15 Ways to Live Your Best Life with Multiple Sclerosis
It is possible to live your best life with multiplesclerosis with the help of new treatments, modern technology, and the dedication of scientists, researchers, and activists.
The 15 tips will help you start on your journey to living well.
Multiplesclerosis is a disease that affects the central nervous system. It can cause a wide range of symptoms. There are several different types of the disease.
Learning everything you can about your diagnosis is the first step you can take to effectively manage your condition. A doctor can provide you with informational pamphlets about MS, or you can read about it from organizations like the National MS Society.
If you know the facts and know what to expect from your diagnosis, you can make better decisions.
Scientists are learning more about the disease. It is important to stay up-to-date as new treatments come through the system.
The National MS Society is a good resource for finding new clinical trials in your area. Trials help researchers determine if new treatments are safe and effective. Participation in a clinical trial is a very personal decision.
There are other benefits to participating in clinical trials, such as helping scientists uncover new treatments or combinations of treatments.
“Some sponsored clinical trials may be free of cost. Drug combinations that have been approved by the FDA to treat other conditions can be used by people who haven’t received satisfactory results from traditional treatments.”
You can find a comprehensive listing of all past, present, and future clinical trials on ClinicalTrials.gov. If you find a clinical trial in your area that interests you, speak with a doctor to find out whether you could be a candidate.
Exercise can improve muscle strength and fitness, improve posture, and reduce pain and fatigue in people with MS. Low-to-moderate aerobic exercise can improve heart health and reduce fatigue.
According to a
It is sometimes the best place to start to stay active, as there are many ways to stay active. Here are some ideas.
- gardening, cooking, walking a dog are some of the general physical activity.
- There are adaptive sports at the local community center.
- Swimming allows for a range of movement that may not be possible on land.
- yoga for balance and flexibility
- Resistance bands or weights for strength.
Do not prioritize your safety first, no matter what activity you choose. You may want to talk to a doctor about your options.
Good sleep hygiene can help you battle fatigue.
Here are some ways to get more sleep.
- Establish a routine. Listen to soothing music before bed and take a warm bath.
- Try to wake up at the same time each day.
- If it is possible to dim the lights as you get closer to the night, you should.
- In the evening and late afternoon, avoid coffee.
You don’t have to go through this diagnosis alone. If you’d like to connect with others living with MS, consider joining a group like Bezzy MS.
BezzyMS is a place where you can talk about your concerns. You can connect with people who are going through the same things as you. BezzyMS has stories, information, and a forum.
You can establish a network for exchanging ideas and good vibes with other people living with the disease through the help of a support group.
You can join a group that helps others. You may find that you can be incredibly empowering.
The National MS Society’s activist website is another good place to get started. You can also look for upcoming volunteer events near you.
It is important to have anMS specialist who is a good match for you. A primary care doctor can refer you to a team of healthcare professionals to help manage your symptoms.
Or, you can use this Find Doctors & Resources tool from the National MS Society or this Find a Doctor tool from Healthline.
The healthcare professionals you may choose to see can include:
- A doctor who specializes in diseases.
- A cognitive function expert helps manage cognitive function like memory, focus, and information processing.
- A physical therapist works on strength, coordination, and gross motor skills.
- A mental health counselor can help you with your diagnosis and living with Multiplesclerosis.
- An occupational therapist can give you the tools to do your job more efficiently.
- A social worker can help find financial resources, entitlements and community- provided services.
- A nutrition professional can help you maintain a healthy diet.
- If you have problems with speech, swallowing or breathing, you should have a speech-language pathologist look at it.
A healthy diet is important for living well with Multiplesclerosis.
It is important to eat well in order to avoid gaining weight. There is an association between obese people and symptoms of Multiplesclerosis.
For instance, a
Here are some other diet tips.
- Eat a low-fat or plant-based diet. A
2016 studyfound that people with MS who adhered to a very low-fat, plant-based diet had improvements in their fatigue levels after 12 months. However, it didn’t show improvements in relapse rates or disability levels, so more research is needed.
- Get enough fiber. According to the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the
recommendedintake is at least 25 grams of fiber each day for women aged 31 to 50 and 31 grams of fiber each day for men in the same age range. This helps promote good bowel function.
- Reduce alcohol consumption. Alcohol can affect balance and coordination in negative ways, and also increase the need to urinate. Drinking can also interfere with some MS medications.
- Drink enough water. Many people with MS limit water intake to manage bladder issues. Dehydration from lack of water can lead to higher rates of fatigue. A
2016 studyfound that low hydration was actually more common in participants with bladder dysfunction. Those with high levels of hydration had lower rates of fatigue.
- Eat foods high in omega-3 fatty acids. Examples include fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel, soybeans, canola oil, walnuts, flaxseeds, and sunflower oil. A 2021 systematic
review of studiesfound omega-3 and fish oil supplements may help reduce relapse rate and inflammation and improve quality of life for people with MS.
“You don’t have to do all of them at once. You can make things more manageable by dividing them up. If you make a schedule for home repairs and other chores, they can be done over several weeks instead of a weekend.”
If you divide the room into smaller time segments, you can rest periods in between. If you have a symptom, you can get cleaning done on your own, but make sure to take precautions to avoid hurting yourself.
Plan out weekly meals and freeze portions. Small tools in the kitchen can make tasks easier and safer. You may want to purchase a jar opener that will make opening up a vacuum-sealed jar lid a breeze.
Think about how your home and workplace are set up.
“You might need to make some changes. You can store the kitchen tools that you use every day on the counter or in the cabinets that are easy to reach. You may want to place heavy electric appliances on the countertop so they don’t have to be moved often.”
If you want to downsize, you should get rid of furniture, rugs, and decor that takes up too much floor space. Decluttering can help reduce cleaning time.
You can talk to your employer to see if they will provide equipment to make your workday easier. Glare protection on computer screens can be examples. It may be possible to move your workspace to a location that is more accessible.
Symptoms of the disease include memory loss and issues concentrating. It can be hard to remember when to take your medication and when to make an appointment.
You already have to use technology. Most phones have phone apps that can help you with memory challenges. You can see your calendar, take notes, and make lists.
“People with Multiplesclerosis are sensitive to heat exposure. Your symptoms may get worse when your body temperature goes up. Nerve impulses can be affected by a slight temperature increase. This experience is actually called Uhthoff’s phenomenon.”
Try to stay out of hot showers and baths. When possible, use air conditioning in your home. You can wear a cooling vest or neck wrap.
“Taking your medication on time is important. It can have a big impact on your day-to-day life if you don’t take your medication.”
If you have a local pharmacy, you can set up auto-refills for your prescriptions. You can either text or call the pharmacy to let them know that your prescription is ready for pick up. Many pharmacies can mail your prescriptions.
Managing life in the workplace can pose a challenge for people with MS. If you’re living with a new diagnosis, take some time to do a bit of research, such as about potential workplace accommodations.
This can include a discussion between you and your employer about physical accommodations, such as grab bars in restrooms.
Travel can be a wonderful way to enjoy life’s pleasures. This is entirely possible if you live with MS. The National MS Society has these tips for making your next getaway the best it can be:
- Pre-arrangement assistance at the airport.
- Pack extra medication and keep it in a safe place.
- You can confirm the accessibility status of hotels and attractions.
- Schedule breaks and rest days.
Having water and healthy snacks on hand can help you stay hydrated and comfortable while traveling.
There is no cure for the disease, but newer treatments can help slow it down. Treatments and disease progression are being improved by research.
If you are having a hard time managing your life with Multiplesclerosis, consider talking to a psychologist or mental health counselor.
Life after a diagnosis of Multiplesclerosis can be very difficult. Some days, your symptoms might prevent you from doing what you love.
It is possible to live well withMS by implementing some of the above changes into your life.