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Tips to Dealing with MS

Updated: Apr 1, 2018

Due to the fact that MS is not a well-studied, widely-discussed disease, it has always been hard for me to figure out how to live with such a debilitating disease. Through my research I have learned that diet and exercise are key to preventing disease progression and trying to live a healthier life. But how do you exercise when you’re feeling so weak and fatigued? Which diet is better for me to slow the progression of a disease that most don’t even understand what is causing it to progress in the first place?

“But how do you exercise when you're feeling so weak and fatigued?”

One thing I do know is that for me in particular, I have to keep my stress levels to a minimum. Sounds easy right? But its not! Life is constantly throwing me curve balls and I am constantly figuring out how to dodge them for both my physical and mental health. Lately, I have found that spending quality time with friends and family has definitely been good for me. I try to not let the stress of every day life dictate how I live through MS. I make it a point to utilize my good days – when I’m not hurting or fatigued – to actually go out and socialize. Getting back to a more normal routine is always helpful, instead of isolating myself from the world and trying to deal on my own. I try not to put so much pressure on myself to be the perfect wife, the perfect pharmacist, or the perfect step-mother; but to take things day by day and live in the moment.

Finding what works for you and managing your symptoms can often be difficult. MS affects everyone differently, so what works for one person, may not work for you. I tend to find that my symptoms are exacerbated when I allow my body temperature to drop, whereas other people with MS tend to have more difficulties when its warmer outside. So when going out in public to places that I know are generally cooler temperatures – grocery stores, movie theaters—I always make sure I have extra jackets and sometimes even a light blanket just in case I get cold. That way I can still enjoy being out without ruining it for those around me.

Through some research, I have found that it is most recommended to eat foods that are low in fat and higher in vitamins and fiber in order to not only live healthier and feel better, but to possibly help prevent other metabolic consequences as well. I personally have a super high metabolism and get hungry a lot throughout the day. I try to keep healthy snacks with me instead of resorting to stopping a drive through to find unhealthy options to curb my hunger. I have been eating more fruits and vegetables and salads to try to eliminate as many unhealthy carbohydrates from my diet as possible.

Yoga is something that I have started researching and which type is better for someone with MS. --- ( you can expand on this topic if you want as I have not yet started going out and actually doing yoga. I do yoga at home in my free time for now).

I also feel better when I get a least 6 hours of sleep at night. I try to get more if possible but 6 is definitely my minimum. I notice that the better I eat and the less stressed I am, the better I sleep and the more refreshed I feel the next day. I find it easier to be more productive throughout the day if I retire to bed at a decent time and get up and start my day earlier in the morning instead of sleeping throughout the day. If I lay around and nap, it actually leads to more depressive thoughts and tends to bring me down.


Remembering that this disease is not easy to live with is sometimes difficult for people as independent as I am. I still have to remind myself to use my shower chair when I’m feeling weak. Not to take the stairs if my legs are tired. Not to do things that would require me to be more mentally alert when I’m dealing with “MS fog”. Using the handrails when going up and down stairs. Doing more online shopping when I’m not able to get out, but still desire to purchase some things for myself. That allows me to still feel independent but not completely incapacitated.

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