in and spinal cord, leading to a wide range of symptoms. It is an auto-immune disorder that causes the body’s immune system to attack its healthy parts. MS symptoms include coordination problems, fatigue, muscle spasms, numbness, and blurred vision.
The severity of symptoms can vary wildly from perLiving with multiple sclerosis can be challenging and have a detrimental effect on one’s ability to live life. However, this does not mean that the disease must rule every facet of your life. Thankfully, there are a number of tips and strategies you can use to manage the condition and improve the quality of your life.
What Is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic condition that affects the brason to person, and may increase or decrease in severity as time goes on. There are two main types of multiple sclerosis:
- Relapsing Remitting MS – The relapsing remitting MS affects more than 80 percent of all MS patients. This form of the condition involves sudden onsets of strong symptoms, as opposed to a gradual increase. The relapses can happen out of the blue. An episode can last from a few days to months on end, often without any known triggering factors.
- Primary Progressive MS – This form of MS accounts for about 10% of the MS cases. With primary progressive MS, the symptoms of the condition get worse gradually over time and tend not to go into remission. However, some sufferers go through stable periods.
Learn more about multiple sclerosis to understand the ins and outs of the condition.
Managing Multiple Sclerosis
There are many effective things that MS patients can do to help manage the condition. Some are simple lifestyle changes which anyone can incorporate in his daily life. Try to explore different approaches and find out which of the following tips and practices work best for you.
A healthy and nutritious diet can do wonders for your health, even if you suffer from chronic health conditions. While there isn’t any kind of standardized MS diet to follow, cutting out unhealthy foods and prioritizing vegetables, fruits, omega-3’s and lean meats can bring about fast results. Many people with MS have a problem with fiber, so it’s vital to keep your intake of high-fiber foods up. This includes legumes, whole grains, and vegetables. The scientific consensus is that diet plays a huge role in determining the severity of MS symptoms.
Getting Enough Sleep
Sleep has a beneficial effect on just about every area of your health. Sleep is especially important for those suffering from MS. During sleep, your body undergoes a restorative phase and becomes far more effective at dealing with physical problems such as inflammation and pain.
Firstly, stick to a regular sleeping schedule to fine tune your body clock and maximize your sleeping hours. You should also make your bedroom as dark as possible and wear earplugs if you live in a noisy area. Finally, avoid eating and drinking too much before bed or your digestive system will prevent your body from entering into a deep sleep.
In addition to focusing on sound sleep and a healthy diet, there are many practices you can add in your lifestyle to increase your wellness and reduce stress. Much of the debilitating nature of MS involves its effect on mental health, causing stress and anxiety. The stress and anxiety can, in turn, worsen the symptoms. Practices aimed at improving your wellbeing, such as meditation, yoga or breathing exercises, are worth exploring. With a practice like yoga, you can simultaneously de-stress your mind and body, and get the much-needed physical exercise.
Individuals with MS are often hypersensitive to fluctuations in temperature. This can worsen their condition. Overheating is particularly damaging to those with MS, although cold weather can also cause problems such as stiffness, spasms, and tiredness. Always be aware of how you’re feeling temperature-wise and have implements at hand to cool yourself down or warm yourself up. Fans and air-conditioning are your best friend during sweltering heat, while adding an extra layer of clothing will help fend off the cold. You should also avoid taking hot baths or showers as this will heat up your body and potentially trigger symptoms.
One of the primary symptoms of MS is fatigue which can come on suddenly and without warning. Get around fatigue by avoiding strenuous activities and taking plenty of rest throughout the day. Different people have their peaks and valleys of energy at different times of day. Accordingly, schedule your activities around the time when you usually feel the most energized. There are plenty of daily practices to follow to maximize your energy levels. These include staying hydrated and taking naps.
Get Enough Exercise
Although fatigue is a major problem, it can get even worse if you aren’t exercising regularly. With frequent physical activity, you can improve the condition of your body and negate some of the effects of chronic fatigue. It’s best to get your physical exercise in during one of your energy peaks. If your body isn’t feeling up for it, you shouldn’t force yourself into exercising as this could make things even worse. Not all physical exercise needs to be strenuous. Simple tasks such as gardening, cleaning or grocery shopping can do wonders for your body.
Keep Your Brain Active
The debilitating effects of MS extend to the mind as well as the body, with symptoms such as brain fog, lack of focus and mental fatigue being commonly reported. Just as your body should be kept active and in shape, you also need to stimulate your mind to keep your focus and clarity up. Modern technology has made it incredibly easy to enliven your brain, with a host of brain-training games, puzzles, and books. Fortunately, all these tools are available at your fingertips on your digital device. If you want to get away from your screen, try learning a brand-new skill or play quiz games with family and friends.
By keeping your mind and body in tip-top shape, you can significantly reduce the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. It is a constant learning process as you understand your limits. However, simple changes to your diet and lifestyle can help you overcome the condition and continue to live life to the fullest. Be sure to consult with your doctor before making major changes to your life because, remember, each individual is different.