Changes to your lifestyle can help you manage symptoms and prevent flare-ups or worsening of symptoms. Your coping skills and attitude toward your illness are important factors in successfully managing the disease.

General Guidelines

Managing Multiple Sclerosis

Get Regular, Moderate Exercise

With permission from your doctor, regular exercise can help keep muscles strong. Swimming is especially beneficial because the water helps keep your body cool during exercise.

Eat a Healthful Diet

Doctors recommend eating a healthful diet—one that is low in saturated fat and rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. The fiber in grains, fruits, and vegetables helps prevent constipation. Avoid rapid changes in your weight. Any weight loss should be gradual.

Practice Stress-Reduction Techniques

Many people with MS notice that stress makes symptoms worse. Consider getting regular massages and participating in other stress reducing practices, such as meditation, yoga, and relaxation.

Avoid Excessive Heat

Heat seems to provoke MS attacks in many people. Heat may be external or internal. Tips to avoid heat include:

  • Avoid hot weather.
  • Stay in air-conditioned places during periods of hot weather.
  • Do not take hot showers or baths.
  • Seek treatment for infections or fever.
  • Drink plenty of liquids.
  • Avoid overexertion.

Get Adequate Rest

Adequate rest helps alleviate the fatigue commonly associated with MS.

When to Contact Your Doctor

Contact your doctor if your symptoms worsen or if new symptoms develop.