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Everyday tips for living with relapsing MS (RMS)

Empower yourself with knowledge. Here are some diet, exercise, and emotional well-being tips and insights to consider if you are living with RMS. Any changes you make to your current routine should be discussed with your doctor.

Are you nourishing your body with good food choices?

MS specialists suggest that people with RMS adhere to the same low-fat, high-fiber diet recommendations of the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society.1 The recommended diet should consist of the following2:

  • Limited sugar and processed foods
  • Increased amounts of fruits and vegetables
  • Lean sources of protein
  • Healthy fats
  • Adequate fiber and fluids
People eating healthy

Practical tips for food preparation

Living with MS can mean that tasks like shopping or cooking can take longer or be more difficult. Consider consulting with your doctor or occupational therapist* to learn additional ways to save energy or apply specialized tools to your kitchen for meal prep.3

  1. Shopping — Take advantage of local grocery delivery services or grocery shop online to avoid crowded stores and heavy lifting.

  2. Tools — There are many gadgets that have been designed to help you. An occupational therapist can direct you to those that would be the most useful, including:

    1. Jar and ring-pull openers

    2. Easy-grip handles on cutlery, peelers, and other utensils

    3. Tap turners — large handles to fit over existing taps

    4. Knob turner — adaptable gadget that fits many different shapes and sizes to help with controls

    5. Two-handed cups

    6. Non-slip chopping boards

*Occupational therapists are integral members of the MS health care team, working with patients and their families to develop and implement practical solutions to the challenges of everyday living with MS.4

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is also a great resource for additional diet tips and for learning how to nourish your body with healthy food choices.

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Exercise for people with RMS

If you are considering incorporating exercise into your daily routine, it is important to consult with your doctor first. With the understanding that individual experiences may vary, exercise may be helpful in several areas:

  • Strength building
  • Bladder control and bowel function
  • Fatigue and depression
  • Positive outlook
  • Opportunity to participate in social activities
  • Mood enhancement
People walking

Light exercises for people with RMS

Yoga may be beneficial for people with RMS because it can help with relaxation, breathing and other deliberate movements. It is important to consult your doctor before beginning your yoga practice.6

  • Every pose can be modified to its simplest form and can be practiced in a variety of positions, including standing, sitting (in a wheelchair), or lying down

Walking in the water may provide benefits to people with RMS, but a doctor should always be consulted before trying out a new exercise. Water exercises can help people with RMS move in ways they may not be able to move on land. Here are some reasons why7:

  • Buoyancy — creates the feeling of being lighter or floating
  • Viscosity — gives resistance to movement and can help to improve muscle strength
  • Temperature control — cooler water can help maintain lower core body temperature and can also be helpful to people with heat sensitivity
  • Hydrostatic pressure — the sensation of compression can provide support for standing activities

Download this MS & Wellness Knowledge Brochure for more information about the importance of exercise.

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is also a great resource for additional exercise tips for RMS.

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Being in tune with your emotional wellness

Taking care of your emotional wellness is also very important. RMS affects parts of the brain that control mood, so being emotional is both a symptom of and a reaction to RMS that should be monitored.8

RMS impacts everyone differently, and the emotional changes experienced can be managed in a variety of different ways, including counseling and some light exercise. Talk to your doctor about whether you need treatment for emotional changes.8

Consider keeping a Journal. Everyone's story is different, which is why you should write yours. Keeping a journal will help you get your thoughts on paper and may help you sort out how you are feeling.9 You may also consider sharing this with your doctor on the next visit.

Download the MS & Symptom Management Knowledge Brochure for more information on managing your emotional wellness.

People holding hands

Additional resources to support you

Download the MS & Building a Support Network Knowledge Brochure to learn how to build the right network of support and see how it can be an enjoyable and fulfilling process.

Download the MS & Pregnancy Knowledge Brochure to get an overview of what having MS can mean for men and women who are thinking of having children.


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