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Lifestyle Changes to Manage Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

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by Wood D
 
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. Habits to consider include:

Eat a Healthy Diet

Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil, are sometimes recommended for people with MS. It is not clear if omega-3s are helpful for this condition.
It is also important that you drink plenty of water. Aim for 62 ounces per day, about 8 glasses. Avoid drinks that cause dehydration , like caffeinated beverages.

Practice Stress—Reduction Techniques

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. You may also find it helpful to join a support group . These groups can provide emotional support for you and your family.

Quit Smoking

Smoking may worsen MS symptoms. It can make MS progress to a more severe form. If you smoke, talk to your doctor about your options for quitting. There are smoking cessation classes, online self-help programs, nicotine replacement products , prescription medicines, and many other options.
 

References


Fish oil. EBSCO Natural and Alternative Treatments website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary/ . Updated April 2009. Accessed August 31, 2012.


Motl RW, Pillutti LA. The benefits of exercise training in multiple sclerosis. Nat Rev Neurol. 2012;July 24.


Multiple sclerosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated August 10, 2012. Accessed August 30, 2012.


Multiple sclerosis. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/multiple%5Fsclerosis/multiple%5Fsclerosis.htm . Accessed August 31, 2012.


About MS. National Multiple Sclerosis Society website. Available at: http://nationalmssociety.org/about-multiple-sclerosis/index.aspx . Accessed August 31, 2012.


Seven sizzling ways to stop smoking. EBSCO Health Library website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary/ . Updated August 2009. Accessed August 31, 2012.


11/9/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance : Healy B, Ali E, Guttmann C, et al. Smoking and disease progression in multiple sclerosis. Arch Neurol. 2009;66(7):858-864.

 

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