8 Simple Tips For Living A Better Life With MS (or any disease really)

Danny

8 Simple Tips For Living A Better Life With MS

My symptoms began in 2007 while I was on vacation in Florida.  Little did I know at that time that my world would change forever with a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis.  I have experienced an array of symptoms and have found some fairly successful habits I have used to help offset the side effects of MS.  Here are some simple tips for living a better life with MS:

 Walk every day

One of the goals I have for myself is to walk every single day without exception.  Evelina and I have a dog and he requires being walked which guarantees I’ll be outside at some point taking a stroll.  For those who cannot walk I recommend standing up and sitting down or maybe doing leg and arm lifts.  Even if you are confined to a wheelchair, you can do some type of physical activity.

Educate yourself on nutrition

I have found that shedding fat off my body helps with symptom flare-ups and pain.  So I eat a lot of vegetables, very little junk food (if any) and only good types of fat.  I see so many people trying to fight a disease while putting horrible foods in their body.  Why not give your body a fighting chance?   Some of the common sense things to eliminate immediately: processed foods, sugar, all fast foods, fried foods, sodas and sugary drinks. One of the most common mistakes I see being made is people who think they understand nutrition who do possess the knowledge about what is and what isn’t healthy.  For a small fee you can hire a nutritionist to construct an eating regimen right for you and your MS symptoms and I highly recommend you not pretend to know, but rely on an expert so you truly know how to eat; sometimes this is covered by your insurance too!

Stop smoking

Simply put, smoking destroys your body.  Smoking also causes plaque to build up in the blood which sticks to the walls of arteries making them narrower; this reduces blood flow and increases the risk of developing blood clots.  Smoking also narrows the arteries, which restricts blood flow as well as causing blood pressure problems.  Lastly, smoking makes it more difficult to exercise with a body that already makes exercise challenging.

Don’t abuse alcohol

There are a couple primary reasons why I don’t drink much alcohol: 1. it affects the central nervous system which impairs my ability to balance, and 2. alcohol and MS induced depression do not mix well.   Maybe a glass of wine occasionally, but don’t use alcohol regularly.

Build your support team with positive people

When I was first diagnosed I followed the advice of a friend and I visited a support group.  It was awful and I stopped attending.  I know lots of people who join support groups, but I found them to be a “woe is me” group.  People sat around and talked about all of their problems and almost none of the time was used to discuss how to live a better life.  The sessions made more sad then edified.  None of the talking focused on exercise, eating better or developing positive life habits.  Since that time I have realized my success has come largely in part to the fact that I have had positive people around me.  People who really support me by carrying me when I need it, but also push me when I need to be pushed.  Remember, you might be in a true fight for your life so do you want negative or positive people around you in this type of struggle?

Find a great neurologist

This is easier said than done because “great” has many meanings to different people.  For me here are the attributes that make one doctor better than another.  A great neurologist must be a great listener who takes all of your concerns into consideration for the treatment plan.  He or she must also be focused on more than prescribing medications like acupuncture, massage, physical therapy, alternative medicines, spiritual edification and much more.  If your doctor focuses only on medication it might be time to look for a new doctor as there is so much more to treatment than just medicines.  If you need a new neurologist I would start my research by Googling “tips to choose a neurologist” and go from there.

Focus on total-body treatment mind/body/spirit

If you doctor is medicine-focused then you need to take upon yourself to focus on whole-body treatment for yourself.  A few practices that I can recommend are meditation, chiropractic, massage, exercise, Soduko/crossword puzzles, acupuncture and mental therapy.  If you only focus on your body, then you will end up neglecting the other areas of You that are crucial to keep healthy during your fight.

Don’t stop living life

I think this is one of the toughest recommendations for me because I struggle with living life.  I tend to not make plans with friends because I never know how I’m going to feel.  I struggle with social anxiety and get extremely worn-out by interacting with people.  I’m usually asleep by 9 pm so socializing can be a struggle.  With this said I realize it isn’t good for me nor is it fair to my wife to be confined to the house.  With all of this said I think it is important to get out of the house even if only to get to the park and go for a short stroll.  I think it is important to do things and push yourself instead of letting your body dictate to you that you will do nothing.  Take a trip to the movies or go for a walk or stroll at the park.  Visit a friend or go to the mall.  Getting outside is critical.

Living with any disease isn’t easy and a cure for MS might be near, but it doesn’t exist right now.  Because of this I believe it is essential to do everything in one’s power to develop habits that will make life a bit easier when living with Multiple Sclerosis.  Success is the accumulation over time of the effects of small daily habits.  I hope this helps in some small way.

Have a great Saturday!

Danny

42 thoughts on “8 Simple Tips For Living A Better Life With MS (or any disease really)

  1. Fabulous advice Danny, I personally don’t suffer from MS but the smoking and alcohol are definite gonners this next year as they are at last affecting my running. What are you’re views on Cannabis (never used it) I know some people who use it and swear it helps their MS?

    Liked by 2 people

    • I have been asked to speak to support groups in the past and too many MSers use way too many excuses. Worst case scenario, MS doesn’t make a person eat tons of crappy food and gain weight. Even when I have to walk with my cane, I still walk. Even if only 100 ft, but I make myself do it. Good for you for living an active life!!

      Like

  2. Good tips even for those without diseases.

    I changed my eating habits when I found out about anti inflammatory food. I thought I eat good food, but I was wrong. So I take inspiration from the blog Food Pharmacy
    https://foodpharmacy.blog/
    It’s in both Swedish and English.

    I feel much better now even if I didn’t think I felt ill or tired before. So lots of vegetables is very good advice and there’s so much tasty you can do with them. I didn’t know that before I started to read about this subject.

    So you are right about the 8 tips. They will make your day better 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good advice Danny. I’ve had MS for 65 years now and in a power chair when I have to go out. I still manage to walk around my apartment by having objects around that I can grab quickly when the inevitable fall begins. That is the biggest help for me, other than most of the ones you mentioned. Unfortunately I’m addicted to cherry coke and potato chips, but I do try to limit my intake of those 2 vices. Just celebrated my 76th birthday, and most of my continued health, to my way of thinking, is finding something to laugh at every day. Takes longer sometimes when I’m not feeling really good, but I force myself to look until I find it. It works for me. Angela

    Liked by 1 person

    • Angela, thank you for sharing and I hope for you good things in 2019. The best thing I have done thus far is lose weight by watching what I am eating. Back in November I finally decided once and for all to watch my food. I have dropped nearly 8 pounds in December and my body is feeling so much better. I realized that if I carry too much body fat then I am not going to help myself and it has made a big difference.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’VE ACTUALLY LOST ALMOST ANOTHER PERSON IN THE PAST 5 YEARS, DANNY. I’VE SWITCHED MY MEDICARE CARRIER BACK TO HUMANA SO I WILL BE ABLE TO GET THE PHYSICAL THERAPY I NEED AGAIN. ANTHEM KEPT DENYING IT LAST YEAR, AND I’VE LOST A LOT OF GROUND BECAUSE OF THAT. HOPEFULLY I’LL GET BACK ENOUGH ENERGY AND BALANCE TO WALK A LITTLE BIT WITHOUT FALLING. THAT IS MY GOAL FOR THIS YEAR, BECAUSE SITTING IN THAT DARN CHAIR GETS A BIT, UM–DIFFICULT ON THE NETHER REGIONS!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. All good points for people with a chronic illness and for anyone. I have found that being proactive is essential when dealing with the medical profession and “finding a great neurologist” is such good advice. All the best to you Danny. Carry on carrying on!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “Regarding your entry about living with a disease, I have this comment. Perhaps one of the most deadly and most dangerous diseases known to man is the disease of hate, anger and bitterness. And one of the best remedies is living in the present. Reading the book called, THE FOUR AGREEMENTS…by Miguel Ruiz… And since that all handles that really dangerous disease, I’m guessing that this method can help anyone else with any other disease, also. You have great ideas there for those who are looking to heal from almost anything, anywhere . Always have hope… (that’s prime medicine , priceless in all countries). Peace .
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    artfromperry
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    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is great advice for everyone whether you’re dealing with illness or not. So many people begin to take care of themselves after problems arise but it’s so important to feed, nourish and care for our minds and bodies as a preventative measure. Revelation 21:3,4 gives me hope that one day all sickness and pain will be gone. Until then, please continue to care for yourself and to encourage us to do the same.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is a lesson in life and how to live it for everyone! I abide by your rules and it helps me in getting old gracefully! CBD oil has come to the UK , I use it, not sure if it does anything other than on a more cheerful outlook on life. Thank you for this post.

    Liked by 1 person

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