Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurologic condition that has many similarities to other medical conditions. Unfortunately, there is no single diagnostic tool used to determine if someone has multiple sclerosis, making misdiagnoses more common than most people think. In fact, according to an article from the journal of Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders, 18-percent of new multiple sclerosis patients were initially diagnosed with a different condition.
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Here we cover many of the conditions that are commonly mistaken for multiple sclerosis. These conditions share some of the same symptoms or similar causes to multiple sclerosis. However, with each condition, you’ll see their differences from multiple sclerosis.
Neuropathy, sometimes called peripheral neuropathy, is a condition when the nervous system is damaged somewhere outside of the brain and spinal cord. People who suffer from this condition may feel a pins and needles sensation, pain, numbness, and weakness. Neuropathy is more common in people with diabetes because high blood sugar levels can damage the peripheral nerves.
Multiple sclerosis and neuropathy share some of the same symptoms making it difficult to get the right diagnosis. However, neuropathy is unique in that it has different subsets of the condition: sensory, motor, and autonomic. With each one of those subsets having, “their own set of symptoms, many of which differ from the common symptoms of MS” reports Everyday Health.