA, get the alcohol away from her - can not do it abruptly because she will have those withdrawal seizures - may need inpatient rehab with Librium (to prevent seizures and rebound delirium tremens)

3. the only vitamin deficiency that I am aware in relation to alcohol is thiamine. if she vegetarian or avoids red meat - B12 should be checked as well. so it is better just to supplement even without checking......

if tremor stops after drinking - it has to be withdrawal related and NOT MS.

in reference to MS and how it was diagnosed - often MRI that are being done reveal "white matter demyelinating disease or as they read it could be this or that or what ever" - a lot of times these "lesions" are seen in women with simple migraines.

get her off alcohol and then will worry about MS........

 

save her life

 

Brainmaster

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I would love to get her to stop drinking alcohol, but of course she has decide to do this herself, as she once did successfully +4 years ago.

She is now using the preliminary MS diagnosis as her latest excuse to continue drinking. I'm trying to find information that will prove to her she should stop drinking and see if her MS symptoms will abate or cease.

She does not have health insurance and received her possible MS diagnosis from a PA in a free city clinic. I suspect she did not tell the PA about her drinking. He did an REM test (?) that was negative. We do not have the results of the blood tests, yet.

So, is it possible that her drinking could be causing the MS-like symptoms?
Expert:  Brainmaster replied 4 years ago.

drinking or rather the withdrawal from can cause anything. Ms like symptoms may vary from slight tingling to paralysis and at late stages seizures - so definitely excessive use of alcohol can mimic some of them

Brainmaster, Board Certified MD
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 58
Experience: ABPN certified. 6 years of outpatient general neurology practice experience. No malpractice cases
Brainmaster and other Neurology Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your information. I suspected the heavy drinking could be her problem. It certainly would be more cost effective (and healthier) to stop drinking and see if the MS symptoms disappear.

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Brainmaster
Brainmaster
58 Satisfied Customers
ABPN certified. 6 years of outpatient general neurology practice experience. No malpractice cases