Multiple sclerosis is an intensely painful neurological condition that affects over 2.3 million people across the globe.
The pain from MS can keep you from doing the things you love the most and spending time with those you care about. But an MS diagnosis doesn’t mean you have to be a shut-in for the rest of your life.
What are the symptoms of MS?
The symptoms are different for each person, but there are certain commonalities between all patients. Women are twice as commonly affected as men. The most common age of onset is 20-40 years old. Interestingly, people in warmer climates are also more affected. Because the central nervous system is affected, sensation and movement deficits are the most common symptoms.
A common symptom is optic neuritis, which describes an impaired vision and colored blindness, often in one eye. Other common symptoms include shooting electric sensations traveling down the spine with neck flexion, spastic upper extremities, loss of vibration and fine touch sensation, numbness, difficulty walking, difficulty with speech, tremors, bowel and bladder dysfunction, and possibly even changes in mentation.
Living with MS gets far easier once you learn how to manage it. Here are five tips to help you start your journey.
1. Educate Yourself
Learning that you have MS can be scary, to say the least. But as the saying goes, knowledge is power.
By learning about the disorder, you can get a better sense of what you can expect. Dive into every (well-sourced) book, article, and journal you can find that deals with MS and soak up as much info as you can.
The good news is that you’re already off to a good start. By reading this article you’re increasing your chances of a happy, healthy life!
2. Stay Cool
Bad news for those who live in a high-temperature area or love the heat: Heat tends to worsen MS symptoms by a considerable amount.
While heat doesn’t bring on any new symptoms, it does heighten the effects of pre-existing issues like fatigue, headaches, and mental fogginess.
Fortunately, heat tends to be easy enough to counteract. Keep your home A/C set to a comfortable temperature and invest in cooling aids like gel packs and light clothing.
3. Lean on Your Professional Support System
You already know that your friends and family care about your well-being. But don’t forget that you have a whole professional network of experts that care about you, too!
Great multiple sclerosis services aim to understand what you’re going through. Your doctors and physical therapists will do their best to ease your pain and provide helpful advice. So don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and give them a call.
4. Do Your Best to Say Active
When your MS is acting up, hitting the gym is the absolute last thing you want to do. Still, research indicates that maintaining an active lifestyle can keep the pain associated with MS at bay.
Go easy on yourself. You don’t need to run a marathon to stay active. A simple walk around the block a few times per week is more than sufficient.
5. Stay Well-Rested
The fatigue that comes with MS is bad enough as it is. But when you consider how MS causes a whole array of sleep issues, it can seem as though there’s no winning.
While you can’t offset all of your fatigue, you can minimize it by taking a few simple steps.
For starters, go to bed and wake up at the same time each night. A regular sleep schedule can improve the overall quality of your rest.
And if you’re struggling with muscle pain, tell your doctor. You may need medication to help relax your muscles.
Final Thoughts on Living With MS
Living with MS can feel downright impossible at times. But don’t give up. By following these five tips, you can improve your quality of life and help keep your MS at bay.
- Multiple Sclerosis Overview – https://stemcellstransplantinstitute.com
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS) – https://www.news-medical.net