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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!
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!
It has been a while since I have done this, but with a new year comes new posts. If you would like me to reblog your post YOU must do 2 simple things:
- Reblog this thread post to your readers
- Then leave a link to your post in the comments. Please keep in mind I only reblog Blog posts. I do not promote non-blog links or blogs who are selling wares.
Tit for tat, you reblog my post, I reblog yours. It might take a few days, but eventually I will get to your link…promise. 🙂
How much is too much to share on social media?
How important do you think it is to make wise decisions?
My Goal Is To Be Absolutely Deliberate In All the Small Decisions
As many of you know I have restructured the way I eat over the last few weeks and I have really been taking my eating seriously. I know some people say they eat healthy, but in reality they are eating fast food, drinking sodas, eating sugar, etc. Following my procedure a couple of weeks ago I made a decision to eliminate all of the junk. No more sugar, ever. No more sodas, ever. No more fried foods, ever.
I got a NutriBullet and I’ve been eating a great variety of vegetables each day, along with a spattering of fresh fruits, nuts, non-animal proteins and I am enjoying this new lifestyle. The great thing is the transition has not been difficult at all and I’ve only had a couple cravings in the last couple weeks.
The one area I am struggling with is the exercise and I’ve found that the MS is restricting me more than I thought. To offset this I have decided to take it easy on the exercise by walking and focusing more on my eating. If I can get 10 pounds of fat off my body then I hope the exercise becomes easier. Currently I weigh 182 lbs and I will start working out again when I am under 175 lbs believing that the lighter weight will prove to be easier on my hips and legs.
Ultimately I do not have a weight goal, but I do have an image goal and I have a body fat percentage goal. I want to get as close as I can to 10% body fat and I have an image of what I might look like when I hit that goal, which keeps me inspired each day to make better decisions. I imagine 10% will put me in the 155-160 lb range, but I could care less about weight.
In the end this type of battle is won by paying attention to the smallest of decisions and being absolutely deliberate in those small decisions. I see people wishing for change, but when it comes down to winning the war they aren’t willing to win every small battle. I want to win every small battle understanding that the accumulative effect will be powerful over the long haul.
For me it is a big deal to “reward” myself with something fried. It is a big deal to sneak that Snickers bar. It’s a big deal to eat that Big Mac. It is a big deal to drink that soda. And being hyper-aware of what I am putting in my body will give me the greatest chance to live the healthiest life I can live. All of these small decisions I make throughout the day aim me toward my goal or they aim me away from my goal and I must make choices which aim me at my goal. I choose to make better decisions every time.
I am tired of settling and compromising and rationalizing my poor decisions. I am tired of making excuses for my willingness to accept “less than” health. It is my opinion that too many people are quick to rationalize poor decision-making and dismiss it as not being a big deal when in fact it’s a really big deal. I don’t want to be that type of person any longer.
I’ll keep you guys updated as I progress. Have a great Saturday!
Do you use wisdom when making small decisions?
How is your mental state?
How would you rate your 2018? Did you achieve any goals you set for yourself?
Do you buy the conspiracy theory that the medical industry doesn’t really want people healthy because healthy people means less revenue for them?