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How does stress affect your MS
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How does stress affect your MS

I've had big  MS symptoms that appeared over the years but only in times when I was under a great deal of stress (new job, new school, moving, etc).  Does stress have any kind of effect on MS or not really? Thanks for helping.
Tags: ms, stress
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1453990_tn?1329235026
Stress seems to be associated with relapse.  Yes

Bob
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I don't know enough to comment in a medical way, but I can tell you I had a fairly major relapse 2 weeks after moving interstate (just me and a 13 yo doing it all -buying and selling real estate etc).  I had a minor relapse when my mother came to stay, which is enough to send anyone completely mental anyway.

I think I remember reading that you can link a relapse to a stressful event 1-2 weeks before the relapse starts, be it illness or moving house or whatever. But I could be wrong.........
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1312898_tn?1314571733
Oh yes......definately

Red
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987762_tn?1331031553
I would have to say that MS can flare in times of stress but if your saying its the only time you 'ever' have your MS type symtoms (symptoms), then i dont think that MS is the likely suspect. MS just isn't a situational specific disease, it hits no matter what is happening in your life, it just doesn't care!

Stress does affect people regardless of if is there is an underlying disease but it is out side the scope of normal if stress is bringing on MS type sx, it is a direction you can explore further. Maybe just having the knowledge that stress isn't good for you, will help you to deal with stressful situations with a new light, or send you in the direction of getting some help so you can deal with stressful situations better.

Cheers.........JJ
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667078_tn?1316004535
I had the worst MS experience I have ever had last month and I was under stress good and bad. I realized how important it is to pace myself. I actually canceled all engagements for the next week after because I was so sick. What I learned was this disease will get me. I can either respect that and take it easy or have it knock me flat with bad symptoms and recovery.

I use scheduling, exercise, diet, hypnosis, and talking to people to keep my stress level as low as I can. Sometimes life events make that hard but this disease needs to be respected.

Alex
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1394601_tn?1328035908
I agree that stress makes anything more difficult.  I try like HVAC to pace myself.  It is like having a bank account.  Be careful where the energy is used if you have something later in the day that is important.  Know when to say...enough!  Break time!!!  
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572651_tn?1333939396
The NMSS has excellent resources on Stress and MS at

http://www.nationalmssociety.org/living-with-multiple-sclerosis/healthy-living/stress/index.aspx

fron their website and a publication is this quote... "The first thing to know is that while stress can make us feel worse, whether upsetting our stomachs or knotting our neck muscles, no research group has been able to prove any direct cause-and-effect relationship between MS and stress."
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1453990_tn?1329235026
Right, "There is no causal link between stress and MS."  There is a causal relationship between stress and relapse in people with MS (even though it is only a small one.)

Mult Scler. 2006 Aug;12(4):453-64.
Relationship between stress and relapse in multiple sclerosis: Part I. Important features.

Brown RF, Tennant CC, Sharrock M, Hodgkinson S, Dunn SM, Pollard JD.

Department of Psychology, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia. rhonda.***@****

CONCLUSIONS: Life-event stress impacts to a small degree on MS relapse. The number and not the severity of acute stressors are most important; chronic stressors do not predict later relapse. Males and those with early stage disease are also at greater risk of relapse. MS patients should be encouraged to reduce acute stressors during times of high stress, and feel reassured that disease-related chronic stressors do not increase their relapse risk.

Bob
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572651_tn?1333939396
Whether we have MS or not, life is full of stress and can trip us up.  That is why from an early age we should be learning technique to cope with stress.  

As  people living with a life altering disease, we need to be finding ways to cope with the additional stress.  I'm not trying to make it sound simple - it's something we all need to work at.  

Yoga, tai chi, reading, knitting, holding a child, petting a dog, painting a picture or doing music....  are all proven stress busters.  I hope everyone can think of one thing that allows the stress to be released and can find some time to do it.

We're healthier for it.

Lu
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987762_tn?1331031553
Did I read more in this than others did? "big  MS symptoms that appeared over the years but only in times when I was under a great deal of stress (new job, new school, moving, etc). "

In my mind, if there are no other times when the MS sx apear then wouldn't that be an indicator that MS wasn't the problem? I'm sure stress plays a part somewhere but the implication by that statement is that the question is not about if stress is affecting your MS relapses and more about if stress is the only time you experience your MS sx. Which is what hana is saying she experiences, if i've read that right then I would have to say that if thats the only time you experience MS sx, then no its not consistent with MS because thats is not the 'only' time MSers experience their sx.

The information would all be valid if the problem is MS, but I'd hate someone to think that because they experience MS type sx 'only' when they get stressed, that its consistent with a dx of MS, when there is no evidence that MS relapses are only caused by psychological events such as stress. For me the word ONLY changes the question.

Sorry if i've over stepped but I just thought some clarrification might be needed here :-)

Cheers...........JJ
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