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Tips For Living Better With Multiple Sclerosis

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  • 17-11-2021
Tips For Living Better With Multiple Sclerosis

Are you looking for tips for living better with multiple sclerosis? If you or a loved one are diagnosed with MS, it is important to understand the ways it can effect your day-to-day life. Find out more.

Despite being an awful degenerative c ondition, many people with multiple sclerosis find ways to live with the disease daily without letting it define them and their lifestyles. 

As the myelin and central nervous system is wrongly attacked by white blood cells, sufferers can struggle with the easiest things, with walking, talking, and sometimes even writing becoming difficult. You can do things to live a better and more fulfilling life as someone with MS, though.  

First Signs of Multiple Sclerosis

Tips for staying healthy with multiple sclerosis

There's still every chance for you to stay healthy while living with this condition, and here are some simple things that can help alleviate your pain and perhaps give you some freedom back.

01
Eat Healthily

We know this is cliche, but there's much to be achieved by a healthy diet, especially with someone suffering from MS. Advice from The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has told people with MS not to follow a specific diet. 

Still, low fats and high fibers and vitamins can help people feel better. This diet can provide you with more energy, which becomes an issue and potentially improves bladder and bowel functions.

This minor adjustment to your life can provide you with some freedom, where you perhaps feel robbed. You can also avoid metabolic syndrome, leading to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other life-changing conditions. 

Tips For Living Better With Multiple Sclerosis
Regular Exercise - Living Better With Multiple Sclerosis

02
Regular Exercise

As you experience more muscle fatigue and easier exhaustion, it's important to do what exercise you can. Once again, this can bring some freedom back into your life and a feeling of control over the condition. Exercising can also improve your cardiovascular fitness, breathing and improve bladder and bowel function. 

People with MS say that yoga, mindfulness, stretching, or some form of tai chi can help relax and ease the pain within their limbs and muscles. 

03
Sleep Well

Getting a good night's sleep can prove wonders in energy reserves, general happiness and improve cognitive ability. As the smallest of tasks may become more challenging, it's important to take control where you can, and sleep can do that.

Many people with MS experience some form of sleeping problem, ranging from insomnia, narcolepsy, and muscle spasms (especially in their legs). 

Acknowledging and accepting these issues is vital, as then the correct treatment and support can be offered. There are support groups and medicinal treatments available to you if sleeping has become an issue. 

04
Change Home Environment

As MS develops and advances, your fundamental lifestyle has to change, and so does your home. This doesn't have to be viewed as a negative. Instead, you're able to customise and adapt your surrounding areas to best suit your new needs. 

This can involve handrails around bath and showers and minimising mess around the floor to ensure that no accidents or trips can happen while you're navigating the space. 

Self-help & Support Groups - Living Better With Multiple Sclerosis

05
Self-help & Support Groups

Many people who develop MS become more reclusive than their older selves and shut themselves off from the world. It doesn't have to be this way; instead, you should reach out and realise the large community of those suffering. Over 100,000 people in the UK have multiple sclerosis, so you're not alone.

If you're unable to leave your home, support groups have modernised and moved online, providing you with a network of support. 

06
Taking Care of Your Mind

Your mental health is just as important as your physical. As you begin to experience more bodily symptoms of MS, you need to ensure that you're looking after your mind. You don't need to lose yourself to this condition, and you can remain who you are

07
Seek Help

While seeking assistance from doctors can help with the medicinal side of MS, there's little room for mental health support. This is where therapists, support groups, and just talking to a mental health professional can aid you and improve your mood.

If you're suffering from the symptoms, talking to an MS expert can offer new strategies to deal with them and half the internal struggle. 

08
Find a support group

As mentioned above, there's no need to become a recluse. You can meet new people who understand and are also experiencing MS alongside you, either online or in person.

Hospitals, care centres, and social groups will all offer what you're looking for and can share your feelings with others. Improving your mental state can make even the worse of days seem a bit more manageable. 

09
Counselling

There's also nothing wrong with seeking help in a more formal, one-on-one manner. Counselling works for many people, especially with MS, as they learn to cope with the symptoms and how their lives have changed. Attending a weekly or bi-weekly session can significantly help improve your mindset.

Counselling - Living Better With Multiple Sclerosis

10
Keep a diary

Another way of managing your thoughts and working through the more challenging moments is writing in a diary or journal. This can help you release pain, sadness, anger, and even document happiness and joy that you have in your life. 

Some people choose to use that space as a way to vent and never look at it again, and others like having a space to look back on and read in the future. The choice is entirely yours. 

11
Take control

As mentioned, MS can take over your life, and slowly you feel that you are the condition, but it doesn't have to be that way. 

 Finding parts of your life that you control can help you stay grounded and feel independent despite your new needs.

If this is simply managing and changing your home to best suit you, then this is an excellent step in taking control. 

12
Learn everything you can

The more you learn about MS and how it can affect the body, the better you'll be able to engage in conversation about it. If this is for yourself or a family member, you will better understand how to manage the disease.

Once the first diagnosis has been made, MS can develop into secondary-progressive (SPMS), and new complications and symptoms can arise. Knowing what is to come can help prepare home environments and what treatments would be best.

New medications and Clinical trials - Living Better With Multiple Sclerosis

13
New medications and Clinical trials

Since there's ongoing research into MS and the cause and a cure, there will always be more treatments and trials occurring. This means there's more for you to stay updated on. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society can offer information on tests, treatments, and new medicines within your area and globally. If you find a clinical trial that you want to participate in, ensure you're eligible beforehand. 

Assembling a team of doctors

Once someone receives a multiple sclerosis diagnosis, they live with this condition for the rest of their life. They need a good support team around them, ones who can care for them physically, mentally, and medically. This is why you need a team of doctors around you and a primary doctor who you can trust and talk to openly. 

Depending on what symptoms you experience and the severity and level of help you want, the healthcare providers you enlist can change.

Physical Therapist for motion, dexterity, and coordination assistance and therapy

Mental Health counsellor or therapist to deal with the depression and anxiety that comes with the condition

Neuropsychologist to aid in memory, focus, and productivity issues

Social Worker to help find community services

Speech/language pathologist

Dietitian or Nutritionist

This list isn't the entirety of the possible support team you can get to assist yourself or the one with MS. Speak to your primary doctor about any concerns you have, and they can refer you to the correct pathway.

Rearranging your home and work environment

One of the most significant changes you can make to improve your mental health and wellbeing during this time is to rearrange and rethink your living spaces. As your life has fundamentally changed, and the way you navigate the world is now trickier, your home and work-life need to match that. 

Consider the things that you've taken for granted that may be harder to do now. Getting in and out of the shower or bath will need assistance, so installing some safety rails or hand bars is a smart decision. 

Reaching any tools or equipment you need in the kitchen, perhaps something on a higher shelf may require movement and dexterity that you no longer have. This requires you to rearrange the kitchen cupboards.

Moving furniture, removing rugs and any other potential blockages or obstacles is another thing you can do. You shouldn't be stripping your home to the bare walls; instead, you need to be looking at this as an opportunity to redecorate and change up your home. 

Rearranging your home - Living Better With Multiple Sclerosis

If you have questions about how to live better with Multiple Sclerosis, we hope this information has been useful to you.

We offer specialist home care services and live-in care for vulnerable adults throughout London. Get in contact today if you have a loved one that would benefit from professional MS care at home.