Lifestyle Changes to Manage Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
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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.
- ]]>Get regular, moderate exercise with your doctor's permission.]]>
- ]]>Eat a healthful diet.]]>
- ]]>Practice stress-reduction techniques.]]>
- ]]>Avoid excessive heat.]]>
- ]]>Get adequate rest.]]>
Managing Multiple Sclerosis
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/ .
National Multiple Sclerosis Society website. Available at: http://nationalmssociety.org/ .
Last reviewed July 2008 by ]]>Rimas Lukas, MD]]>
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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