I have a New Year's resolution to keep my health under better control and one of the ways I plan on accomplishing that is to figure out, if I can, what might trigger a relapse so I may, may prepare better for it and not end up in the hospital.
I have read a lot about what can trigger a relapse or even a pseudo-relapse, but actually found that we have our own individual triggers. Also, if I do see a relapse coming, is there any way to head it off hopefully not having to resort to steroids every time?
I have found in my own case that infections have been pretty integral to my going into a relapse - a bad relapse. On the other hand, when I was in a car accident last year I had a relapse but it wasn't as bad as the infection-triggered ones and I actuallly recovered more quickly. Also, Spring is my high risk for relapses season. This has been the case for the past 4 years. I'm trying to break that tradition if possible. :)
For those of you who have your finger on the pulse for where to find info, is there any good research out there about this?
and what an interesting question. I find for me it is over doing it, if I have done way too much and over do it then I seem to end up with a relapse, also infection, if I get a bad infection look out, but luckily I rarely get sick.
Research here in Aussie showed that more people have an exacerbation after winter at the change of seasons (sure I read that somewhere) so autumn/spring. For me I seem to have trouble in the summer but I think this could be pseudo relapse with the warmer weather as the heat gives me uthoff's
(diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis)
Hands down for me is STRESS. I have had only 3 relapses that I know of and each on after a very stressful event the night before. Talked to a woman who has MS and her trigger is her brother. He just pushes her buttons. As a consequence, she hasn't seen him in years and as a result hasn't had a relapse.
You are right, it's different for everyone. My solution has been to exercise regularly (this includes meditation, stretching and deep breathing along with physical movement), massage, eating well, getting a good night's sleep, and just saying no when things get too crazy.
Hmm....You guys have come up with some interesting triggers. i especially was interested in the "stress" trigger. The hospital neuro told me last year when I was an in-patient that stress is a huge trigger. Well, I have not found that to be the case with me, but do see that it can make sense in general. I like Julie's approach to handling stress. Sounds like another good resolution.
You guys have great feedback.
One more question...If you are familier with what may trigger your relapses, do you know the "signs" of an impending relapse?
Sign of empending relapse? No, but if I start to get overly stressed part of my arm or sometimes my foot gets an odd senstation in it. I wouldn't say tingling, but rather hyper sensation. At that point I know it's time to stop doing (or saying) what ever I am doing or saying and retreat for some focused relaxation.
I know the major attack I had that led to my MRI and diagnosis happened right when I figured out I would have to file bankruptcy. Most of my relapses come with stress and viral infections. I wish there was a book on "How to avoid a relapse" but it is different for everyone
I have no idea what triggers mine. I started having a flare right after Thanksgiving that went nutso right before and after Christmas, so maybe stress is the culprit here too. My first big flare this summer was after returning home from a very active trip to a flood in the basement that required major work inside and outside the house. I've been battling it ever since it seems - at least trying to get it diagnosed and treated.
A health professional recently shared with me a conversation she had with an autoimmune specialist. Her opinion was that you have to have three things to get sick with autoimmune diseases - a genetic predisposition, an environmental trigger, and stress. If you have the first two, you might be okay, or might not. If you have all three, you will definitely get sick with autoimmune disease.
Stress and being sick with a virus seem to be the most common triggers amongst those of us who responded.
I wish there were a book on how to avoid relapses too. But when we know its coming, and I'm in that mode at this moment, what if we don't want to hear our doctor say "IV steroids"? I don't want steroids as they cause other problems for me, but on the other hand what other option is there?
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