Relapse - what to do?

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Relapse - what to do?

Post by mwmarczak » Sun May 26, 2013 6:25 am

Hey Guys

My wife was diagnosed with MS in 2010. For nearly 3 years it was all ok, but currently she is going through relapse. In the last 5 weeks, her mobility deteriorated quite badly, she nearly lost her sight completely, these are all new symptoms. We met with MS neurologist and she said she would not give steroids right now as the relapse would last up to 6 weeks. We are based in Malaysia there is shortage of experienced MS doctors as MS is not common in this part of the world. My questions are:
- how important is it to give steroids quickly to stop the symptoms from worsening?
- is there anything else we could do to stop the symptoms from worsening?

Big thank you in advance

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Re: Relapse - what to do?

Post by jimmylegs » Sun May 26, 2013 6:50 am

hi m, does your wife use any diet/nutrition approaches to manage her illness? some nutritional fluctuations are associated with incidence of relapse. for instance uric acid levels correlate with zinc status. uric acid levels are low normal in the average ms patient, and even lower normal during relapse. any reason your wife's serum zinc levels might be down lately?

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Re: Relapse - what to do?

Post by MarkLavelle » Sun May 26, 2013 7:09 am

mwmarczak wrote:- how important is it to give steroids quickly to stop the symptoms from worsening?
Steroids are always optional. They are mainly used to reduce the length of the symptoms and there's no guarantee they will even do that. I don't think anyone has ever shown that they reduce the duration...

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Re: Relapse - what to do?

Post by pushingForward » Sun May 26, 2013 4:23 pm

To follow on Mark's comments, as far as I have researched, steroids have no long term benefit. Taking them may speed "recovery" from a relapse, but they will not impact the long term effect. The ultimate impact of the relapse will be the same regardless of whether or not steroids are taken.

I am actually thinking I will no longer take them at this point???

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Re: Relapse - what to do?

Post by eric593 » Sun May 26, 2013 8:26 pm

I agree that steroids for a relapse generally do not improve the outcome but only shorten the relapse time. So it's good to use them sparingly for when a relapse is really interfering with functioning or is involving serious non-sensory abilities. They have risks of serious side effects which increase the more they are used. They can also stop working with repeated use.

That said, if she has optic neuritis, studies show that IV steroids may have a protective effect in reducing relapse of ON in the future, so she may want to consider an IV if she has ON. How long has she had these new symptoms?

Anti-inflammatory foods may help to reduce the inflammation going on in the body and aid in recovery. Sleep and rest are also very important, and avoid stress until she feels better.

Hopefully she will recover full capabilities. Physio can also help.

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