In 2003, March was named the annual National Multiple Sclerosis Education & Awareness Month. In honor of this observance, we wanted to share information and tips. MS is a chronic disease affecting the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. It can cause problems with vision, balance, muscle control and other bodily functions. Science continues to improve the treatments available to ease symptoms, prevent relapses and slow the disease’s progression.
Check out these top six tips for managing multiple sclerosis.
- Get enough rest.
While it may be difficult for those with multiple sclerosis to get a good night’s sleep, it’s important to get enough shut-eye. One suggestion for getting the rest you need is to develop a consistent night-time routine, including getting on a set sleep schedule and using the time right before bed to relax.
- Exercise gently.
Even 30 minutes of physical activity a few times a week makes a big difference in reducing symptoms of feeling tired or depressed. Aerobic workouts are perfect for exercising your heart, and resistance training can sustain your muscle mass.
- Watch what you eat.
There is no perfect food plan for those with MS, but eating healthy helps your body stay properly nourished and improves it’s operating ability.
- Manage your stress level.
Stress is never a positive emotion, but for those with multiple sclerosis, it is even more taxing. Whenever possible, it is best to identify external and unique stressors to alleviate them as much as possible.
- Plan ahead.
One of the ways to manage your stress level is to plan ahead whenever possible. For example when seeing your doctor, brainstorm questions or symptoms you’d like to discuss to make the most of your visit. Another idea is to bring your own food to a social gathering to ensure there is something that works for you. Finally for the 80 percent of people living with MS that also experience urinary urgency and frequency, using comfortable and absorbent undergarments can alleviate the stress of accidents.
- Stay cool.
Shifts in temperature are known to aggravate symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Situations that can cause them to worsen include really hot weather, fever, hot baths/showers and overheating due to exercise. Instead, try to stay indoors during extreme temperatures, find shade in the sun and use fans to help stay cool.
To read more about Wearever’s continued commitment to supporting those with Multiple Sclerosis, read here.