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When should I call the doctor about multiple sclerosis (MS) or stroke?

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Always get medical help if you have any doubts about whether it's a stroke or MS. It takes experience to learn how to tell the conditions apart. Even then, it may not be clear. Given how serious a stroke can be, you're better safe than sorry.

If it is a stroke, you don't have time to wait. Quick treatment can save your life and help prevent long-term problems. If it turns out to just be an MS relapse, that's important for your doctor to know, too. It could be a sign to make some changes in how you manage your MS.

One of the best things you can do is talk to your doctor about your chances of having a stroke. If you have problems like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, your risk is higher. Your doctor can help you get those under control.

SOURCES:

National Stroke Association: "What Is Stroke?" "Signs and Symptoms of Stroke."

National Multiple Sclerosis Society: "Definition of MS," "Multiple Sclerosis FAQs," "MS Symptoms," "Vision Problems."

MS Society: "Symptoms of MS are mistaken for other conditions, survey reveals."

The Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers: "CMSC INforMS: Multiple sclerosis vs. stroke, differences in symptoms, causes, and treatments."

Multiple Sclerosis Trust: "Relapse."

Mayo Clinic: "Stroke."

Reviewed by Neha Pathak on September 18, 2017

SOURCES:

National Stroke Association: "What Is Stroke?" "Signs and Symptoms of Stroke."

National Multiple Sclerosis Society: "Definition of MS," "Multiple Sclerosis FAQs," "MS Symptoms," "Vision Problems."

MS Society: "Symptoms of MS are mistaken for other conditions, survey reveals."

The Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers: "CMSC INforMS: Multiple sclerosis vs. stroke, differences in symptoms, causes, and treatments."

Multiple Sclerosis Trust: "Relapse."

Mayo Clinic: "Stroke."

Reviewed by Neha Pathak on September 18, 2017

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