Hello all, can anyone help me to resolve a query please. How do you tell whether your ms is active or whether you are just having symptoms because of a trigger such as anxiety stress infection heat etc? I have sensory symptoms in my head and fatigue that comes and goes all the time, I also have muscle spasms and stiffness for short periods most mornings, I have no motor balance or visual difficulties other than problems focusing when very anxious. My symptoms are more distressing when I’m anxious and discomfort fortunately is fleeting. Suppose I’m asking whether it’s possible to know whether it’s anxiety or ms causing symptoms? Any comments appreciated.

Hi Wanda,

I think you’ve almost answered your own question.

The way I look at it is if you know there’s stuff going on (heat, stress, a cold, or whatever) that makes your symptoms worse, but they ease again once that circumstance has passed, there’s no reason to think your MS is any more active than usual. The flare-up was probably just situational.

If your symptoms get worse, but there’s nothing obvious to account for it, then it’s probably the disease itself having a bit of a strop.

It’s not unusual, by the way, to have residual symptoms that persist, even after a relapse, or attack, has passed. I have some symptoms that are with me pretty much all the time now. I think these relate to past damage, and aren’t a sign my MS is “always” active.

I think Relapsing Remitting (assuming that’s the one you’ve got) can be a bit misleading, because it tends to suggest you should feel completely fine when your MS isn’t active - i.e. in between the relapses. That’s not necessarily true.