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History of migraine and asthma. Have coeliac disease with bowel inflamation. Do I have MS?

Answered by
Dr. Sudhir Kumar


Practicing since :1994

Answered : 5688 Questions

Posted on Wed, 30 Jan 2013 in Brain and Spine
Question: I am female, age 50, fit and active, and have coeliac disease (25 years to diagnosis). Diagnosed 3 years ago (no positive biopsy or blood tests but very dramatic improvements in health). I am also a former state registered dietitian! A Hx of migraine and asthma. I had a large fibroid removed last February and my gut has not been right since - ongoing loose stools and some bowel inflammation. (This was due, I think, to the surgeon prescribing me a two month course of a gluten containing fibroid shrinking drug - Gonapeptyl depot, prior to surgery!!!!). I think I now have leaky gut / dysbiosis which I am currently trying to sort by diet (Strict gluten free/corn free/dairy free/soya free/yeast free/sugar free and CHO limited). I am very intolerant to coffee/alcohol and allergic to aspirin and pineapple. I think I have cross-reactivity to corn and coffee. I presented recently with MS type symptoms (ataxia, memory problems, blurry vision and walking like a drunk!) to my GP and he says I have MS. The onset was almost immediately following an accidental glutening. I have now reviewed my blood results and I disagree with my GP. I did not take the medication prescribed (Prednisolone). My serum vitamin D was very high on a normal intake (approx 4000iu/day + food) and I speculated that this was due to a very low intracellular magnesium level. I self treated with transdermal magnesium chloride. (Migraines previously responded well to this). My symptoms all vanished completely within 5-6 hours. Three days later I am still very fit and well and have absolutely no symptoms whatsoever. I am continuing the magnesium chloride. Am I correct in saying I was misdiagnosed? Could this be a coincidence and is it likely my GP has it wrong? Do I need an MRI scan anyway to be sure? I have had no other episodes like this.
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 6 hours later
Thank you for posting your query.

You have given an excellent account of your medical problems.

I agree with you that your symptoms are most likely not suggestive of MS.

For a set of neurological symptoms to qualify as MS episode, they should last for more than 24 hours.

Also, quick and complete recovery without steroids is unlikely in MS.

So, I feel you need not do MRI now. However if symptoms recur you may do the scan.

I hope it helps. Please get back if you have any more queries.
Best wishes,
Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM (Neurology) XXXXXXX consultant Neurologist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Sudhir Kumar 4 hours later
Thank you. Sorry I may have given you the wrong impression. The symptoms came on after the glutening incident and then gradually got worse over a 1-2 week period. They then vanished completely without steroids almost immediately when I started the Transdermal magnesium chloride. I think I may have been magnesium deficient for quite some time due to stool loses and also the diet.

If one does have an 'MS episode' would this usually leave some 'residual impairment' or not necessarily?

If I do have a problem would 'gluten ataxia' be more likely a candidate and could this present in a similar way? Could this resolve instantly without steroids?

Formerly I have had 'clumsy' episodes but this was prior to going gluten free and nothing like the symptoms of the last couple of weeks. Your thoughts would be appreciated. thanks
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 5 hours later
Thank you for getting back.
As you suspected, episode of MS is likely to leave some neurological symptoms and also as I mentioned, recovery without steroids would be unusual in MS.
So, your symptoms are more likely to be due to magnesium deficiency or gluten related.
In any case there is no need to worry at present.
Best wishes,
Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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