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Vacationing With Multiple Sclerosis

Your guide to planning a safe and healthy trip with multiple sclerosis

Preventing and Managing Medical Problems While Away continued...

For instance, many people with MS are prone to bladder infections. In addition to provoking discomfort, the sudden onset of such an infection seems to activate relapses, according to Fox.

"You don't want to be stuck in Fiji without an antibiotic. Most doctors are willing to give patients with recurrent infections a prescription for when they travel," Fox tells WebMD. So if you're susceptible, ask your doctor for a prescription before your vacation.

Then there's the MS vacationer's worst nightmare: a relapse. Standard treatment of a relapse is a course of steroids, usually given at a hospital. "That could be a challenge when you're traveling, but steroids should be freely available at a local hospital," Fox says. If the symptoms are mild and not that disruptive, Fox suggests that vacationers can probably wait until they get home to seek medical attention.

Dramatic improvements in accessibility make it easier for people with MS to enjoy a variety of vacation options. So do changing perceptions among the medical community. Whereas doctors used to tell their MS patients to steer clear of exertion, that's no longer the case.

"It turns out the exercise is good for patients. It increases their sense of well-being and probably optimizes their functioning more so than sitting around not doing much," Fox tells WebMD.

So if you have MS, body surfing or skiing from dawn to dusk may not be part of your vacation's itinerary. But you probably can do these activities in moderation. The key is to know your body's limits and pay attention to the cues it gives you.

"There's nothing you can't do with MS, as long as you can do it," Fox says."

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