Managing multiple sclerosis (MS) can be tough. Managing of MS involves taking care of the disease progression and managing symptoms. As MS cannot be cured and is progressive in the majority of cases, symptomatic management is something that takes most of the time. If the treatment of disease is primarily left to the physician, symptomatic management is something that is done best done in collaboration, with the patient taking the initiative. Hence once diagnosed, a person must start learning about the symptoms and management.
MS mostly starts with the symptoms of nerves like tingling sensations and numbness in limbs, progressive fatigue, pains and spasms, difficulties in balancing, as the disease progresses cognitive problems arise.
There is no hard and fast formula to manage it, but here is a collection of some tips to control symptoms of MS in the day to day life.
Start with a fatigue diary
Fatigue in MS is no ordinary tiredness; it is extremely troubling symptoms of tiredness due to no apparent reason. Keeping a regular diary would help both you and your doctor in identifying the pattern of your symptoms, intensity, and severity. It would help you to understand your fatigue, analyze it, describe it, and better manage it.
Have a rest
Once you understand your pattern of pains and fatigue, rest have to be more of a planned thing. Take regular rests during the day; power naps may be an excellent way for energy revival. Try to make your rest intervals more relaxing, thus rather than watching television or other activities, better listen to soothing music and do yoga or even meditation.
As the disease progresses, you may need to work with a physiotherapist to keep your posture correct; this would help you to do physical activities in a better way.
It means saving your energy for most essential functions. Everyone would have different priorities. As an example, you may order many things online instead of going shopping or can ask family members to help at home, while saving energy for critical tasks related to work or earning.
Reorganize your living and workspace
You can make changes to living space, reorganize the working environment to save energy and simplify doing things. It is not a bad idea to invest a bit in some specialized equipment like semi-automation of tasks at work or buying more equipment for the kitchen. Consulting occupational therapist and other specialists are useful. Remember that assistive technologies are changing at a higher pace than most of us can keep track of.
Once you are diagnosed with MS, it is time to consider a diet that is better for your nerve health. Diet has to be balanced, eat lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Avoid sugary drinks as they cause fatigue after a slight upsurge in energy levels. Perhaps the most important thing is to start eating is high-quality fats that are rich in omega fatty acids, like fatty fish, and nuts. Supplementing your diet is another good way.
They can delay both the physical and cognitive effects of MS. Two thing important to know here is that first choose an exercise program of your liking, something that you can do daily, and secondly, it would be better to get professional advice.
Drugs to treat fatigue
Along with all the non-medicament treatment, drugs have their place in fatigue management, thus ask the specialist more about the drug therapy. Amantadine, modafinil, are commonly used medications for the purpose.
MS is a disease of heterogeneous nature, requiring multi-specialist care. Being chronic disease a person suffering from MS have to be proactive, keep learning, participating in various programs, and understand that medical specialists are more of advisors, while the responsibility of managing the disease lies in the hands of a person suffering from it.