Multiple sclerosis is a condition which simultaneously affects the multiple organs. As the condition is progressive, either the severity of symptoms related to the same organs gets worsened or altogether a new organ gets affected. The frequency and symptoms vary for different patients.

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How Long Do Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms Last?

The length and frequency of the symptoms vary from person to person. In some people, a sudden outbreak of the symptoms develops while in some the disease continues in its progressive form despite the treatment. Multiple Sclerosis is divided into two types on the basis of the occurrence of symptoms.

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Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis- Although the uncommon form of the disease and occurring in about 1 in 10 of the patients of multiple sclerosis, the condition is characterized by the present of almost permanent symptoms and the disease is usually progressive. Although there are periods in which the symptoms subside or severity reduced, it lasts for a very short time ranging from few hours to few days, but such time period does not fulfill the criteria of disease remittance. (1)

Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis- This is the most common type of multiple sclerosis. The patients having this form of the disease are swinging between the relapsing and remittance of the disease. The symptoms may get worsened or altogether a new symptom related to multiple sclerosis emerges. The symptoms worsen over a few days, remain stable for a few days to a few weeks and then severity reduces. The time period between two relapses is known as remission period and this period varies from patient to patient. Some people have only 2 relapses per year while the other has more relapses. The symptoms of relapses often subside without medical intervention. In most of the patients, chronic relapsing-remitting MS may develop into secondary progressive multiple sclerosis within 15-20 years.

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Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

Multiple Sclerosis affects the brain and the spinal cord. Brain and spinal cord have nerves within them that innervate in various organs of the body. The symptoms of multiple sclerosis depend upon the nerve-associated-organ that gets damaged. Following are the various symptoms that may be experienced by the patients-

  • Lack of bladder control which may cause urinary incontinence.
  • Difficulty breathing and feeling tightness in the chest.
  • Difficulty swallowing due to weak muscles.
  • Weakened immune system
  • Weak bones which may lead to improper balance and high risk of fracture.
  • Numbness and tingling sensation at the tip of fingers.
  • Weak muscular health
  • Pain and inflammation
  • Confusion, cognitive dysfunction, vertigo, and dizziness

Multiple Sclerosis Relapses

Relapse is defined as the sudden occurrence of symptoms after remittance of the disease. The symptom may either be new of the worsening of the existing symptoms. The synonyms of relapse are a flare-up, attack or episode. Maintaining the condition of multiple sclerosis is a remittance phase is the primary goal of the treatment as this condition is said to be non-curable. The relapsing symptoms are managed through proper treatment, and the symptoms may either disappear partially or completely.

According to the research, the relapsing of the condition is more often during the first few years of diagnosis. Various conditions have to be met before categorizing the condition as a relapsing condition. These factors are-

  • The relapsed symptoms should last for at least 24 hours.
  • There should be no other underlying mechanism or explanation for the development of such symptoms.
  • The symptoms should be the worsened version of the current symptoms or altogether a new symptom associated with the disease.
  • The time gap between the last relapse and the current relapse should at least be 30 days, otherwise, the disease is not said to be completely remitted.

Conclusion

There are two types of multiple sclerosis. The first type is one which is progressive and the symptoms either do not subside or disappear for a very less period. Such symptoms last forever. The other type is relatively more common in which there is a period of remittance between two attacks. The symptoms in these conditions last for a few days or weeks.

References-

  1. https-//www.nhs.uk/conditions/multiple-sclerosis/

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Sheetal DeCaria MD

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

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Last Modified On: April 8, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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