RECOGNIZING
THE SIGNS OF SPMS

KNOW WHAT TO LOOK FOR

While everyone's multiple sclerosis (MS) may progress differently, there are common signs to look out for. The biggest signs are symptoms that are getting worse or new symptoms, often with less frequent, less intense relapses.

Lookout for Signs and Symptoms of Progressing MS Lookout for Signs and Symptoms of Progressing MS Lookout for Signs and Symptoms of Progressing MS Lookout for Signs and Symptoms of Progressing MS

Keep a lookout for the signs of progressive MS, and discuss anything you notice with your doctor.

THESE SYMPTOMS COMMONLY GET WORSE WITH PROGRESSIVE MS


DIFFICULTY WITH MOBILITY, BALANCE, AND WALKING

Difficulty With Mobility

FATIGUE AND FEELING EXTREMELY TIRED

Fatigue and Feeling Tired

DEXTERITY CHALLENGES AND INABILITY TO PERFORM TASKS WITH HANDS

Dexterity Challenges

COGNITIVE CHANGES

Cognitive Challenges

MUSCLE SPASMS AND PAIN

Muscle Spasms

BLADDER AND BOWEL PROBLEMS

Bladder Problems

VISION PROBLEMS

Vision Problems

THINK BACK 6 TO 12 MONTHS AGO COMPARED TO NOW.
IF THE ANSWER TO SOME OF THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS
IS YES, IT MAY MEAN YOUR MS IS PROGRESSING:

  • Is caring for your family or home becoming more of a challenge?

  • Are you missing more days of work, if you're working at all?

  • Are you missing out on spending time with loved ones?

  • Are you taking more naps throughout the day?

  • Are you taking more medications to manage your symptoms?

Living with MS can be a roller coaster. Symptoms may come and go or
completely change course. This can make it challenging to determine
how you or your loved one are doing from day to day. It may also be
hard to tell if symptoms are MS-related or just part of getting older.

NOW'S THE TIME TO TAKE INVENTORY OF
WHAT'S GOING ON AND CREATE A PLAN
WITH YOUR DOCTOR.

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CONVERSATION STARTER download

SOMEONE ELSE MAY SEE THINGS YOU DON'T

Ask someone close to you, especially someone you may not see every day, for his or her perspective on how you're doing today compared to 6 to 12 months ago. Share anything that person observes with your doctor.

Someone Else May See Things You Don't

STAY INFORMED

Changes from progressive MS can catch you off
guard and take you away from the people you love,
and the things you're used to doing. Learn tips and
tricks to help manage these changes by signing up.

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CARE PARTNER CORNER

Your point of view on how your loved one is doing matters. Tune in to any changes and write them down to share with your loved one's doctor, comparing them to 6 to 12 months ago:

  • Are there noticeable changes in his or her mood?

  • Do you do things that he or she used to do for him or herself?
    For instance, chores or errands?

  • Is he or she missing out on activities or special events,
    such as a child's sports game or birthday party?

  • Do you see a change in his or her cognitive abilities?
    For example, forgetting an anniversary or someone's name?

As important as it is to keep monitoring and checking in on your loved one, don't forget to keep an eye on how you're doing. Your needs and concerns should always be addressed, too. There are resources available to help you maintain a healthy, two-way relationship with your loved one.

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Look for more care partner tips throughout this site.