MS is extremely difficult to diagnose with one test alone. Also, a single MS testing method doesn’t exist for diagnosing MS. A number of different Multiple Sclerosis testing techniques are used and the process of elimination is put into effect to rule out other diseases. For instance, a blood test will rule out viruses, inflammatory diseases, and other infectious illnesses that appear to be very similar to MS in their list of signs and symptoms.

A lumbar puncture, or spinal tap as it is sometimes referred to, is used to eliminate viral infections that cause white blood cells to increase in numbers, which also occurs in MS. These proteins are contained in a sample of cerebrospinal fluid taken from the lower portion of the spine. When the number of white blood cells increases, neurological symptoms can arise and appear to be the start of Multiple Sclerosis.

MRIs are often the most effective technique used to diagnose MS. A magnetic resonance imaging scan in conjunction with an injection of gadolinium, a colorless dye, can be used to detect lesions on the brain and spinal cord. The dye is added to the body intravenously, where it then causes the active lesions on the nerves to show up as brighter areas on the MRI scan. An MRI without this dye can still reveal lesions, but these could be caused from Lyme disease or lupus, as opposed to MS.


What to do After a Diagnosis has been Made


After a doctor has diagnosed a patient with Multiple Sclerosis, the next step is treating the disease. Drugs serve 3 main purposes; to modify the course of the disease, to manage symptoms, and to treat relapses. Any number of drugs is used in combination with one another, so as to cover all bases. Delaying progression, easing the symptoms, and preventing or shortening the occurrence of relapses associated with MS can be achieved with the myriad of medications today.

Certain changes in lifestyle need to be made as well, such as making sure to get plenty of rest, exercising, keeping cool, eating a balanced diet, and relieving stress. Any alterations that need to be made to boost the immune system and help it to stay healthy will benefit MS patients.

MS testing is just a minor step in living with Multiple Sclerosis. Although Multiple Sclerosis testing methods are able to diagnose the disease fairly early on, there are many additional life changes that need to be made. Life with MS will never be the same as it was before being diagnosed with this autoimmune disease, but the constant advancements in research make this disease more bearable than ever before.


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