Lifestyle choices impact the outcome and development of many health disorders. Smoking is a known risk factor for developing many illnesses but did you know it can exacerbate or worsen disease?
A recent study showed that Multiple Sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease of the brain and spinal cord, appears to progress more quickly in people who continue to smoke compared to those who quit.
The study, performed in Sweden, looked at the smoking habits of 700 people with a new diagnosis of MS. The researchers report that in this group of 700 people receiving a new diagnosis, 65% of people quit smoking while 35% continued to smoke.
In those who continued to smoke, the disease progressed quicker and caused more disability. This finding is particularly important because treatments for MS are much less effective as the disease progresses.
What Can You Do?
Resolve to adopt more “wellness” habits this year. Wellness is a lifelong commitment to engaging in healthy practices that improve how you feel, think and move. By participating in these activities, like smoking cessation, individuals living with MS can take back some control and possibly lessen long term disability, fatigue and pain.
Make good lifestyle choices everyday by:
- Eating a healthy plant-based diet
- Exercising routinely
- Maintaining sufficient Vitamin D levels
- Abstaining from tobacco use
- Engaging in health maintenance with a primary care provider
- Incorporating stress management techniques
- Remaining active in the community and workplace
To quit smoking, consult your primary care provider to help find resources and programs available to aid you. Learn more tips to improve your brain health, overall wellness—and ultimately, your quality of life at HealthyBrains.org.