Hi. When my MS symptoms get worse (or in my case I seem to get even more symptoms), does this mean that my inactive/stable MS has jumped to secondary MS or Progressive?
Thanks in advance
This is a common question that we receive.
MS patients commonly experience symptoms such as fatigue, pins and needles sensations, visual blurring, muscle spasms, and mental fogginess among a long list of annoying reminders of the disease. These symptoms are not reflective of underlying disease activity and worsening and tend to fluctuate from day to day. The reasons for this variability in your symptoms are multiple and discussed below. Worsening symptoms certainly do not have a one to one relationship with disease progression.
Symptoms are commonly worsened by external factors including:
1. Hot and humid weather
3. Mood states and stressors
4. Lack of sleep
5. Other medical problems (urinary tract infections, diabetes etc)
6. Many different medications prescribed to MS patients
Contact your MS specialist and discuss the possible reasons your symptoms may be worse. There may be a simple solution such as cooling vests, collars and hats for hot weather.
Revere (Rip) Kinkel MD
Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Program
Director of Hillcrest Neurology
Professor of Clinical Neurosciences
University of California San Diego