Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Symptom Tracker

multiple sclerosis ms symptom tracker

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) impacts approximately one million people in the United States and 2.3 million worldwide, with around 200 new diagnoses each week in the U.S. alone. People in colder climates and Europeans face a higher risk of developing MS. To effectively manage this disease, it is vital to use an MS symptom tracker like the CareClinic App. This App is essential for evaluating treatment efficacy, better disease management, and enhancing patient outcomes. It allows for precise monitoring of symptom progression and response to treatment, providing crucial insights for both patients and healthcare professionals to control and mitigate the impact of MS.

How the CareClinic App Helps Manage MS

Daily Symptom TrackerSpecialists often remind MS patients that taking medications requires diligence. An MS symptom tracker app, like CareClinic, can significantly ease this burden, especially on busy days. It’s crucial to take medications at the right time and in the correct dosage, and CareClinic assists by sending timely reminders.

With CareClinic, you can efficiently manage your MS, documenting and recording symptoms daily. The app includes a symptom diary where you can note muscle weakness, visual problems, coordination disorders, and other symptoms. Sharing this health record with your doctor is vital for monitoring your MS prognosis and understanding the effectiveness of your treatment.

In addition to tracking and managing symptoms, CareClinic also reminds you to engage in cognitive skill training and physical and relaxation exercises regularly. Neurologists have identified cognitive disorders as a key aspect of MS, emphasizing the importance of regular mental exercise. The app can send periodic reminders for important health practices, such as getting ample rest, eating a balanced diet, exercising, managing stress effectively, and staying cool to maintain overall well-being. To get started click here.

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MS Medications to Track

Currently, while there is no definitive cure for Multiple Sclerosis (MS), several modern medications are available to maintain bodily functions and improve quality of life. Disease-modifying drugs primarily act by suppressing the immune system, slowing the progression of MS, and reducing the frequency and severity of flare-ups. Medications aiding in nerve damage include:

  • Beta Interferon: Reduces the severity and frequency of MS flares.
  • Teriflunomide: Requires comprehensive liver testing to prevent complications.
  • Ocrelizumab: Effective in managing MS symptoms.
  • Natalizumab: Prevents immune cells from reaching the brain and spinal cord.
  • Mitoxantrone: Used in specific MS cases.
  • Dimethyl Fumarate: A treatment option for MS.
  • Copolymer-1: Helps in managing MS symptoms.
  • Dalfampridine: Improves walking in MS patients.

These medications are crucial in the management of MS, offering patients a better quality of life despite the absence of a cure.

It’s important to note that mild flare-ups often resolve independently. However, if they persist, doctors typically prescribe high-dose steroids, either intravenously or orally. In cases where steroids are ineffective, plasma exchange may be recommended. This procedure involves removing the patient’s plasma and replacing it with a protein solution, effectively aiding in managing the flare-up.

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For symptom control, medications such as baclofen, tizanidine, bupropion, tolterodine, and clonazepam are often prescribed to alleviate discomfort. Additionally, physical therapy plays a crucial role in maintaining safe and active lifestyles during MS treatment. Trained healthcare professionals assist patients in learning how to use walkers, canes, or other assistive devices, enhancing mobility and independence.

Free Printable Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Symptom Tracker

MS Symptom Tracker

⬇️ Printable Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Symptom Tracker PDF

How does MS occur?

This occurs when the body’s own immune system attacks myelin (a fatty substance), which wraps around nerve fibers for protection. This protective cover is important because it prevents the nerves become damaged. If left uncovered, scar tissue may form.

Once damage occurs, the brain can no longer send signals to the other parts of the body correctly. MS mainly affects the nervous system, which consists of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. An end result will be complications and problems with balance, vision, muscle control and other body functions. To keep track with this disorder, having multiple sclerosis apps helps in reminding patients when to take their medications.

CareClinic features an MS symptom manager to make sure any person having the disease can easily record their health data for compilation.

Cause of Multiple Sclerosis

Just like most disorders, Multiple Sclerosis has no clear proof of how it came to be. But there are factors which make a person vulnerable to it. A family history of a disease is one of the most common links. People have a higher chance of getting MS if their parents have it. But just to make it clear: it is not considered an inherited disease or disorder.

Those patients who have had a viral infection (Epstein-Barr or human herpesvirus 6) are more susceptible to getting MS. Aside from that, women are more likely to get MS than men, studies show.

Smokers also have a higher risk of having Multiple Sclerosis. Some studies show how vitamin D helps in strengthening the immune system. This, in turn, protects the body from having MS, so lower levels of vitamin D in the system place the person in a higher risk of acquiring the disorder.

With all of these mentioned, it still boils down to the relationship between the brain and the immune system. Researchers suggest that the body’s immune system may mistake normal neurons for foreign ones.

The early signs

MS, unlike other disorders, has an episode of neurological symptoms called clinically isolated syndrome (CIS). This usually lasts for a day and happens quickly when the immune system mistakenly instructs the body to attack myelin. Demyelination then occurs and may cause lesions or scars. CIS has two types: a monofocal episode and multifocal episode. Common symptoms are optic neuritis and numbness.

Once you find out if you do have these signs, it is best to rule it out first from many other nerve disorders. Seeing a doctor is ultimately the best thing to do so that there will be no complications.

Symptoms of MS

Symptoms vary from one patient to another, in some may not need treatment at all. Severe symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis can also mean having trouble in performing even the most basic tasks in life. The first symptoms start showing between the ages of 20 to 40. Those already diagnosed with MS experience attacks (relapses) when the condition is getting worse. Some, on the other hand, have this disease worsen over time.

The following symptoms are common in MS:

  • Difficulty in walking/moving around
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle weakness /spasms
  • Blurry vision
  • Numbness
  • Poor bladder control
  • Pain
  • Dementia
  • Depression

Aside from this, MS also has secondary and tertiary symptoms. Secondary symptoms are usually a product of the primary MS symptoms and not because the myelin sheath is damaged. This includes bladder infection, shallow breathing, and low bone density.

Tertiary symptoms of MS usually focus on the social and psychological aspects of life having this disorder. Difficulty in walking might affect your job and will eventually make you depressed. Since it is hard to get around and socialize, you would end up with self-pity and curl up in your comfort zone more. So MS can make or break you – depending on how you handle it.

Get a clinical diagnosis

Since the origin of the disease is unclear, physicians also find it difficult to diagnose MS since it can be mistaken for other nerve disorders. A neurologist is the best specialist to see if you are starting to show some symptoms. Aside from family history, the physician will need some blood exams, MRI, and cerebrospinal fluid analysis.

Evoked potentials test is also done to measure the brain’s electrical activity. Once you are diagnosed with MS, the specialist will then see what kind of treatment to undergo.

Be open to your medical specialist

Since this particular CareClinic feature automatically saves all recorded data (medication, symptoms, and therapies), it then serves as your health report every time you visit your doctor. Once data is compiled, simply print the report and bring it to your next doctor’s appointment.

Be open and discuss everything with your doctor as he or she can help monitor your symptoms well and review treatment/therapy moving forward.

Your health professional may also suggest other alternatives that are worth a try since each clinical case is unique. Some provide vitamin D supplements to help out with MS and add vitamins and medications to be taken to CareClinic to be reminded of when to take your pills.

Another would be having acupuncture in which symptoms like pain, fatigue, numbness, spasticity, tingling, and bladder problems are effectively addressed.

Having an MS symptom tracker is indeed very important to be able to live an improved life. Knowing the frequency of these symptoms with help you understand and know what to do once these are triggered. Being knowledgeable of this disorder will also help you manage well to live a full and active life. Life does not stop if you have Multiple Sclerosis.

Accepting the disorder and being cooperative with treatment and therapy will only make you feel better eventually. To get started with the web-based printable MS Symptom tracker or mobile app for Android or iOS, click here to register.

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Chloe M.