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I Have MS – Now What?

By Daryl H. Bryant (754 words)
Posted in Living with MS on October 1, 2015

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I Have MS – Now What?

If you’ve just been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, you’re probably feeling overwhelmed, maybe even a little terrified. Although this kind of diagnosis can be life-altering, there is nothing to be afraid of, or even ashamed of.

MS does not and will not control your life as long as you stay healthy, optimistic, and take a proactive approach to your overall well-being. Take these helpful tips on living symptom free to your doctor and find out all you can do to take control of your MS and reduce the impact of your symptoms.

Fighting Fatigue

Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms suffered by those who have MS. You may have a wide array of symptoms, ranging from vision problems, bowel discomfort, mood swings, and muscle aches. But on top of all this, the toll these symptoms take on your body can leave you feeling exhausted and sapped of any motivation to get out of bed.

While there may be days where you do stay in bed all day, there are a few things you can do to fight your MS fatigue.

First, stay active. Find exercise programs, personal trainers, or physical therapists that specialize in neurological diseases, and the two of you can work together to create a healthy exercise regimen that boosts your energy without hurting your body.

Dietary changes can also help, such as removing gluten from your diet and eating more fresh fruits and super green veggies. I have a few MS friendly recipes here that can help you get started.

Staying Alert

You may notice that your MS is causing some cognitive problems for you, like an inability to focus or short-term memory loss. Your level of fatigue can also make these kinds of symptoms worse, so it is important to get enough rest.

Stay away from caffeinated beverages such as soda or coffee, as caffeine can cause inflammation and make your symptoms worse. Rather, stick to naturally caffeinated teas like yerba mate in order to give yourself an extra boost.

Additionally, there are also a few memory and cognitive games you can play online or on your phone that will sharpen your wit and your reaction time and help reduce the frequency of mental fogginess.

Alternative Therapies

After an MS diagnosis, you may be overwhelmed by the amount of prescriptions and therapies that cater to MS patients. Only you and your doctor will know what prescription drugs work best for you, but remember that there are alternative therapy techniques available to you that can work with your medication to help alleviate your symptoms.

Supplements like MitoQ reduce inflammation and are proven to reduce many common symptoms of MS, including fatigue and mental fog. Eastern medicinal techniques such as acupuncture can also work wonders for MS pain and numbness, and daily yoga routines can improve cognitive function, mobility, and reduce pain. Talk with your doctor about the different therapies you can explore in order to find the one that best helps you live symptom free.

Support Groups

Finally, after your MS diagnosis, it is important to remember that you are not alone. Millions of people have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, and they are all working together to share recipes, recommend therapies, and raise money to help find a cure.

Start getting involved with some of these MS support groups, either online or in your neighborhood. This will help you develop a great support system for the days when your mood isn’t at its best, and you will also be able to help out others who feel just as lost and overwhelmed as you. My Facebook page is an excellent place to start, but there are other online MS support groups out there that can help you cope with your diagnosis.

Conquer your MS

Your MS diagnosis is not the end of the world. Rather, it opens up a whole new world for you to explore. You will learn new things about yourself and discover new and unique ways for staying healthy and happy. Staying positive means looking at the bright side of this very pernicious disease, and sometimes that can be very hard to do.

It helps when you have a strong support system, so seek out people who will listen and be communicative about your needs. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to speak up when you’re uncomfortable, and always remember that sometimes people will not understand a disease they cannot see. That means it’s your job to educate them and share your experience with others! 

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