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Sunday, August 19, 2018

A Here's How to Track Changes in Your MS Symptoms:

Symptom Diary for Multiple Sclerosis
Put a notebook on your nightstand or use a free app on your smartphone. Just make sure you note your symptoms, energy level, mood, medicine, and activity.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms come and go. One day you're fine, but the next you may be too tired to get out of bed. Lots of things can affect the way you feel, from the weather to the medicines you take. A diary can help you track your symptoms and look for patterns that may explain why they're happening.

woman with diary Your diary doesn't have to be fancy. You can write it by hand in a journal you keep near your bed. Keep a log of how you feel every day and what you were doing when your symptoms started. You might write, "Yesterday I went shopping. I barely slept last night. Today, my symptoms were worse. My left arm felt weaker than my right."

woman with tablet  GO DIGITAL if this is easiest
Free apps can help you manage your MS on your smartphone or tablet. Some let you track your symptoms along with your energy level, mood, medicines, and activity. Others sync the way you feel to the day's weather forecast and let you share your journal with your doctor.

woman feeling dizzy Learn the Signs of MS
To keep an accurate log, you need to know what to look for. Some common MS symptoms you may have:

  • Intense fatigue that starts early in the morning or comes on suddenly and gets worse
  • Weakness in your legs and feet that makes it hard to walk
  • Numbness or tingling in your arms, legs, or face
  • Muscle stiffness and spasms
  • Double or blurred vision, or fast eye movements
  • Dizziness and balance problems

Things to write in your diary or journal: 

Under the day and date, write down your symptom and add details like:
  • When it started and ended
  • Whether it was something new or you've had it before
  • How severe it was on a scale of 1 to 5
  • What was happening when it started (for example, a hot day or you were exercising)
  • How it affected your activity
  • What you did to treat it, and whether that helped

How to track a Flare-up (exacerbation, Pseudo or full scale)
When your symptoms strike up again after a period of calm, it's called a relapse. They can be mild and barely noticeable, or intense enough to interrupt your life and job. Use your diary to record any changes. Share this info with your doctor so you get the right treatment.

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