Colds and MS


I have a cold which started yesterday. I’ve been feeling pretty good recently and then on Monday I woke up in the night with hand and arm pain and then was hit by bad fatigue during the day. Then woke up on Wednesday with cold symptoms. It feels like it has aggrevated my MS and I know that infections can cause a relapse but these are not new symptoms.

Just wondering what other’s experiences of colds/flu and MS are like?


Hi Eski,

A temporary exacerbation of symptoms, caused by a known infection, isn’t the same thing as a relapse. It’s sometimes called a “pseudo-relapse”, because it feels like a one, but goes away again once the infection clears up.

Some infections (including colds) can trigger a genuine relapse, up to five or six weeks later. But the increased symptoms you experience actually during the cold are not usually a proper relapse.

I’ve had years of feeling like I was dying every time I caught a cold. I had no idea I had MS, and that colds make it worse!

At least, now I know I know the truth, I don’t feel such a hypochondriac, every time I think I’m dying of a “sniffle”.

Hope you feel better soon! If it’s a feverish cold, try paracetamol to keep the temperature down. Sometimes it’s raised body temperature that aggravates the MS stuff.


Hello Eski, yes Tina is correct, when I was taking AVONEX injections the MS nurse did say to me that it raises your body temperature & causes exaserbation of your symptoms. One week I forgot to take my paracetomol & could just about stand up or walk. to keep your body temperature down take paracetomol every four hours before it begins to wear off whilst you have a cold this should make you feel better, hope this helps


Good advise from Tina and Sylvia, so all there remains for me to say is I hope you feel better soon! Cheryl:)

I always get a relapse about 6 weeks after a cold or virus,when i actually have the virus my ms goes quiet , a bit like the calm before the storm.

jaki xx