Can one work oneself into a relapse?

That's a question I'd love to have the answer to! I've read conflicting reports about this. Some folks report a true relapse after very stressful or physically taxing periods of time. I've never read in any scientific notes that this can happen, so is it merely coincidental?

I understand a pseudo-relapse can happen in response to heat or stress, but what about a true relapse with disease activity?

40 Replies

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  • greaterexp

    I think so but u may be right if u mean pseudo-exacerbation or exacerbation rather than causing new lesions???

  • Just because you have a relapse doesn't mean you have new disease activity, is what l thought.? erash

    Good question, l do know my symptoms will go into overdrive when I'm stressed. greaterexp ๐ŸŒ 

  • Jesmcd2 thats what my reply was supposed to mean...not clearly said ๐Ÿ˜œ

  • Lol sorry, l just had an argument with my electric company and for once won๐Ÿ˜… And doing fundraising.๐Ÿ˜‘๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‘ And talking to my daughter.๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ˜‘ So my mind is still scattered.๐Ÿ˜ต ๐ŸŒ ๐Ÿ˜… erash

  • When is your walk Jes ๐Ÿšถโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿฆ‹๐ŸŒˆ

  • The 1st week in May!โ˜บ๐ŸŒ  jimeka

  • I'd loan you some marbles, Jesmcd2, but I can't find any. Sounds like we both need to sweep up the floor or go shopping for new ones. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜…

  • How about if we all just go to the hardware store,and buy new wire for ourselves?๐Ÿ˜ And remind me to pick up a new refrigerator light bulb Tutu ๐Ÿ˜‘๐Ÿ˜…

  • Ha! ๐Ÿ˜‚ we can take turns requiring each other. I'll do you first, Jesmcd2. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Rewiring!Ugh! And I once was a newspaper proofreader!! ๐Ÿ˜ต

  • Tutu lol ! x

  • Gosh you all sound like me.. I get confused easily and my focus is still on the good looking doc pic I think Jimeka posted :-) My doctor told me in January when I went in for extreme numbness/tingling that we can stress ourselves into a flare-up but a relapse would have additional symptoms. I know I can stress myself out, I get flushed, hot, scatter-brained and just have to lay down and rest for hours or overnight to make it go away. My husband tries to understand, but sometimes he adds to my stress by being over protective.. Gotta love him.

  • I guess I should say true relapse OR new lesions.

  • greaterexp I had both a relapse and new lesions after going through a stressful time when my Dad was dying last year. I remember relentlessly pushing myself past my limits, thinking I would deal with it later. It took me about 6 months to feel like I emerged from the relapse, but I'm left with residual affects from the new lesions.

  • Iona60, I'm sorry about your loss and the relapse that followed.

  • Iona60

    ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ˜ฅ๐Ÿ˜ข

    But it does make sense that both physical and emotional stress, esp. A major life event, can affect the immune system and open the gates for more disease.

    We can try to live peaceful, routine, healthful lives to protect ourselves but (and I haven't yet truly learned this) we are not in control of everything ๐Ÿ‘ฎ

  • I can relate. 2yrs ago my Mom was sick and eventually died. My relapse was gradual and became diasabling. However, I would/ could not have changed anything. That's life.

  • Vinagirl, I'm sorry for the loss you suffered and the relapse. There does seem to be a real connection between emotional trials and relapses. I'm sorry your reaction was so profound. We are truly complex creations.

  • I agree Vinagirl . I have such fond memories of those 2 weeks that I got to spend with my dad. My brother told us to come right after he was diagnosed, while he was still looking and feeling good. He died 4 months later. I was still in a bad relapse and couldn't go back for his memorial service.

  • I'm so sorry that you could not go to the memorial service. However, you will always remember the 2 weeks that you spent with him.

    I have been stressed for over 2 years - mom had a stroke and died 5 months later (It has taken me almost a year to close out her estate) Then MS exacerbation - losing my job - applying for disability (that's very stressful!), now spouse out of work.

    However, I do not regret minute of helping my mother in her last months and the trust she put in me to close her estate.

    I wish the stress had not put me into a relapse - but I was bound to get a relapse sooner or later...........

    Sometimes I think that only a person with MS can understand what we go though. Thanks for sharing your story and thank you for listening to my trials and tribulation You are a star ๐ŸŒŸ

  • I had two relapses one year following extremely stressful times and pushing myself way beyond my limit. Put on IVs both times. I hope this doesn't mean your recent work to get your home ready for sale has further exacerbated your symptoms, greaterexp. ??๐Ÿ’ž

  • I'm doing well. Today is the first day of rest, and I am feeling a little more of a problem with my left arm, but I played piano for church for the practice and worship, so that could explain that. I've just in general wondered about this and always forget to ask.

    But will I be glad when the house is sold and our move is over with!

  • My mom and dad died 18 days apart last July and I was really stressed by all that loss and all that goes with the planning, etc. I woke up August 12 in full blown relapse. They did an MRI, no new lesions and the two neuros at the click argued about whether I could have a relapse without new lesions. One said no, the other, who I adored said it was obvious I was having a full relapse. Anyway, it lasted until January I think it was when they finally gave me massive doses of steroids. But even now I am not where I was before. Just a new reality. I wish you the best.

    Tutu, try the toy store, they might sell marbles ๐Ÿ™ƒ.

    Love to all ,Kelly

  • Tutu erash Amore55 greaterexp For me, I think it was the long term nature of the stress (4 months) that pushed me over the edge. I think I can get through short-term stress OK. The lesson that we can all learn from this is to listen to our bodies and try to stop before we reach the tipping point. Sometimes we think that we are the only ones that can do something. But, the world will continue to turn once we are gone. Maybe we should ask ourselves, "Is it really worth it to push forward, if I know I'm going to lose my ability to (insert symptom) ?"

  • If you can work yourself into one then you can work yourself out of one (not) - after fighting this disease for 50 years I have NEVER seen or had any direct evidence to either one. I, personally, do NOT believe you can MAKE yourself have an exacerbation other than, for me, getting warm or hot (even a little). Remember I have been through all of life's tragedies, joys, exhaustions, trials and my MS, has never, unfortunately, followed any cause and effect...how I wish it would have.

  • Bless your Heart lindance for having such having such a fulfilling life. You are truly Blessed ๐Ÿ’•

    And isn't that the way MS works? The way it's supposed to, it doesn't?๐Ÿ˜•๐Ÿ˜…

    Jes๐ŸŒ 

  • Good topic, greaterexp. When my first symptoms started, I was told that stress or injury could have triggered my MS. Both happened within 2 days of each other. Two weeks later? My first symptom that led me to my doctor.

    I know there was something latent lurking within me already-a predisposition and a virus or such, but what triggers the initial symptom? What wakes the MS up?

  • Yeah Tutu what does wake up this monster? How come it didn't come lose when l got hit in the head with a rock? (Accident) Took a few dives of horse's and bikes? Both with and with out motors.๐Ÿ˜ Good times.๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜…๐ŸŒ  But if there was anytime to hear that lose those would have worked!๐Ÿ˜

  • 8 years ago, I had a really bad gall bladder attack which in turn caused me to have a relapse. Had to have 3 days of dexamethasone treatments (this was before I knew how bad my gall bladder was).

    My husband brought me to the ER because of excruciating pain. Thought I was having a heart attack. Apparently, my gall bladder was like a dried up bean bag and had to have it removed right away. So a same day surgery turned into a weeks stay at the hospital and 6 weeks at home from work.

    My neurologist said the problems I was having internally was effecting my MS.

  • Hi Sulton Welcome backโ˜บ I remember when my gallbladder was removed. I felt like l was either having a heart attack or someone was stabbing me in the back and twisting it!๐Ÿ˜ข I remember thinking it was worse than giving birth! Cause at least then they give you meds! And being in Bermuda at the time, the didn't know where to send me.๐Ÿ˜‘

    I couldn't even imagine having both!

    Jes๐ŸŒ 

  • Jes, I remember that pain in the back. It was more towards my left upper back shoulder. I work in a hospital lab and the day before I went to the ER, I was laying on the floor, on my back, in the phlebotomy waiting room to help relieve some pain. Never in a million years had I ever thought about laying on a nasty, gross medical laboratory floor. Yucky, lol!!

    Donna ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Whenever I get an infection of any type, anything that raises my body temp, my MS

  • gets activated. Practicing good, common sense, health habits only seems the right thing to do. However, I wouldn't pass up 'special' activities just because they might make you tired. Tired is MS by any other name. Even though you have MS you still want to have made a good life to look back on - of course, that is only my experience and opinion.

  • Here is an article that may be of interest:

    webmd.com/multiple-sclerosi...

  • Wow greaterexp , that was eye opening. Sounds like we should be given stress managment therapy as part of our ongoing therapy. Thanks for sharing this.

  • Great article, greaterexp. I've been told stress affects and worsens MS, but this is the first article I've read that really backs up what I've been told. Thank you! ๐Ÿ’•

  • Thank you for your supportive words! I believe we need more research regarding stress and how it affects our health.

    This morning I found a medical articles that concludes:

    There is a consistent association between stressful life events and subsequent exacerbation in multiple sclerosis.

    bmj.com/content/328/7442/73...

  • Vinagirl, thank you for posting this! We need all the good information we can find!

  • Thanks, Vinagirl!

  • Relapse, flare, or exacerbation?

    nationalmssociety.org/Treat...

    "An exacerbation of MS (also known as a relapse, attack or flare-up) causes new symptoms or the worsening of old symptoms. It can be very mild, or severe enough to interfere with a personโ€™s ability to function at home and at work. "

    "To be a true exacerbation, the attack must last at least 24 hours and be separated from the previous attack by at least 30 days. Most exacerbations last from a few days to several weeks or even months."

    I hope this helps. For more info, Go to the web address on the second line of this post.

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