Multiple sclerosis and lifestyle
Multiple Sclerosis is an auto immune disorder. Auto immune disorders are like the fence eating the crop. A fence is erected to protect the crops from invaders. If the fence decides to eat the crop instead would be irony of a high order. It is the same situation with auto immune disorders. Immune system is to protect the body from the attack of foreign life forms like bacteria, virus, fungi etc. For some weird unknown reason the system starts attacking the healthy tissues. Depending on the tissues attacked the syndrome has various names like Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Systemic Erythematic Lupus and many. There are a few common symptoms associated with auto immune diseases. All of them have symptoms waxing and waning or exacerbations and remissions. Medications are available which give relief in flare-ups and in many can retard the progress of the disease, the best that can be hoped for at the present.
No specific diet has been found to ameliorate the symptoms or disease. However, a low fat, high fiber multiple sclerosis diet that is recommended for healthy living MS patients too. Eating a verity of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, skinless chicken, fish, nuts and legumes avoiding saturated fats and highly processed food is good for everybody and MS patients too. The belief that avoiding gluten would do well to MS patients certainly lacks scientific backing as no studies have shown a correlation.
Similarly no specific physical exercise is found to give any specific advantage. Having said it needs emphasizing that a well designed exercise regime is essential for the well being of MS patients. It is necessary that the attending physician approves the regime as activities undertaken are within the limitations and capabilities of specific patients. Any activity the patient enjoys like gardening, household chores or cooking is good especially if expansion to more rigorous ones is beyond patient’s capacities.
Exercising in water offers a feeling of lightness, ease and greater activities, support, muscle relaxation, cooling and a sensation of support. Improved physical functioning is motivation to stick with it. May reduce depression and increase self confidence.