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5 Wellness Tips to Help Control Your Multiple Sclerosis

Managing MSIf you have multiple sclerosis (MS), what triggers your symptoms – numbness, muscle weakness, fatigue, blurry vision or other problems – may be a mystery. Stress can play a role. So can infections. You may always be on the lookout for ways to prevent flare-ups.

“Patients with MS often find wellness advice online, but much of it isn’t supported by scientific evidence,” says neurologist Mary Rensel, MD. “It’s easy to become distracted by, and spend too much money on, products or behaviors that may have little or no effect on your MS.”

But more and more scientific research is identifying what truly does temper MS symptoms. Dr. Rensel, Director of Cleveland Clinic’s Multiple Sclerosis Health and Wellness Initiative, has studied recent findings and turned them into wellness recommendations. She says all MS patients should have these five things:

1. A low-salt Mediterranean diet. Most studies agree that the Mediterranean diet — rich in fish, olive oil, whole grains, vegetables and nuts — is an effective anti-inflammatory diet. That makes it a wise choice if you have MS, an inflammatory disorder of the central nervous system, Dr. Rensel says. Some research indicates that a Mediterranean-style diet helps maintain brain health and may reduce the risk of MS.

Other studies have found that too much salt in your diet can trigger MS symptoms. “If you have MS, limit sodium to less than 2,000 mg a day,” Dr. Rensel says.

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