Thursday, July 17, 2014

It Really Might be a Bladder Infection, Not an MS Relapse

No matter how much I research MS, write about MS, and talk about MS as well as other health issues, I can still mis-read my own body signals and fail to go with the obvious.  I am not a medical expert, but a fellow patient learning to live with this disease as best I can.

I’m not sure how many times a community member has come online to ask advice about a possible relapse.  I usually tell them about pseudoexacerbations that can be caused by heat sensitivity or infection.  And, I always suggest that they call their neurologist.  I should listen to my own advice.

In my own case, I had initially considered UTI, but disregarded the possibility because  the symptoms were not constant.  I didn’t have a fever and didn’t ‘feel sick.’  I failed to refresh my memory and look up the common symptoms of a bladder infection which include:
    •    Cloudy or bloody urine, which may have a foul or strong odor.
    •    Low fever in some people.
    •    Pain or burning with urination.
    •    Pressure or cramping in the lower abdomen or back.
    •    Strong need to urinate often, even right after the bladder has been emptied.

My urine did not have any odor and I didn’t have a fever.  The pain with urination was temporary and I didn’t have any cramping.  My primary symptom, the strong urge to urinate, could easily be confused for MS-related bladder dysfunction.

So what have I learned from this experience?  Don’t make assumptions about bladder symptoms.  Always get tested, especially when it’s as simple as peeing in a cup.

Be well and I hope you are having a great summer!!

Read this post in its entirety:

Bladder Dysfunction and MS: Always Test for Infection Before Using Steroids

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