MS Symptom Management

So you may or may not have been diagnosed with MS, but you are in this website reading all of this information and having aha moments as you look through various symptoms and think, I have those going on.  Now what do I do?  Or maybe you are on your disease modifying treatment and are experiencing a relapse.  Or maybe you are having side effects from your DMT.

This section is here to help you navigate the symptom side of MS.  The DMT’s will hopefully prevent the disease from progressing.  However, the lesions and disease activity you already have will not be thwarted.  The DMT is not a cure for what has already happened to you, in other words, there is not anything on the market that reverses nerve or myelin damage yet.  We depend upon medications, life-style changes, exercise programs, cognitive exercises, and even diet changes to help manage symptoms of this disease.

There are more common triggers of MS symptoms, stress, heat, infection, to name a few.  These can be managed usually with simpler adaptations.  The MSAA offers a Cooling Equipment Distribution Program and Polar Products offers cooling vests for people with MS.  Draping a wet towel around your neck or wearing a wet cap can dissipate heat for some.  Talking to others with MS can help you learn the tricks of the trade to still be active but be mindful that you don’t flare your symptoms if heat is an issue for you.  There are antiviral medications available to help stave off viruses during the cold months.  If you are flying, or in doctors’ offices or large crowds and seem to succumb to sickness easily, consider wearing disposable patient face masks.  If you get fatigued easily, some people can increase their tolerance with exercise, some by cutting down stress, some simply by taking short naps.  It is important to assess your symptoms and determine which you can help with life style changes that will still allow you to be active and involved.

For the ones that cannot be alleviated this way, there are many medications on the market that address the wide variety of challenges of MS.  More information on these can be found on this MSAA Multiple Sclerosis Symptom Medications link. This is a comprehensive list of MS symptoms and the medications available to treat them  This resource allows you to do research ahead of time when you are having discussions with your medical team. Also you can review a list at Symptom Management .