Conditions Commonly Mistaken for Multiple Sclerosis

The symptoms of multiple sclerosis can be extremely difficult to identify, forcing many people to seek professional help from a doctor. Symptoms include numbness, tingling, weakness, and pain in the arms and legs, but these symptoms are also seen in many other conditions. Here are some of the most common conditions mistaken for multiple sclerosis.

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread pain, fatigue, and tenderness in the muscles, tendons, and other connective tissues. Symptoms can also include sleep issues, irritable bowel, and headaches. There is no cure for fibromyalgia, but many home remedies have proven beneficial for easing the pain and enabling sufferers to lead normal and active lives.

NMOSD or Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder

Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder (NMOSD) is a complicated condition that can lead to permanent vision loss. Functional loss of vision can occur, with patients also experiencing symptoms like numbness and tingling. NMOSD is a kind of autoimmune disorder affecting the human optic nerves, with symptoms progressing over several years. There is no known cure, but medications can help control symptoms, and doctors may recommend rehabilitation counseling.

Small Vessel Ischemic Disease

Small vessel ischemic disease (SVID) is an uncommon form of heart disease that occurs when arteries narrow and block blood flow to smaller blood vessels, usually in the legs and feet. SVID can occur when plaque, cholesterol, fatty deposits, or scar tissue builds up in arteries, causing blood vessels to narrow. This blockage can starve blood of oxygen-rich blood cells, leading to pain, cramping, and spasms in the legs. Small vessel disease is a common cause of stroke. Small vessels are the smallest blood vessels in the body—they are capillaries, which are the blood vessels that carry blood from arteries to veins. A stroke occurs when a clot or a blood vessel bursts and causes bleeding in the brain. The cause of stroke in most people is unknown.

Sarcoidosis

Sarcoidosis is a rare autoimmune disorder that affects the lungs. People with the disorder become swollen, inflamed, and irritated. The condition can cause serious breathing problems and, in some cases, organ failure or death.

Vitamin B12 deficiency or Copper Deficiency

Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that is critical to the formation of red blood cells and DNA. People who do not get enough of it, however, may experience a vitamin B12 deficiency. Copper deficiency is another widespread issue. It is linked to anemia, osteoporosis, and other diseases. You can test for copper and vitamin B12 deficiency with a simple blood test. If you have either of these conditions, your doctor can prescribe supplements or injections.

Migraine

A migraine headache is an intense throbbing pain that commonly begins at the back of the head and moves slowly to other areas of the face. Migraine headaches are often mistaken for dental or sinus pain, as the pain can be aggravated by certain smells, foods, and activities. Migraine symptoms can include severe nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. If left untreated, a migraine headache can last anywhere from a few hours to three days, and in some cases, migraine headaches can continue for weeks.

Spondylopathies

Spondylopathies, also known as degenerative joint diseases, are a group of disorders that cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints. The most usual form of spondylopathy is osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease due to wear and tear from overuse. Osteoarthritis can develop in any joint in the body, but it most often affects the knees, hips, hands, wrists, and spine. What causes osteoarthritis is still unknown, but it is generally believed to be an age-related disease.

Conversion and Psychogenic Disorders

Nearly all the countries in the world are coming to terms with the fact that a considerable number of their citizens suffer from conversion disorder. Conversion disorder is a condition where an individual suffers psychological and neurological pain due to some kind of unpleasant sensation. In some cases, they can even feel like the pain is actually occurring. Someone you know has expressed interest in conversion therapy. As a physician, you are probably wondering what exactly it is, why someone might seek it, and the risks it poses. Conversion therapy refers to various harmful, discredited practices commonly used by people trying to persuade others with sexual orientation or gender identity issues to embrace behaviors or feelings that contradict their own. These practices include electric shocks, aversion therapy, and hypnosis, among other things.

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