Living with MS is hard enough, let alone having to manage relapses, otherwise known as exacerbations.
Relapses are periods of acute demyelination, where new symptoms or a substantial worsening of old symptoms is present. These can be incredibly scary! Especially if you’re experiencing a severe symptom.
Yes, they’re scary, but there are a few things you can do to lessen the time and severity.
First, call your doc
Your doctor definitely needs to know as soon as your symptoms become noticeable. they will be able to help direct your care and know if you should come in immediately for steroids, switch medications or just wait. Waiting to talk to them about it until your next appointment will just prolong your symptoms and make you feel worse.
Let others take things off your plate
Where is not the time to focus on everything on your to do list. This is the time to let others help you and take things off your plate. Maybe they can help you with meals, house chores or running errands.
Stress is often a trigger for MS relapses, so the less stress you can experience, the better.
Along with the previous suggestion, you should be resting as much as possible. If you let people take things off your plate, that should open up some time for you to rest and recover.
This doesn’t mean work from the couch either. Taking a few days off of work to fully rest and recover would be the best scenario.
Hydrate and Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods
The more hydrated you are, the better your body can deal with anything that comes its way, including MS relapses.
Eating anti-inflammatory foods, especially omega-3 ‘s, will also be really helpful in lowering overall inflammation and hopefully reducing your symptoms and their duration.
Sometimes MS relapses are best treated with steroids, especially if they are incredibly severe or impact your daily life. This is also why we want to call the doctor at first signs of a relapse. They will know better than us if a relapse should be treated with steroids or not.
Sometimes the best course of action is just to wait it out and not treat it, especially if the symptoms aren’t as severe or don’t impact your daily life.
Having an MS relapse can be incredibly scary. But there are some steps you can take to lessen the severity and duration of your flare. Above all, remember to breathe. This too shall pass.
What has helped you when you’re in a flare? Let me know in the comments!