What role can lifestyle – such as diet and exercise – play in treating multiple sclerosis?

There is no known cure for multiple sclerosis (MS), but treatments can help to slow the disease, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Making some lifestyle changes can help to keep you as strong and healthy as possible while living with MS, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).

The AAFP recommends the following lifestyle changes to help with MS:

  • Nutrition – well-balanced diet; eat low-fat foods; eat high-fiber foods; healthy diet promotes a strong immune system
  • Physical activity – exercise with doctor approval; strengthening exercises to help with stiffness and mobility; exercise overall to help with mood, balance, muscle tone, strength, balance, and coordination
  • Rest – fight fatigue caused by MS by getting plenty of rest; plan accordingly with your work and family
  • Support – encouragement helps to cope with MS; build a network of family, friends, coworkers
  • Temperature – be cautious around hot tubs and saunas; too much heat leads to muscle weakness

Talk to your doctor for more information about how lifestyle changes can help treat MS.

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