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A 28-year-old female asked:

I may need an mri to rule out brain tumors. seek family doc first or go directly to neuro? vertigo symptoms, speech problems, headaches, trembling in upper extremities, pounding in ears. all within last month. age 33 female. normal health. worse withing l

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Joy Jackson
Family Medicine 21 years experience
If : If you have no insurance your best bet is to seek care from a primary care provider at a county clinic or low to no cost clinic. After a complete history, and physical the doctor will make a decision as to what the possible causes are of your symptoms (differential diagnosis). Based on this additional testing will be done. If a brain tumor is on the list, he/she will likely order imaging tests (typically cat scan first, then an MRI if needed). Your issues could be secondary to an inner ear problem or other neurological condition; all will be elucidated after the work up is complete. I know you don't have a lot of time off but your health and wellness should come first. Good luck.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Philip Chao
Dr. Philip Chao commented
Radiology 40 years experience
diagree totally. CT scan is a bad test - misses things. It also wastes money Some doctors feel it is an adequate intermediate test but in fact it is not. If your CT is read as abnormal then you will NEED an MRI test. CT scans miss many pathologies in the brain. So even if the CT is negative you will still NEED an MRI to prove if you have something wrong or not. For 25 years I have tried to teach doctors why ordering a CT exam is basically irradiating the patient without helping the patient. The only person you help is the radiologist who gets to charge you for at least two tests instead of the definitive ONE. (I happen to be a radiologist.)
May 11, 2013
Dr. Christopher Wilson
Sleep Medicine 23 years experience
You'll see neurology: You'll see one of us sooner or later so i'd go with what your insurance dictates. One advantage of seeing your family doc first is he or she may know which neurologist would do a better job with you.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Jed Kwartler
enT - Head & Neck Surgery 40 years experience
The advantage if seeing neurology is the appropriate test will be ordered, though an astute PCP will get it right.
May 12, 2013
Last updated Oct 3, 2016
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