Treating Your Body Right When You Have MS
The diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) is difficult. There are many new choices to make and with them come a focus on learning how to treat your body.
There is no known cause of MS, and while there is also no set diet that has proven to treat the severity and progression of this disease, we still can do many things to live the healthiest and fullest lives possible. The best course is to stick to the tried and true methods of living a healthy life.
Cut Out the Bad Stuff
The best way to take the reigns and begin controlling your progression is to take the best care of your health that you can. This means finally quitting smoking, cutting down on drinking, and cutting out those fast foods, processed foods, pop and sugary or fatty snacks.
This doesn’t need to be done all at once — we are only human! Choose the things that will hit you the hardest and wean yourself off of your vices, one by one.
You will be amazed at how much a thing can be holding you down and making you feel sick. You will feel huge differences in your alertness, vibrance, mood, sleep, endurance, and general feeling of wellbeing once you kick the bad stuff to the curb!
The process of cleansing has taken me years to do, and I don’t see myself ever being done. I still allow myself splurges here and there, but for the most part I have designed my diet to exclude the toxins that I used to ingest on a regular basis.
Yes, it sounds like I am telling you to eat twigs and berries for the rest of your life. Yes, it sounds like I am telling you to get rid of your fun, happy place. But I’m not.
I believe food should be enjoyed, and I still believe in having a nice drink after a hard week. But here’s the thing — you need to live a healthy life.
Preserving Your Health
The positive or negative work you put in today will directly effect the days that follow. Think about how your body feels today. Compare it to how you want it to feel. Your diet, whether healthy or unhealthy, is completely under your control.
You can surrender to your fears and feed the MS by mistreating your immune system, vitamin intake and cardiovascular health. Or you can recognize the blessings that lie within the diagnosis. We have been given a choice, most of us as young adults, to clean up our act before it is too late.
My father wasn’t sick a day in his life. He looked healthy on the outside and he worked up till his last breath.
He was young when he passed suddenly. His heart didn’t warn him that all of the fast food he had eaten had been sneaking up on him.
I was only 27 when I was diagnosed. I quit smoking that day. I stopped drinking pop a couple of years later.
By the time four years had passed, I had cut out all fast food and processed food to boot. Currently, I am working on my weight. I was blessed to be woken up at a young age.
I believe that my dogged perception about what goes into my body has made my disease progression as slight as it has been all of these years. In the past nine or so years, I have only had two confirmed relapses. I have zero daily symptoms, beyond mild fatigue.
In With the Good
There are three important things you need to remember to treat your body well: exercise, taking your medicine every day, and eating right.
Find the things that make you feel good. Choose the best exercise for you — one that makes you happy and fulfilled. Take the medicine you feel best about taking. Eat the foods that feed your body in the best ways.
The Foods You Should Fill Up On
MS and appetite changes can making eating difficult, but with some strategizing healthy eating will soon become a part of your life.
Need to relax? Have some chocolate or drink some green tea with honey. Filling up on turkey will set your mind at ease and feed your body with some lean protein. Milk and cheese are also great for relaxing the mind; they’re protein rich and filled with a natural dose of vitamin D.
Vitamin D is proven to help people who have MS. We have a bad habit of moving through our lives with incredibly low levels of the stuff and any neurologist worth their salt will test your vitamin D levels on a regular basis.
Eat plenty of oily fish. They are high in the omega-3s, which is great for your heart. They are also high in what? Yes, vitamin D!
Oily fish are a super food, filled with lots of vitamins and goodness beyond what I have mentioned. Eat fish with joy! Just don’t fry it— that would be counterproductive.
Fill up on your fruits and veggies. Yes, berries are included in this, but there are no twigs.
Seriously though, fruits and veggies are filled with so many wonderful vitamins. Many of your green veggies are also high in folic acid, which is great for neurological health. They are great for your digestive system. And if you feel like growing them on your own, then you will also get some wonderful calming exercise, and self-fulfillment out of the deal.
Spend time finding ways to love the foods that are healthiest for you. I have steadily become a foodie over the years.
I eat butter from grass-fed cows. I eat eggs from heritage chickens. I even drink organic whiskey (didn’t I tell you I love a nice drink now and then?).
The point is to decide the food and drinks you put into your body is an investment. You are not an economy car; you do not fill up on low-octane fuel — that is just not up to your standards anymore. You are a high-octane super car and you deserve only the best!