Slurring your words

I have just been asked at work if I have been hitting tithe bottle as they said I was slurring my word this has worried and upset me as my last relapse my ms nurse said I was slurrining as I talked does anyone else do this and is it a sign of a relapse By the way I had not had a drink I only wish I could but with the drugs I’m on I should be so lucky

Yes, unfortunately I do slur - ‘bad news for someone used to public speaking and went to private school’. Try and relax and don’t get ‘wound up’ - I know it is awkward - that’s MS.


I sometimes think we should all have “No, I have MS” tatooed on our foreheads in great big scarlet letters

Yes I have also had problems. Found when particularly tired or when fatigue hits and with me I sometimes suffer throat, swollowing probs.

If you try talking much slower and try articulate your words more. Try drinking lots more water/fluids too as it helps oil the mechanisms.

It can be a sign of a relapse, but sometimes its a temporary thing brought on by stress/fatigue, especially getting worse when someone points it out to you/psychological effects.

If you find your slurring is with you for some time, have words with ms nurse as she might refer you to speech therapist who helped me greatly.



When I had my major “catastrophic relapse” that resulted in my diagnosis I was slurring my speech so badly (coupled with an almost inabilty to walk) that my GP thought that I had had a stroke and rushed me to the stroke unit at my local hospital the same morning. Ironically, as I had not had a stroke, the fact that my symptoms looked like one meant that I had fantastically quick treatment (eg MRI scan the same day) and a quick tandem referral to a neurologist too.

If my 1st neurologist hadn’t been such a **** I would have had my LP and neuro sight tests and my DX in a couple of months/weeks rather than the 9 months (and floods of tears) that it eventually took!

The bad slurring lasted for a couple of months and was awful for me. It is still there when I get stressed or tired but not as bad as it was - it is linked with cognative difficulties affecting speech as well such as aphasia (sp?) where I use completely the wrong word, “tip of the tongue” syndrome and complete mental blanks with words and names.

It has meant lots of problems for me at work - I am a criminal lawyer and I can’t do Court now because of the problems with my speech. I often sound drunk sound so you can imagine how bad that appears to a court and to witnesses! Can you imagine being a victim of a crime and “your” lawyer turns up and sounds like an incoherent p***head?

My MS nurse arranged for me to see a speech therapist. She works through various excercises and coping strategies with me. Although it is not a cure for the problem it does help.

Added to my poor speech my IQ has taken a major dive too. For me, this was a problem that I could not hide from or ignore. I don’t really have issues with using my trendy walking stick and my lovely husband is marvellous for driving me round as much as he does but being able to speak and hold an argument was 100% of my life. Even when not at work, my hobby/alternative career was as a stand-up comic. You can’t deal with hecklers when you can’t answer them back

God, this disease knows where to hit you where it hurts most

Hi All,

I get this from time to time.

The grandkids thing it is great because i sound like Daffy Duck.

They say the next it hapoens they are going to record it.

Glad i make them happy.



Yes I also get this and I forget the word I really want to say, have to slow down and think. if I’m lucky it comes to me. I also find it wearing when someone speaks to quickly and expects a quick reply as I have to really concentrate on what they have said.

Janet x

I still have things mild, but my memory/recall isn’t as good as it was, and it’s often like I’m playing an ongoing game of word association calling stuff like the fridge the cooker, or bran flakes, porridge. I assume this is commonplace. Plus swallowing problems, I frequently get food or drink going down the wrong pipe and end up having to cough it back. Once or twice a day maybe. Normal for MS too?

Sorry to hear your probs Tattybear, Boblatina and everyone.

Mr S

I have been told that problems with speech are caused by a lesion on the cerebellum.

As others have said a referral to a speech therapist can help.

Apparently you can also find tongue twister exercises on the Internet which can help. Sorry I have no first hand experience with this but I was reliably given this information.

Good Luck!

Hello Annie,

One of my first symptoms, was slurring and it comes and goes, with the relapses.

Take Care


Hi tattybear …so far I havent got a problem with slurring but my mom did and as others have said speech therapy can add another tool to your self help box.

Looking drunk and brain farts has been my major hurdle with work who still wont have be back so I can empathise with boblatina.

Mr sensible I would query whether you are being sensible if you dont mind me saying.You sound in need of an urgent speech and language referral as your risk of aspiration with such frequent episodes of food down the wrong way means the risk of chest infection is high.

As tattybear said wouldnt it be nice to have being drunk as the reason for all of this and for normality to reign the next day.


You need help with your swallowing, speak to your ms nurse about it.

I think slurring your speech is most likely a sign of tiredness. It happens to me towards the end of my working day. I don’t think it is likely to be relapse - I remember a few years when I was in relapse that I was unable to articulate at all for a week or so.

This year I am Best Man to a friend’s wedding and the speech is troubling me in case I am tired, also half of it has to be in French, as the wedding is in France. A double edged sword, but I think if you are tired or anxious your speech will become more difficult to control.


I have been slurring recently. I have been dx for 7 years and not had this symptom before! I have rrms.

I don’t think i am in relapse either!

I am a person who does not drink very often but yesterday i needed to buy a gift from a local shop and decided their fave tipple was brandy.

Can you imagine what it sounded like when i asked for the brandy from behind the counter? slurring as well?

I bet they thought ‘I think you have had enough already’!!

I won’t go back in that shop for a while. oh! the shame of it

Teresa. x