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Work & Multiple Sclerosis

Experts describe strategies that help multiple sclerosis patients cope with symptoms of the disease.


Researchers have begun to evaluate the role of diet and certain antioxidants in relation to MS. "There's a need for a well-balanced diet. I also recommend that patients take a multivitamin," says Walter Royal III, MD, associate professor of neurology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Other experts stress the importance of a fiber-rich diet.

Royal and other researchers are exploring the potential role of vitamins D and A in the clinical course of the disease. For now, he does not recommend specific supplementation. "It can be quite hazardous to take excessive amounts of either vitamin," Royal tells WebMD.

Alleviating Stress

For anyone with MS who needs a good reason to relax, here's one. Studies have linked stress to worsening MS symptoms. In one study, investigators recorded subjects' stressful life events unrelated to MS, like financial problems or death of a loved one. Stress caused by these events doubled the risk of an MS exacerbation.

Relaxation techniques have worked for Levy. Besides taking her medicine regularly, Levy claims that meditation has made the biggest difference in her life. "My meditation helps the most. It keeps me focused on the present and allows me to stay centered," Levy tells WebMD.

"That said, you can't stop thinking about the future altogether," she adds.

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