This is taken in part from Everyday Health. I get emails from them each morning and at times I try to share this advice with others who may not know. So here goes:
You can practice certain healthy habits every day to better prepare for your next MS flare.
When I first began to go the MS Society Groups, I met a young man who was in worse shape than me. IN fact, he was where I am now. The only difference is, I can still get up from time to time and walk. I may look funny when I do, but I can still do it. One of the things he told me was:
Reduce your stress levels.
At that time I had no clue how. I mean, lets face it, there are some days just opening our eyes is stressful. It was not until 2014 that the journal “Neurology Research International” put out an article showing that 85% of MS flares may be related to stress. New brain lesions form after stressful events. Isn’t it wonderful that science finally caught up on what people with MS have known for years?
As I began to get sick, I had to stop working full-time. When I could no longer drive, I could not get to the office I had worked in. Then, even though I was allowed to work from home, I got to the point I could no longer even do that. I lived off my saving account and my food storage until it ran out, then I was blessed to get some food from my church. I have no clue what I could have done without them. I even had a sponsor for my cat.
Now, even Meals on Wheels has access to fresh fruit and vegetables during the summer months. That is so important. At this point in time, I have dear friends with gardens who bring me fresh when they have it. I love them for that. It has given me ways to juice and enjoy my diet again.
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society recommends eating a high-fiber, low-fat diet. I know for a fact and when I am able I do that. I have an issue with protein.. As a child I had what is called: Kwashiorkor. In the 1950’s it was practically unheard of in the United States. However, it was most common and widespread in developing countries. It is a form of malnutrition caused by not getting enough protein in your diet.
Every cell in your body contains protein. You need protein in your diet for your body to repair cells and make new cells. A healthy body regenerates cells in this manner constantly. Protein is also important for growth during childhood and pregnancy. Foods that contain protein include meat, milk, cheese, fish, eggs, soy, beans, nuts, seeds, and some types of grains like quinoa.
Take Vitamin D
A study published in the Iranian Journal of Neurology in 2014 noted that vitamin D deficiency can worsen the course of MS and that levels are generally low in people with MS. My doctor recommended I take 4,000 IU of vitamin D daily. I recommend you speak with your doctor about it.
Stay Mentally Active
I know at times with MS we tend to get “fuzzy brain”. It can be hard to stay focused. I personally keep a daily calendar and a to-do list. I enjoy doing research when I am able. I enjoy working in the work of the Lord and thus I study the scriptures every day. I listen to good music. I listen to the words of living prophets. I strive to keep a positivity journal so I never forget that even one thing to be thankful for helps. When I first started keeping that journal: the only think I could think of was Toilet Paper. Now you may laugh, but have you ever lived without it?
Get Good Sleep
I know that when we have flares, it is hard to sleep. The body is tired, yet the brain will not shut off. I found ways to shut down, such as setting a consistent bedtime and before I go to bed I read from the scriptures, listen to hymns, pray, and on those nights when I still can’t sleep, I’ll get up and make some “graveyard stew”. It is toast (pick your favorite bread), warm milk, a touch of butter and cinnamon. I read the words of the prophets both living and dead that I have posted on my walls. That helps me to be calm and when I’m done I can rest.
Take Medication as Directed
As I have stated many times, I have many allergies to various medications. However, I am blessed with a really good doctor who knows me and what I need. I listen to him and he listens to me.
When you have a flare, call your doctor right away so he or she can adjust your meds if necessary. Always ask your doctor for guidance.
Be kind to yourself. Enjoy life. It’s not as bad as you think it is. God is watching over you. Pray over everything and know that you are loved from a distance.