Diet and exercise in multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis is an auto immune disease. The function of immune system is protecting the body from foreign life forms like bacteria, viruses, fungi etc. However, for some unknown reasons, sometimes, it turns against the healthy tissues of own body, and destroys it. Hereditary and environmental factors too are, more often than not, suspected to be involved. There are many maladies due to this. All auto immune disorders have a characteristic flare ups alternating with periods of low activity called remittance. Since the exact reasons for this aberration are not known there are no cures for these conditions. However, medications are available to give relief in acute outbursts and in some even to slow down the progress of the disease.
A balanced nutritional multiple sclerosis diet includes the likes of Mediterranean food, containing lots of fiber, fish, lean protein rich meal with a variety fruits vegetables, nuts, and whole grains and avoiding saturated and trans fats are recommended just as for the common population. No special diets like Gluten free, Paleo or Swank Diet have shown to have any effect either on exacerbations or the progress of the disease in any scientific studies. So is the case with nutrients like vitamin A and D, or fish oil.
Exercises and activities are essential just like for normal people. No MS specific regime is known. Any activity like cooking, household chores or gardening, as long as the individual enjoys, are alright. The important point about conventional exercising is that it should be within the capacities and limitations of the patient. Exercising in water has some advantages .The buoyancy reduces the effective weight of limbs making easier to move them. The higher viscosity gives resistance to movement and it results in development of muscles. It also gives support to the body and helps in maintaining balance. It increases the number of activity and the overall development. Being in water is relaxing and does not heat up the body and thus reduces the aggravation that is usual in work outs. The overall improvements in functions motivate patients to stick to the regime leading to increased self confidence.