Next Steps After
an RMS Diagnosis
A diagnosis of relapsing multiple sclerosis (RMS) can be overwhelming, but you’re not alone. Many people are dealing with this condition, and fortunately, there is plenty of support available to help you keep moving forward. Read on for more insights on what to keep in mind after a diagnosis.
What I wish I’d known
“When I was first diagnosed, I wish I had known what that wonderful nurse told me later on—that there is hope, and an RMS diagnosis isn’t the end.”
- Pam, living with RMS
Tips on how to process a diagnosis
Learn everything you can
The first step to managing your RMS is finding the facts about your specific situation. Ask your doctor for informational pamphlets or read about RMS from certain organizations like the National MS Society.
As you become familiar, remember that scientists are learning more and more about RMS every day. So, stay up to date on new treatments.
Know you have options
If one treatment doesn’t work, there’s a chance another one will. Today there are around 20 FDA-approved disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) in the United States. You even have options when it comes to ways of taking treatment. Find out more about types of DMTs.
Remember, there’s support all around you
All you have to do is look. A full team of healthcare professionals, support groups, friends, and family are more than likely happy to help you manage your symptoms and provide emotional support when you need it. Start identifying your team.
3 things to expect after a diagnosis
If you’ve recently received a diagnosis, it’s important to take a deep breath and start learning all
you can about RMS. Here are just a few things to expect:
A diagnosis of RMS means you’ll be getting MRIs on a routine basis to monitor disease progression. Like many medical tests, an MRI takes some preparation.
Why get routine MRI scans?
MRI scans help determine if your condition is under control, or if it’s getting worse. They can help your neurologist understand how well your current treatment is working, and if your RMS is being managed in the best way possible.
How does MRI work?
MRI works by using strong magnetic fields and radio waves to create a detailed image of your brain and spinal cord. The results can show your healthcare provider if there are new lesions in your central nervous system, or if old lesions have gotten bigger— knowing this is just as important as tracking your visible symptoms.
Your treatment may have been right when you started, but over time, your needs can change. Continuing to reevaluate your current treatment is one of the best ways to decide if it’s still right for you. Learn more about the different types of RMS treatment.
Get out your notebook or start using an online symptom tracker. The more in tune you are with your symptoms, the more detail you can provide your doctor.
From the Nurses' Station
The importance of routine MRIs cannot be overstated. It is your doctor’s primary method for detecting new or enhanced brain lesions—a sign of RMS progression.
If it’s been a year or more since your last MRI, talk to your doctor about scheduling one soon.See Doctor Discussion Guide
Next up: RMS signs and symptoms
Now that you understand a bit more about how to process an RMS diagnosis, let’s discuss identifying and managing the symptoms of RMS.Read On
Tell us about you
Knowing where to find support isn't always easy. Take the RMS & Me quiz and find information that’s tailored to where you are in your journey.Get Support