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Multiple Sclerosis (MS) - Home Treatment

If you have multiple sclerosis (MS), it is important to find ways of coping with the practical and emotional demands of the disease. These are different for everyone, so home treatment varies from person to person.

Home treatment may involve making it easier to get around your home, dealing with depression, handling specific symptoms, and getting support from your family and friends.

  • Modify your home to keep it safe and easy to get around. For example, to help prevent falls, install grab bars in the bathroom and don't use throw rugs. And try adjusting your daily schedule so that your routine is less stressful or tiring.
  • Be active, either on your own or with the help of a physical therapist.
  • Get help with urination problems. At some time, most people with MS have bladder problems. Your doctor may prescribe a medicine to help you.
  • Avoid getting overheated. Increased body temperature can temporarily make your symptoms worse. Use an air conditioner, keep your home somewhat cool, and avoid hot swimming pools and hot tubs. During warm or hot weather, exercise in an air-conditioned area rather than outdoors.
  • Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, grains, cereals, legumes, poultry, fish, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products. A balanced diet for a person who has MS is the same as that recommended for most healthy adults.
  • Change how and what you eat if you are having problems swallowing.
    • Thicker drinks make swallowing easier. Try milk shakes or juices in gelatin form.
    • Avoid foods such as crackers or cakes that crumble easily. These can cause choking.
    • Soft foods need less chewing. Use a blender to prepare food for easiest chewing.
    • Eat frequent, small meals to avoid fatigue from eating heavy meals.

Ask your doctor about physical therapy and occupational therapy to help you manage at work and home.

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Make all efforts to preserve your health. Proper diet, rest, wise use of energy, and practical and emotional support from your family, friends, and doctor can all be very helpful.

For more advice about coping with MS at home, contact the National Multiple Sclerosis Society at www.nationalmssociety.org.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 15, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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