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How to Prevent MS Flare-Ups: What You Should Remember

How to Prevent MS Flare-Ups: What You Should Remember

One of the biggest concerns about having multiple sclerosis or MS is experiencing MS flare-ups. These are also known as relapses, and having one can be frustrating, especially if you’ve been managing your condition well for a while. Read on to learn more about how to prevent MS flare-ups, and what you can do in case it happens.

how to prevent MS flare-ups

How to Prevent MS flare-ups

Multiple sclerosis is a condition that affects a person’s brain and spinal cord. What it does is it attacks the myelin fibers, or fibers that protect the nerves. This causes communication problems between the brain and the other organs in the body.

Multiple sclerosis can also get worse over time, especially if nothing is done about it. At the moment, MS is not a curable disease. But people with MS can take steps in order to better manage their condition and slow down the progression of the disease.

One way of doing this is to prevent and make sure to keep your flare-ups under control. Here are 5 things to remember :

1. Take your medication regularly

This is by far the most important thing that you should remember. The medication prescribed for patients with MS don’t cure the disease, but they help slow down the progression of the disease. In addition, medication also reduces the risk of having a relapse in the future.

So if you have MS, be sure to take your medication in the right dosage and at the right time. It’s also a good idea to observe how your body reacts to the medication, and if you see any improvement. This can help your doctor know if your medication is effective or if needed, they can change your medication and increase the dosage.

2. Eat a healthy diet

A healthy diet is essential when it comes to preventing MS flare-ups. This is because the healthier your body is, the better it is able to address the effects of multiple sclerosis.

It is important to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables as these provide the nutrients that your body needs. It’s also a good idea to eat fatty fish such as salmon and tuna, and eat healthy nuts such as almonds, as these contain omega-3 fatty acids that can help reduce inflammation.

3. Avoid stress

Stress is a big factor when it comes to a relapse. So it would be best to avoid anything that could trigger significant stress. Be sure to take breaks while working, and avoid overexerting yourself.

It’s also a good idea to get enough rest each day. Try to have at least 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night, and avoid staying up too late.

Another good exercise to do is meditation, as it can help lower your stress levels and calm you down. Having hobbies also helps keep your mind off stressful things and helps you relax.

4. Quit smoking

Smoking is a possible trigger for multiple sclerosis. And aside from that, smoking is also a risk factor for numerous health problems which include lung cancer, atherosclerosis, hypertension, diabetes, and a host of other cardiovascular diseases.

If you’re not a smoker, but you live with someone who does, it would be a good idea to ask them to quit. Even inhaling secondhand smoke can cause a relapse of MS.

5. Know your triggers

Lastly, it’s very important to know what can trigger your condition. The following can be triggers:

  • Excessive stress
  • Infection
  • Emotional reactions
  • Overheating
  • Missing your medication

Be mindful of these things to avoid relapse. If you feel that there might be something wrong, or your symptoms are getting worse, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor. They can better assess and provide the appropriate treatment.

Learn more about Multiple Sclerosis here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Managing relapses | MS Trust, https://mstrust.org.uk/about-ms/ms-symptoms-and-relapses/managing-relapses#can-i-reduce-my-risk-of-having-a-relapse, Accessed January 13, 2021

Managing Relapses | National Multiple Sclerosis Society, https://www.nationalmssociety.org/Treating-MS/Managing-Relapses, Accessed January 13, 2021

Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis | Johns Hopkins Medicine, https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/multiple-sclerosis-ms/relapsing-remitting-multiple-sclerosis, Accessed January 13, 2021

Treating Multiple Sclerosis Relapses – MSAA, https://mymsaa.org/ms-information/treatments/relapses/, Accessed January 13, 2021

Multiple Sclerosis Foundation – A Nurse’s Guide to Preventing Relapse, https://www.msfocusmagazine.org/Magazine/Magazine-Items/Winter-2019/A-Nurse-s-Guide-to-Preventing-Relapse, Accessed January 13, 2021

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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara on Jan 13
Medically reviewed by Dr. Nicole Aliling
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