Health tips for living with multiple sclerosis
What do you need to bear in mind if you have multiple sclerosis or you are caring for someone who does?
Current evidence is insufficient to give advice on preventing multiple sclerosis. It is, however, advised that your have a healthy lifestyle and carry out activities as normal. Multiple sclerosis affects women more than men, often appears in young adults and is the second biggest cause of non-traumatic disability.
When agreeing with the patient to start them on a drug to treat symptoms or multiple sclerosis itself:
- They should be given very specific education about the action of the medication, the possible side effects, as well as how to administer and store it in order to guarantee that the treatment plan is followed and stuck to.
- Although the establishment of background treatment as soon as possible allows good control of the evolution of the illness, sometimes outbreaks sometimes occur that need to be assessed and, where required, treated at a day hospital for three days, completing the appropriate follow-up to check recovery.
The symptoms of multiple sclerosis can vary greatly, so you are advised to consult specialists when you feel:
- Fatigue. If it appears, it is a good idea to plan moments of activity with moments of rest.
- Sensitivity to temperature changes.You are advised to avoid extreme temperatures and, if you get a fever, lower it as soon as possible.
Although there is no scientific evidence that allows us to make concrete recommendations to prevent or change the course of the illness, there is a whole host of advice about diet, habits and physical exercise that patients and, in general, the entire population, should bear in mind:
- You need to have a healthy lifestyle.
- You should have a balanced and varied diet.
- Do not smoke, as tobacco is associated with worsening in the progression of the illness.
You are also advised, should you suffer fatigue, to continue daily activity and stay active, combining moments of activity with moments of relaxation as well as to seek energy-saving strategies.
Vitamin D has an important role to play in relation to the illness, which is being researched intensively. Often, people affected present a deficiency of this vitamin, so you are advised to take a supplement under instructions and supervision by your specialist.
Multiple sclerosis is a complex and chronic illness, so it is recommended that those around the person affected are given adequate and comprehensive information. It is also a good idea to have access to ongoing advice whenever necessary.
The family or professional carer, where necessary, may need training and practical advice on topics such as diet, hygiene and the patient’s mobility.
Other related health information
Health education in the diagnosis, at the beginning of the treatment and for the mobilisation of the disabled patient.