A guide on how to eat properly and live a healthy life while controlling, reducing, and eliminating the symptoms of MS.

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Five Steps You can take Now to Manage MS Long Term

By Daryl H. Bryant (620 words)
Posted in Living with MS on April 30, 2019

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Five Steps You can take Now to Manage MS Long Term

Living with Multiple Sclerosis can seem overwhelming- especially in the beginning of a diagnosis. However, there is more to MS than just therapies and medications. There are many actions and lifestyle changes you can make at home to help live a symptom-free live.  Here are five lifestyle changes you can start today that will help you better manage MS long-term.

Eat For Health

Hippocrates is credited with saying “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.” Research has found that what you eat does impact how you feel. Many people with MS find that they feel better on a diet that focuses on anti-inflammatory foods. It’s also important to find quality supplements that can help manage your symptoms and promote optimal health. Whether you choose a raw vegan diet, Paleo, or something else entirely, the goal is to eat well and choose foods that support your immune system.

Move Your Body

Because MS affects your nerves, it’s important to keep your body moving. You don’t have to run a marathon or do grueling exercises in the gym every day to see a difference; low-impact exercises and therapies will help you maintain mobility.  Daily walks will help keep your mind and body healthy, and yoga workouts are recommended for managing limited mobility. There are many ways to keep in shape, so try several workouts to determine what is best for your body.

Challenge Your Mind

Your brain needs exercise, too! Because MS can affect cognitive abilities, it’s important to keep your mind in shape. Reading, doing crossword puzzles, and taking up activities that challenge you mentally will help to keep your mind sharp and combat cognitive dysfunction. Check out this post for my tips for exercising your brain.

Get Some Zzzs

Rest is a vital part of managing your MS symptoms. Sleep is when the body does intense repair work, and little sleep can lead to a MS flare or relapse. Getting the right amount of rest will also make it easier to eat well, exercise, and maintain cognitive function.  To optimize sleep, aim for at least 8 hours of rest each night. You should also create a routine that ensures you get adequate sleep and spend less time tossing and turning.

Manage Your Stress

MS symptoms can flare based on a myriad of conditions, from changing seasons to personal stress. While we can’t choose the weather, we can choose our mindset. If you’re feeling stressed, try to identify the source of the anxiety. Is a work project stressing you out? A personal problem at home? Or are you feeling alone in your diagnosis? Identifying the root issue will help you determine how best to manage stress. Of course, if stress continues to be a regular issue, or if you feel you have depression, reach out to your doctor to discuss options and therapies that can help.

Make it a Team Effort

Multiple Sclerosis shouldn’t be managed alone. Find people who can support you on your journey and reach out when you need help. Your support team should consist of more than medical professionals; reach out to family, friends, your boss, coworkers, and religious leaders in your life. It’s important to have people to turn to for physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual support. If you aren’t sure how to talk to friends and family about your condition, start here.

Whether you’ve just been diagnosed with MS or you’ve been on this journey for years, that you are not alone! By making these changes now, you’ll be one step closer to managing your MS symptoms and improving your long-term physical and mental health.

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