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Multiple Sclerosis Guide

Alison Beaver

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ask: How often can flare ups or relapses occur in MS?

By angel8532303
 
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I know it's different for everyone, but I was just diagnosed and was just wondering if it's possible to have serveral flare ups per month. How can you tell the difference between just a symptom and a flare up? How is a flare up treated compared to just another symptom?

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Maryann Gromisch RN Guide

Hi,

I will try my best to answer your questions. As you stated, individuals with multiple sclerosis will present with symptoms that vary in intensity and frequency.

As a newly diagnosed person with MS, it is important for your physician to discuss the disease with you. As you may or may not know, MS is an autoimmune disease that affects the brain and the spinal cord. It is caused by damage to the myelin sheath, the protective covering that surrounds nerve cells. When this covering is damaged, nerve impulses are slowed down or stopped.

Symptoms vary, because the location and severity of each attack can be different. Episodes can last for days,  weeks or months. These episodes alternate with periods of remission or periods of no symptoms.

A flare- up is an acute worsening of a condition. So, a flare-up of symptoms is the same as an episode of symptoms that alternates with a period of remission or the absence of symptoms.

The aim of treatment is to control symptoms and help you maintain a normal quality of life.

Ask your physician the question about the frequency or ratio of episodes and remissions.

Maryann

November 21, 2011 - 6:41pm
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