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Is this a relapse?

First time here. I was diagnosed with RRMS in 2007 and never had a relapse. Two months ago, I became seriously ill with the flu and, thereafter, had burning mouth, acid reflux, upset stomach after every meal no matter how small, gas pains, back ache, palpitations, weight loss, no quality of life. This occurred while staying at a mental health facility for anxiety and depression and prescribed multiple medications for which I’ve discontinued all except Ambien. Medications for Gerd don’t work. Bloodwork just returned normal. Any opinions? Suffering everyday and no relief. Thanks!

  1. Hi, and welcome, !

    First off, I hope your stay in the mental health facility was helpful and that you were able to feel supported in your journey towards better mental health. That said, I know many meds used to manage various mental health issues can cause digestive upset and a lack of appetite. I know you have discontinued them, but it's something to consider. I have a family member that has been on many medications like these and some of the symptoms you described sounded pretty familiar. Ambien can cause feelings of nausea, so if you are still losing weight or feeling nauseous, that could be a culprit.

    Also, I am sure you know how our mental health can directly impact our physical health in many ways. Please know I am not your doctor and I cannot provide medical advice or diagnosis, for your safety. But, your symptoms don't sound much like a relapse to me. I would talk with your doctor and your therapist, but many of your symptoms could be stemming from the anxiety and depression and/or the medications used to treat them. Depression can cause appetite changes, sever fatigue or feeling like life is 'bleh', etc. Anxiety symptoms can include palpitations, digestive upset, and more -- And, your body may have been in overdrive as it fought off and then recovered from a serious episode of the flu, too.

    Also, please keep in mind that your can experience comorbidities with MS, including IBS. You may want to check with your doctor about whether or not you are dealing with IBS or some other bowel condition. You can read a bit about digestive issues and MS here --

    It can be hard to pinpoint exactly what is causing these issues, but, it doesn't sound like a MS relapse. But, again, your doctor would be best suited to answer this question. And I would definitely keep talking to your doctor about getting some relief from the heartburn, acid reflux, etc. There's no need for you to keep suffering with these issues!

    I hope that overall, you are doing okay and feeling ok, both mentally and physically.

    Best, Erin, Team Member.

    1. Hi Erin,

      So nice of you to reply! The mental health facility started off being helpful until it wasn’t when I became seriously ill. A patient spread a horrible cough around and got everyone sick. Since then, I’ve never recovered from whatever was the outcome of that “flu”. Besides being on a cocktail of medications for anxiety, depression and insomnia, the side effects could have possibly caused more harm. Being sick and non functioning for this long has caused more anxiety, especially with no results from any reflux medications. Previously, I was taking Linzess for IBS c but my symptoms have reversed. My psychiatrist was the one who suggested this could be an MS relapse but my drs. so far don’t believe it so far. Gastro issues could be MS related.
      I’ve lost so much weight and hair I barely recognize myself making me look as old as my 82 year old mother. My teeth and gums are in horrible shape now from the acidity.
      Overall, not doing well and probably won’t until something changes. I talk to my Primary dr. quite often but sometimes the drs. aren’t aggressive enough as you would like or don’t believe your symptoms because they’re invisible.

      Thanks Erin for reaching out! Sorry to be such a Debbie downer.

      1. , you're not a debbie downer at all! There's a difference between sharing honestly about how things are going in your life and being the downer that rains on everyone's parade. You are sharing what it going on in your life. And it's hard right now. And I am glad you are comfortable being open about that.

        And I hear you about illness at residential treatment facilities. My family member found inpatient treatment helpful, to a point. The food wasn't so great and the sanitary conditions, as you mentioned, can be hard to maintain. And, yes! Being on a cocktail of medications can really throw your body into total chaos.

        Your gastro issues could definitely be related to MS and I hope your doctor keeps following up with you, especially with your history of IBS. I know it's exhausting, but don't be afraid to keep pushing your doctor for answers/testing/treatment.

        Thank you for sharing more and I sincerely, truly hope you start feeling better physically.

        I hope your are doing well mentally, too.

        Best, Erin, Team Member.

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