Wednesday, April 29, 2009

MS Relapse or Pseudoexacerbation?

Urinary Tract Infection and Pseudoexacerbation

I recently experienced a pseudoexacerbation with the onset of a urinary tract infection (UTI). Before hand, I’d felt a spasm-like sensation in the lower abdomen. Didn’t really think much of it at the time because I was not experiencing any pain (burning upon urination) or fever.

But when overwhelming fatigue kicked in, followed by increased weakness and shakiness in my legs, I became a bit distraught. If this were a relapse, then it seemed to be developing into one of the worse yet to affect my legs and limb coordination. In the least, it was developing at an extremely quick pace as compared to previous relapses.

However in contemplating the phone call to my MS nurse, I mentally went through the questions I knew she would ask. A pivotal question which is always asked - “How is your bladder? Any sign of a UTI?”

So, I called my primary doctor’s office and asked if I could stop by to get a quick urine test. I did have to see the doctor but was also able to get started on antibiotics the very same day. This infection took two rounds of antibiotics to eliminate it. Then an additional week or so to regain the strength I had temporarily lost during the pseudoexacerbation.

Rest this post in its entirety:

Multiple Sclerosis Relapse or Pseudoexacerbation? Part One


  1. I am glad you are on your way to recovery!! were you running a fever? I was always under the assumption that pseudoexacerbation's are brought on because of a raise in body temperature.

  2. It's interesting, but my temperature measured 97.0 degrees at the doctor's office. Definitely not running a fever at that time.

    Part Two of this series of posts (at HealthCentral) discusses Heat-Sensitivity and Pseudoexacerbations. This is something which definitely affects me anytime my body temperature rises. I'm very good friends with my ice packs. ;)

  3. I am glad you posted this, I did not know until recently about this Pseudoexacerbations. Learning new stuff all the time.

  4. I always learn something new from you. I had a similar experience last month with a UTI. Somehow "pseudoexacerbation" seems less scary than "relapse". It's nice to know what to call these things.

  5. I would also worry about bladder being full-bladder distension. If you have urine retention (retaining urine in bladder after urinating), the remaining urine can easily become infected.Also full bladder can cause autonomic nerve problems.Might be worth a urology consultation.Mary Gerdt

  6. Mary,

    That's a very good point. I have not had many bladder issues and the ones I have do increase when I drink soft drink.

    But lately, there is a bit of variation going on. Sometimes such a huge volume of urine and other times it seems hardly any. This combined with some leakage. Definitely something to mention at my next neuro visit.