Finding Peace In Remission: Understanding Your Life With Multiple Sclerosis

  • Neurology
  • autoimmune disease - chronic pain
  • June 28, 2022

Multiple sclerosis can cause severe physical and cognitive decline. During remission, patients should find healthy ways to enjoy life.

Understanding Multiple Sclerosis Effects

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a severe condition that impacts the central nervous system, specifically the brain and spinal cord. The immune system attacks the protective sheath on axons, thin cables that connect neurons. The damage reduces communication between nerves resulting in decreased motor and cognitive function. The damage eventually causes scarring called sclerosis. MS produces several symptoms, including vision loss, muscle spasms, fatigue, and lack of balance. Other severe symptoms include unclear speech, tremors, severe pain, and reduced mobility.

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All about remission

MS happens in bouts at first, called relapse-remitting MS. In the early stages, special cells reduce inflammation, allowing the nerves to heal. The period between healing and another flare-up is called remission. Remission can happen over months or even years. Over time, however, the period between bouts decreases while the degree of disability increases. There are also rapidly progressing forms of MS, with each flare-up leaving irreversible damage. Nevertheless, remission is a hopeful time for multiple sclerosis patients. The period between flares gives patients time to manage and live daily life.

A healthy diet

MS symptoms vary from patient to patient, but all can benefit from a healthy diet and exercise. A healthy diet reduces the risk of disability and even lessens the risk of relapses. While there is no specific diet for MS, patients will benefit from whole foods. Avoiding sugars, alcohol, and processed foods also help.

Peaceful exercise

Along with diet, exercise helps with weight management and cardiovascular health. The pain that comes with MS can make movement difficult. Stick to low-impact routines that still strengthen the muscles. Water aerobics, stretching, yoga, and walking are great options. Exercise also helps release endorphins to improve mood and reduce the risk of depression.

Emotional and mental well-being

With multiple sclerosis comes a tremendous emotional toll. The stress of dealing with symptoms and anxiety of an upcoming episode can impact a patient’s emotional well-being. Finding peace during remission often involves managing these emotions. Meditation, relaxation, and other stress management techniques are vital. In addition, finding a group of like-minded people for support and using counseling services help patients to enjoy life.

Mobility and cognitive health

As MS progresses, it can severely reduce mobility. Using mobility aids can help patients still perform day-to-day activities and even sports. MS is also likely to cause some cognitive decline that continues during remission. Memory loss, decreased attention span, and trouble processing information affects work and relationships. Spending time to read, write, and play challenging games all help cognitive function. Having open conversations with coworkers and loved ones can provide much-needed support during this time.

Hope with MS

The symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis are complex and debilitating. Periods of remission offer individuals more freedom to perform everyday tasks with less difficulty. Peace comes from managing symptoms, staying healthy, and finding ways to enjoy life. With comprehensive treatment, individuals that have MS can still enjoy life’s simple pleasures.

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