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Multiple sclerosis (MS) and its treatment side effects can be challenging. For MS patients and their families, it’s important to pursue a healthy lifestyle that can help you keep up with your usual daily activities. Here are some tips to help you prevent flares and maximize your quality of life:
- Rest. Fatigue is one of the most common MS symptoms and is a side effect of some disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) like beta interferons. Rest often and try to plan your day and tasks around when you have the most energy.
- Exercise. Exercise can help improve muscle strength, balance and coordination, which all can be affected by MS. Swimming and water exercises are good options if you are heat-sensitive. Yoga, walking and biking are also good exercise options.
- Stay cool. Some MS symptoms worsen as your body temperature rises. Avoiding hot areas and using devices like cooling scarves or vests can be helpful.
- Eat a balanced diet. Eating healthy is smart for everyone, including MS patients. A healthy diet can help keep the immune system strong. Some studies suggest a diet low in saturated fat and high in omega-3 fatty acids (found in olive and fish oils) may be helpful.1
- Manage stress. Stress can trigger and worsen MS symptoms. Yoga, massage, meditation, support groups, seeing a counselor and staying connected to friends and family may help.
- Quit smoking. Smoking can worsen the progression of MS.
Many of the tips above apply to just about anyone wishing to improve their health, but they can be particularly important in helping you take control of your treatment and continuing the activities you enjoy.
Talk to your CVS Specialty MS CareTeam today about things you can do to enjoy a better quality of life. Help from a pharmacist or nurse is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, by calling 1-800-237-2767. TDD users please call 1-800-863-5488.
This information is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Talk to your doctor or health care provider about your medical condition and prior to starting any new treatment. CVS Specialty assumes no liability whatsoever for the information provided or for any diagnosis or treatment made as a result, nor is it responsible for the reliability of the content.
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1National Multiple Sclerosis Society web site. https://www.nationalmssociety.org/Living-Well-With-MS/Diet-Exercise-Healthy-Behaviors/Diet-Nutrition Accessed August 2018.