There's a new mark in my calendar, "MS Aware", which occurs every twenty eight days. It's the seven day period leading up to my menses. My symptoms are worse and my potential to relapse is at its highest during this time but I never quite knew why. By being MS Aware, I am more cognitive about how I treat my body and to plan ahead.
Time for some research....
At last! Here is an interesting article:
"MS at That Time of the Month"
Q: Is it more common to suffer increased MS symptoms during menstruation?
In a study published in 2002, 42 percent of patients had exacerbations starting in the premenstrual time period, and the number of premenstrual relapses was significantly higher than during other times of the month. In this group, there was no relationship between the severity of premenstrual syndrome and the possibility of an MS relapse, and being on an oral contraceptive did not seem to protect against relapse before one’s period. These results suggest that the premenstrual time period may trigger exacerbations in some women with MS.
In addition, some women note that many of their ongoing symptoms — like bladder problems, fatigue and spasticity — seem to worsen during their menstrual periods. This effect, however, is reversible and improves once the period is over. A number of strategies are available to help avoid and treat MS symptoms during your period. Consult with your doctor for specific suggestions.
Last Updated: 03/19/2007 | Last Reviewed: 03/19/2007
Dr. Ellen Lathi is the director of the Multiple Sclerosis Center at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center in Boston.
Well, ok, that's interesting. What else can we find?
Not a lot of major studies being done on this but found a small study where 70% of the women surveyed said they had increased Ms symptoms during the time prior to their menses. More info posted here at NMSS
And here is a Great resource! Check out this from Multiple Sclerosis Society in the UK.
Leave it to the Brits to pull it together nicely.
But, the bottom line is that we just need to be MS Aware during that time and act accordingly. Stay cool, rest, reduce stress, reduce toxins, be kind, rewind...
and Join us on Twitter @TheGirlWithMS
How do you handle your MS during PMS?