Sunday, November 24, 2013

Also Tell Your Doctor About Minor MS Relapses

For an attack to be considered an MS relapse, it must meet the following criteria:
  • New symptoms appear or old symptoms of MS become worse
  • The episode of new or worsening symptoms lasts for more than 24 hours
  • Symptoms of the relapse do not occur within 30 days of a previous relapse
  • There is no other explanation for the symptoms
Treatment for relapses typically involves a course of high-dose intravenous steroids to reduce inflammation in the central nervous system and help speed relief of relapse-related symptoms. Some neurologists may have differing opinions as to when to treat a relapse, so patients may feel there is no reason to call the doctor’s office if the symptoms are relatively mild and do not significantly interfere with normal activities. Or, patients may feel they won’t be taken seriously by the doctor, so they don’t bother to call.

However, every relapse is an important event to acknowledge and report.  Even if a patient does not need or want steroids, it is recommended that their fluctuating symptoms be documented in their medical record.  Often, treatment decisions are made by examining your past medical history, including the number, frequency, and severity of relapses the patient has had.  Although no disease-modifying therapy (DMT) has been shown to be 100 percent effective in preventing relapses, experiencing too many relapses (even small ones) may indicate that the patient’s DMT is not working as well as it should.

Read this post in its entirety:

When to Report MS Relapses to Your Doctor

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