Multiple sclerosis is a serious health condition that affects the central nervous system. It can cause a variety of symptoms like poor balance, numbness, and fatigue. These symptoms can worsen your well-being significantly. But healthy living and the right care can make a big difference in your quality of life.
Below are 5 effective tips that can help you manage the symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
1. Adhere to MS diet
Diet is crucial to ensure overall well-being and manage the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. You need to eat a healthy, well-balanced, low-fat, and high-fiber diet. Try to include more unprocessed foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, cereals, and whole grains.
It is also isn’t recommended to consume fats of animal origin. They can aggravate inflammation and make your symptoms worse. Instead include more omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. You can obtain them from foods like fish, nuts, olive oil, avocado oil, and almond butter. The meals you eat should be diverse. You should consume enough vitamins and minerals to prevent the worsening of the symptoms.
2. Get enough sleep
Sleep is important for your body to function properly. Even a healthy person who doesn’t get enough sleep will experience cognitive decline. For this reason, people with MS should definitely fight their sleeping problems and adhere to a healthy sleeping regimen.
To improve your night’s sleep, practice good sleeping hygiene. This includes:
- Sleeping in a dark and quiet environment
- Maintaining a comfortable temperature in the room
- Sticking to a sleep schedule
- Avoiding high fluid intake before the bedtime
- Avoiding electric devices(phone, laptop) at least an hour before the bedtime
- Engaging in relaxing activities before the bed
- Sleeping in comfortable clothing
You should also address specific problems that can disrupt your sleep. Some of them include sleep apnea, depression, frequent nighttime urination, and others. Practicing techniques like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing can reduce your stress levels and promote healthy sleeping as well.
3. Kick your bad habits
Whether you have MS or don’t have it, for good health you need to kick unhealthy habits like smoking and heavy drinking. While smoking can worsen MS symptoms, it can also increase your risk of getting this disease. Even exposure to secondhand smoking can make you more prone to the development of multiple sclerosis or worsen the symptoms.
Just like tobacco, alcohol is very harmful to people with MS. It is recommended to avoid alcohol altogether if you have serious problems with balance or noticeable cognitive decline. Besides, drinking alcohol can worsen symptoms like sleep issues or poor bladder control.
4. Keep moving
Regular physical activity is essential for everyone who wants to be healthy, both men and women. Exercising is especially important for people with multiple sclerosis at any stage. This helps to improve your balance, flexibility, and your endurance. Besides, being physically active aids in dealing with certain MS complications like difficulty sleeping, cognitive decline, and constipation.
It can be even more helpful to work with a physical therapist. This specialist often provides neurological rehabilitation and helps reach specific goals. When performing exercises, it is important to not overdo them. It is better to get at least some physical activity but every day.
5. Exercise your brain
Exercising your brain is just as important as exercising your muscles. MS can cause serious cognitive decline and cause difficulty completing certain tasks. This can seriously decrease the quality of life, especially for elder individuals.
Try to keep your brain engaged by doing puzzles, playing word games, reading, or taking new classes. These activities will help keep your brain stimulated and sharp. It is also important to stay socially active. Close relationships with others help promote healthy brain function.