Is it just me or do women’s MS symptoms get wonky during PMS? I notice more numbness and tingling, especially in my legs, as my body prepares for “that time of the month”. I also get clumsier, dropping things constantly. My mood swings all over the place and my partner has to avoid my wrecking ball by leaving the room. Lastly, I have more nerve pain. All of this on top of my normal PMS symptoms: what a lucky lady I am! The exacerbations usually simmer down once I am about two days into it. I have decided to call this phenomenon “MS pseudo-exacerbations”.
Naturally, I want to play doctor to find out why I get these bogus symptoms and figure this whole thing out. Here are some of Dr. Germans’ Discoveries:
MS can make menopause come sooner. Good grief! So, is this good or bad?
Aspirin may help prevent my MS pseudo-exacerbations, as proven by a 3-woman study. That’s not a very good trial is it? How can one make any conclusions with such little data?
The worsening of symptoms around the time of women’s cycle may be related to heat. Just before “that time of the month”, women’s body temperatures increase and can make our MS symptoms feel worse, much like when the temperatures outside get hot. Oh boy. It’s close to 100 degrees today. Double bummer for me.
Apparently some men with MS experience monthly fluctuations in moods and irritability! Imagine this: four people are sitting in a bar in Phoenix, Arizona in the summer. Two men and two women. All have MS and are about to start their monthly cycle…
There is not a lot of information on MS for “that time of the month”. Lots of small studies recommend more research into "the underlying mechanism of premenstrual exacerbations" so we can gain more insight. Nothing like stating the obvious. These studies must have been written by men.
So, my friends, until we get more information and/or adjust MS drugs to treat men and women differently, aspirin it is.