I’ve been writing about and researching the stories of people with multiple sclerosis for nearly a decade. In that time I’ve learnt that one of the really big issues is a multiple sclerosis flare-up. Something which rightly concerns all of us in the MS community.
The aim of this blog is to allow our readers to share their experiences of an MS flare-up. In particular we are really interested in how you dealt with the flare and what you do to try and prevent another MS flare-up occurring.
Of course flare-ups are a particularly big issue for people with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). Indeed the inclusion of relapsing in the name gives the game away somewhat! It can also be called an exacerbation (which is a bit of an understatement) or simply an attack.
A MS flare up is defined as the appearance of a new symptom or the re-appearance of older symptoms. This could involve an increase in fatigue, optic neuritis (http://patienttalk.org/?p=312), balancing problems or increased pain.
Timing is an important issue with a flare up. Technically the symptoms must last for longer than 24 hours and be thirty days after your last exacerbation. However sometimes the replace can last much longer – months in some cases.
It has been suggested that MS attacks can be triggered by infections or stress. However research is still on going in this area.
Treatments are typically steroid based attempting to lower the immune system to prevent it from attacking the body.
As we said at the start of the blog we are particularly interested in your experience of MS flare ups. It would be great if you could use the comments box below to share your experiences. You may well wish to think about the following questions when formulating your answers:-
a) Please can you describe your last replace?
b) How long did it last?
c) Do you know what triggered the exacerbation?
d) How did you treat it and how successful was that treatment?
e) How do you try and prevent a flare up occurring?
Obviously these are just guidelines so please feel free to add anything you think will be of interest to other readers.
Many thanks in advance.