Guidelines for living with MS

Multiple sclerosis is a devastating diagnosis to cope with. This disease, which can be disabling, affects the central nervous system. MS occurs when the immune system damages the myelin sheath that protects nerve fibers. As the nerves themselves become damaged, functional impairments develop. Living with MS isn’t easy, but at West Hills Hospital, you can receive compassionate and supportive care from healthcare providers who are genuinely concerned about your quality of life. Whatever challenges you face with MS, we’re here to help.

Making physical health decisions
Multiple sclerosis isn’t yet curable. Your doctor can help you manage your symptoms. You’ll also learn about the effects of healthy lifestyle decisions on the progression of your disease.

You can work toward optimum health despite MS by:

  • Eating nutritionally balanced meals
  • Exercising with the guidance of your doctor
  • Quitting smoking or not starting
  • Avoiding secondhand smoke
  • Limiting alcohol use

Developing emotional resiliency
Emotional resiliency is particularly important for patients with chronic diseases. When you take care of your emotional health, you are:

  • More likely to make healthy lifestyle decisions
  • Better able to manage chronic stress
  • Better able to maintain healthy relationships
  • More likely to enjoy higher quality of life

Be mindful of your mood, and talk to your doctor if you’ve noticed that you’re experiencing persistent or severe mental health issues. You could consider speaking with a counselor. Reach out to your loved ones for support, and don’t be shy about speaking up when you need help.

Supporting your cognitive health
Many patients with MS will experience some degree of decline in cognitive functioning. Over time, you may start to notice some issues with your memory and attention.

Fortunately, enhancing your cognitive health is as easy as playing fun games, like crossword puzzles, brain teasers and Sudoku puzzles. Other ways of stimulating your brain include:

  • Reading
  • Creative writing
  • Card games
  • Social activities

At any time of the day or night, you can connect with a registered nurse at West Hills Hospital. Call (818) 676-4321, or browse the helpful health information available in our online library. Although there is no cure for MS, our team of highly trained doctors and nurses is committed to helping you live life well.

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