Do you think you might have MS?
Sometimes, people who have been experiencing different symptoms can wonder if what they are experiencing is possibly due to MS. You may know a person living with the condition and relate to some of the symptoms they describe or you may well have googled your symptoms and MS has popped up as a possibility. The first thing to remember is that there can be a number of causes for symptoms and not all symptoms mean the person experiencing them is living with MS. It is however important to raise any issues or concerns you may have with your GP as a starting point.
How can I prepare for an appointment?
Before the appointment, it can be useful to keep a symptom diary, noting:
- what symptoms you are experiencing and how long ago they started
- how often and when symptoms occur
- whether they come and go or are more persistent
- the severity of symptoms – as simple as a 1-5 scale to rate how severe symptoms are on particular days
- if and how the symptoms are affecting everyday activities
- anything that seems to trigger symptoms or makes them feel worse or better
It is also worth noting:
- other health conditions that you may have
- any medication you are taking - both prescribed and over the counter
- medical conditions affecting other people in your family
Preparing this information in advance can help you better explain the symptoms you are experiencing and may help you to clearly communicate those issues to your GP.
It may be beneficial for you to briefly summarise these details on a single piece of paper which you can give to your healthcare provider as an overview.
- At the end of an appointment, it would be useful to find out if the GP feels further investigation is required and any next steps there will be.
- If further appointments are needed, ask when can you expect this to happen.
MS Ireland have an MS Symptom Journal which might be useful in tracking symptoms. It can be printed and completed to help you monitor issues over time. This resource can be found here