10 healthy lifestyles to consider if you have multiple sclerosis

 10 healthy lifestyles to consider if you have multiple sclerosis

Certain healthy lifestyle habits have been seen to have a direct impact on the course of multiple sclerosis. Therefore, the main objective of people with MS should be to start taking care of themselves.

Multiple sclerosis is a degenerative disease that affects the central nervous system. In recent years there has been a sudden increase in its incidence. Studies published to date, related to the onset and evolution of the disease, 

show that there are potentially modifiable environmental and lifestyle factors that have a direct impact on MS, such as Epstein-Barr virus infection, smoking, nutrition,

and vitamin D levels.
On the other hand, different studies suggest that there are health conditions that appear more frequently in people diagnosed with MS. 

This is the case, for example, of vascular disease, which is associated with a greater risk of disability progression. Most cardiovascular diseases can be prevented by acting on the risk factors that cause them, such as tobacco use, poor diet, 
physical inactivity or alcohol consumption.

All of these risk factors are potentially modifiable through activities to improve health. Therefore, starting to take care of yourself, including healthy habits and styles in the routine, should be the main objective of the person with MS.

These 10 tips will help you get there,

1. Follow a healthy and balanced diet

Diet plays an important role in the development and evolution of the disease. Eating habits have been the subject of debate in recent years due to their potential contribution to the inflammatory process.

 A healthy, variable and balanced diet provides the body with enough nutrients for its proper functioning.

Eat plenty of greens, fresh vegetables, seasonal fruit, and legumes along with fresh fish. Avoid consuming products that contain saturated fats and sugars as much as possible, such as industrial pastries, pre-cooked meals or packaged juices.

In the latest published studies, it has been seen that certain bacterial colonies of the intestinal flora can have effects on immunity. 

Certain foods such as miso, Kombucha tea, microalgae, yogurt and dark chocolate could contribute to the good state of the intestinal flora.

2. Control your weight

Although the mechanism is not clear, different studies suggest a causal effect of increased body mass index in MS and speak of a possible inflammatory role of it. Furthermore, obesity is a cardiovascular risk factor. 

The World Health Organization recommends balancing our body weight in order to reduce the risk of suffering from health problems such as diabetes, hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases.

A reduction in body weight is also associated with improvements in fatigue, a very common symptom in multiple sclerosis.

3. Reduce your salt intake

There are researchers who associate the consumption of salt in the diet with an increase in the activity of the disease. 

It is also associated with numerous health problems such as hypertension, heart disorders, fluid retention,

You can choose to add herbs or spices to season your meals (pepper, garlic powder, cumin, saffron) or dietary salt with low sodium content. 

Remember that cold cuts, precooked products and finger foods tend to have a high salt content,

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4. Get enough sleep

Sleep intervenes in the restoration of the central nervous system and allows us to restore physical and psychological functions. If we do not rest well we will experience an increase in fatigue, drowsiness during the day, a decrease in physical and mental performance.

If you have trouble sleeping, avoid consuming stimulating foods or beverages, do relaxing activities before going to sleep, and eat some food that makes it easier for you to sleep.

5. Try to reduce stress

In studies with animal models and in clinical observations in humans, stress hormones have been shown to modify the functioning of the immune system. 

To avoid this, you should integrate activities that can help you relax into your daily routine: breathing exercises, meditation, painting mandalas or listening to music.

6. Get regular physical activity

Almost any type of regular physical activity has a positive impact on the evolution of the disease, disability and some symptoms such as fatigue. In addition, physical activity is essential to prevent overweight and cardiovascular diseases.

Practice light-moderate intensity physical exercise, such as walking for 30 to 60 minutes, at least three days a week.

 7. Avoid tobacco use

There are numerous studies showing that smoking increases the risk of MS and affects the progression of the disease. 

People with MS who smoke accumulate more disability in a shorter period of time compared to non-smokers and quitting smoking has a beneficial effect on the disease. In addition, disease-modifying treatments in people have been shown to be less effective in people who smoke.

In the article Quit smoking with multiple sclerosis: 10 practical tips you will find strategies to quit smoking.

8. Expose yourself to the sun daily

Sun exposure protects against relapses of MS. Although more research is needed, many agree that sunlight can influence the immune system. In addition, the sun's rays help the circadian rhythm.

If you exercise outdoors during the hours of sun exposure, in addition to improving your physical condition, you will experience improvements in the quality of sleep since the sun increases the levels of melatonin.

9. Exercise your mind

Working on mental skills can prevent cognitive decline in the evolution of multiple sclerosis. Read, do crosswords or do calculation exercises. In short, keep your brain trained.

10. Try to be in a good mood

Humor is a good tool for managing stress, improving psychological well-being and general health. Having a healthy lifestyle will help you be in a good mood.

 Performing physical activity, a correct diet, a restful rest, reducing stress and spending time with your friends are key points to achieve this.

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