Flare or Excaberation??

I'm going to ask a stupid question I guess I should know the answer but really dont know...what is the difference between an exacerbation and flare up? I went to neurologist last week and I was told it sounded as if I had exacerbation but nothing can be done now...like I wasted his time. I'm thinking about finding a new neurologist. Any thoughts? Thank you! Happy New Year!!!

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  • Hi KATC1972, it's not a stupid question I didn't know either, so I have just googled it and according to the great wide web, they are the same thing. So don't ever think that anything you need to ask is stupid, because there are others on here who don't know either including me. It's always refreshing to me to learn something new. Have a great day, blessings Jimeka

  • Hi KATC1972 Awesome question! Cause l didn't know either. ๐Ÿ˜ž I looked it up like jimeka did ๐Ÿ˜ this is what l found in there glossary.

    Relapse (or exacerbation): A temporary worsening or recurrence of existing symptoms and/or the appearance of new symptoms (also called an โ€œacute attack;โ€ definition shown above), caused by inflammation occurring along the nerves and the myelin. This can range from a few days in duration to a few months, followed by a complete or partial recovery (remission). Acute physical symptoms and neurological signs must be present for at least 24 to 48 hours, without any signs of infection or fever, before the treating physician may consider this type of flare-up to be a true relapse. Treatments may improve recovery time.

  • Oops l found that in MSAA's glossary!!!!!!!

  • I was thinking that an exacerbation was a temporary thing ( from infection, fever, overheating, fatigue etc.) and that a true relapse was a longer process with more permanent resulting deficits. So at first, with my recent virus, I put symptoms down to 'exacerbation' from virus, then realised after getting over the virus and having the continued worsening symptoms, it must be a true relapse. I had no idea they meant the same thing ! I wonder what the term for a temporary worsening of symptoms from infection/virus/overheating etc is then ? x

  • Ah, it seems to be called 'Pseudoexacerbation' ? x


  • angelite, that's what my neuro calls it (actually she uses the "pseudo-relapse" term) when my MS symptoms flare during or after a UTI. In the past, she would confirm I didn't have another UTI prior to starting me on solumedrol.

  • @Katc1972, it's Fancy1959. First things first there are no stupid questions. In this chat room with over 1300 people listed as members there are probably dozens and dozens who have the same question you've listed but never ever asked it for fear of someone saying it was a stupid question. So to you I said Bravo!

    Second, if you're not happy with your neurologist attitude toward you or the way he speaks to you look around see if you can five different neurologist. A good place to start your search with your family doctor, they can recommend neurologist, that through the grapevine they have heard are good ones. If that doesn't supply you with names of good neurologist, check back with me I'll give you a different way to look for some in your area.

    Finally I have always thought that in exacerbation and a flare up of your MS symptoms work pretty much the same thing. I will do some checking and if this is not so I'll be replying back to you here shortly. Have a happy New Year! We're glad you're part of our extended family and all your questions are important to us. Remember together we are stronger!

  • Thank you!! I have enjoyed being a part of this community because you are all real and answer honestly! I'm thinking of switching to a new neurologist but have a new insurance policy and am unsure who is and who is not covered. Lots of stress in my life right now. Thanks and Happy New Year!!

  • KATC1972, I hope your new insurance plan allows you too find a good neuro, if that is what you plan to do.

    I had a great neuro (after 2 'lousy' ones). I woke up one morning in unable to walk. I called my neuro's office in tears and very frightened. I was given an appt 2 weeks later. By then, I could walk again. My neuro ordered an MRI, but it took 3 months for that to be scheduled. So even though I liked my neuro, our HMO made it difficult to move on things quickly. They were just backed up.

    It's important to find a neuro you like, and preferable one well-versed in MS if you don't live near an MS clinic. Then, a system that works on a timely manner for immediate needs or appts, as well as tests.

    Wishing you a better 2017!

  • Katc1972, it's fancy back. In exacerbation nand MS flare are one in the same thing like several of us have said. Google it if you want to double-check and read more about it. Have a happy New Year! Take care and hope to talk to you soon!

  • How does that go, "The only stupid question is one that is not asked".

  • An exacerbation of MS (also known as a relapse, attack or flare-up) causes new symptoms or the worsening of old symptoms.

  • KATC1972 I have a question regarding your neurologist comment that he couldn't do anything now. Had you started feeling better before you saw him? If so, then there wasn't anything to do at that point. When you started to feel worse did you try to get in to see him and just had to wait for an appt?

  • Good question, Karen-x.

    I find it strange a neuro would say there was nothing to do during an exacerbation, KATC1972. Mine would put me on solumedrol IVs--unless it was a pseudo-relapse.

  • Hi! Yes, I called his office immediately when I started having the new and weird symptoms. It was 3 days later when the nurse called to give me the appointment which was 10 days later so all in all my appointment was 3 weeks after my symptoms that I saw him. He did notice delay in left side response. He wants to get an MRI but I just had one in October so this one might be turned down. Without it he will not be able to give me solimedrol. I had those symptoms for about 10-12 days and now the numbness in my face comes backs at least once daily. Thanks!!

  • I had MRIs close together like that which showed progression. As far as taking that long for an appt, I don't think that unreasonable. If you had a flare it didn't last so long. And I have found that once a flare occurs w a new symptom that symptom stays with me, not as often or intense. It sounds lime a new MRI was a good call, but I'm not a doctor.

    Keep us posted.

  • KATC1972 sounds like your relapse is over. So there is no point in giving you the solumedrol now๐Ÿ˜ž Hopefully things will calm down for soon. Let us know what bothers you and see if we can help.๐Ÿ˜Š


  • Oh yeah l forgot ๐Ÿ˜… Get ahold of MSAA They can help you with your Neuro and insurance. โ˜บ


    (800) 532-7667 ext 154


  • KatB77 how are you feeling now? Any better?

  • Oops sry supposed to be KATC1972 sorry ๐Ÿ’. How are you feeling hun?

  • Thank you for following up with me. I think I'm doing better but my hands still tremble. My neurologist put me on Baclofen. He is checking on the MRI. Probably fighting with them..lol! Thanks agai

  • I think thinking is half the battle, l think? Help KATC1972 l think l thank to much ugh! ๐Ÿ˜ Seriously lm glad your Neuro seems to be on top of it. The hand shaking stinks! I hate when l have it๐Ÿ˜ข The only thing l do when l have it is to do everything in slow motion. Watching my hands helps also. And l swear alot๐Ÿ˜ There is whole lot of "ARE YOU F***ING KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW?" ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜…

    I have a ton of patience for others but not myself๐Ÿ˜

    Hang in there! Is the baclafin working for you?

  • I am having a lot of shaking now in both hands! The neurologist gave me an epilepsy medication but I don't think it's seizures because they shake all the time

    I am on baclofen 10mg but am trying to self medicate to 20 mg dosing 3x daily. Time will tell!

    Have a good day!

  • What I was told when I thought I was having a relapse a few weeks ago, was that a relapse always presents with a new symptom. Flare-ups and exacerbation are generally the same. One is a $25.00 word, the other a $100.00 word. :-) I'm at almost 9 months into having this disease and learning about it every day.

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