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Stress Induced Exacerbations

August 19, 2015

Stress is commonly found in anyone suffering from a chronic illness, especially in multiple sclerosis, as patients do experience symptom flare-ups. When these symptoms do return, the relapses are better known as exacerbations.

These flare-ups can be caused by many different things, especially stress. They can vary in severity, being either mild or very serious. Even though almost all patients will encounter exacerbations throughout the course of their disease, each person’s situation is unique, just as all symptoms of MS are.

MS symptoms are manageable for the most part, like when a patient gets a small headache for example. With exacerbations, symptoms of a headache also be worsened by uncomfortable heat, as well as something like an uncomfortable confrontation or emotional stress.

People also tend to have a stressful effect on patients, as they can be inconsiderate to those with illnesses like multiple sclerosis. Sometimes being surrounded by a multitude of people can induce stress as well, having the company of one or two people at a time can be more than enough. Other stressful events that can cause exacerbation include unfortunate, and unpleasant medical procedures.

Stress by far has been proven to induce these already stressful flare-ups. Researchers have reported that whenever MS patients experience stressful events in their lives the amount of flare-ups they encounter are also increased. In the study, stress was also seen to cause the rate of exacerbations to double.

While it’s sometimes difficult to separate whether the symptoms you’re having are regular MS symptoms or exacerbation, there some ways in which you can differentiate between the two. If your flare-ups or symptoms occur at least 30 days from an earlier one or last for 24 hours or longer, they can then qualify as exacerbations.

While your doctor will always be there to help you decide how to manage your ongoing flare-ups, it is unfortunate that exacerbation will remain life-altering for MS patients.


Stress Induced Exacerbations - Wed August 19, 2015 10:56 AM