Symptoms cycling quite fast

Hi, I have been experiencing some MS symptoms and it always feels like they come gradually build up and then drop quickly this happens over about 2.5-3 week. Then i have like 5-7 days break. Then it starts all over again!! ANd the symptoms always come in the same order and go in reverse order.

It starts with numbness in my left arm then leg then left body then it gets abit worse, then it kind of leaves after some stuttering and stammering of my speech. Thats highly summarised but you get the idea.

I have been referred for an MRI but I was wondering if anyone had any ideas what this could be! (When will the app letter come and when will my app be!!)

If it makes anymore sense I have had a couple of infections in the past 3 months and I had the smptoms before the infection so its not that!

I hope you guys are having a good day!

This seems too rapid to be a classic cycle of relapse and remission. Clinically speaking, there have to be at least a clear 30 days between the end of one relapse and the start of another, for them to be recorded as distinct episodes, so episodes that only remit for 5-7 days before returning/repeating couldn’t be successive relapses - they would count as still the same one (IF it was a relapse at all in the first place).

It could be either (a) all a single relapse, with some day-to-day variability, or (b) not a relapse at all, but symptoms influenced by other factors, such as stress, heat, exertion, or infections.

Sometimes MS symptoms might flare up even before you are consciously aware of having an infection - e.g. sometimes I notice the MS is more of a b*gger than usual for a couple of days before realising I’m going down with a cold. Obviously, this wouldn’t apply weeks before you noticed an infection, but it’s quite common for MS to flare up 24 or 48 hours before it becomes obvious you’re ill with something else. Sometimes my MS playing up is my first clue I’ve caught something.


Oh Okay Thank you so much Tina and i forgot to thank you about your advice on what to tell the neuro too. It came in very handy.

It makes sense noww, I thought when your symtoms increase because of stress/infection its called a relapse. But a relapse is somthing different?

Does day to day variability show a pattern sometimes?

I’m interested in this, I’ve read that infection can trigger a relapse, and I’ve certainly had 2 occasions were I’ve been ill and relapsed (with symptoms that I’ve not previously experienced) as I was getting better.

So Tina, can this work in the same way that a hot bath can make your symptoms flare up? See now we expect you to have all the answers to everything, so no pressure ;D

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Hi again,

Not every flare-up symptoms is necessarily a relapse. You can have what is known as a pseudo-exacerbation, or pseudo-relapse, that’s caused by something like stress or an infection.

There are lots of anecdotal reports, but very little scientific evidence that stress causes relapses, BUT, it’s widely accepted it does aggravate symptoms, and most of us will have experienced that.

I often relate the time when even an over-pushy friend trying to persuade me to go round for dinner when I didn’t want to made me go weak at the knees. That was not a relapse, because it only lasted as long as the phone call, and a little after, but I could feel myself getting weaker as he wouldn’t take no for an answer.

I’m not sure it would happen today, but this was not long after a real relapse, when my lower body strength had been affected. I was recovering well, but lost strength again temporarily every time I got stressed.

Similarly with infections. Unlike stress, there is pretty good evidence they can cause relapses - especially respiratory tract infections, for some reason (that’s why it’s recommended to get the flu’ jab).

But infection-linked relapses are not instantaneous - they could be up to five or six weeks later - i.e. a reaction to the immune system being activated.

But infections can cause a pseudo-relapse, too. This happens while you’ve still actually got the illness. Water infections (UTIs) are well known for aggravating symptoms, and anything that causes a temperature is likely to do so as well - so even a feverish cold. The body’s response to infection is often to raise the temperature (make the environment a inhospitable host), but for those whose MS symptoms are sensitive to temperature, this has predictable results.

Before I was diagnosed, I spent years wondering why I felt like I was dying with a simple cold. I get the same every month with my period, as well - rise in body temperature again - but NOT a real relapse. That’s been helped a lot by going on the pill. I’ve got the OK to run two packets back-to-back without a break, so I only get a period once every two months (naturally it was down to three weeks), and it’s much easier and lighter. Still get a small flare in symptoms, but nothing like it was.

Oh, I did try - three times - to answer your other post about early symptoms by the way, but for some reason the forum wouldn’t have it. I will try again when I’m feeling more patient. It was very hard to explain anyway, because a lot of my early symptoms were very vague and non-specific, and I didn’t really begin to see them as symptoms 'til after I was diagnosed (like the feeling half-dead every time I had a cold or a period, for example).



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See above response to Cosine. :wink:

Yep, an infection - particularly one that causes a raised temperature - can have just the same effect as a hot bath. But you could have a temperature for several days, if you’re unlucky, so might be stuck with the worse symptoms for longer than with a bath.

But an infection - particularly something like flu’ - can also trigger the immune system, so you’re more likely to have a REAL relapse in the few weeks following. I can’t remember exact figures, but I think the incidence of relapse in the weeks following a bout of flu’ is statistically much higher. About five weeks later seems to be the critical time.

So there are good reasons to try to avoid flu’ - apart from it being horrible anyway.



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Wow Tina you are so very well informed! I feel like ive read a dozen research papers just by reading two of your comments (as in ive learnt LOADs). It makes more sense now. I hope you are having a good day!

About the comment yeah! I get emails about it but when i go on,its not there!

Thanks Tina! I remember now that my mum mentioned during the winter whether I should see about getting a flu jab for this winter. Not a bad idea, I think. Though I suppose I’d need to run it by my MS nurse first as I SHOULD have had the Lemtrada by then, and I’d definitely not want to be getting a jab before my immune system had replaced my white blood cells, I might as well go and play on the motorway if I’m going to do that!