An estimated 2.5 million people worldwide, including 400,000 in the U.S., live with MS (multiple sclerosis). Carrie Hersh, DO, MSc, Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health Assistant Program Director for MS Wellness says “there’s a persuasive case for keeping individuals with MS healthy”. Staying healthy can:
- reduce related disease complications
- keep individuals in the workplace
- enhance intellectual and occupational health
- help maintain social engagement
- decrease the burden of high medical costs
Knowledge is Power
It is well known that exercise, good nutrition and other wellness components are essential to good health. For people with multiple sclerosis (MS), these practices are especially important. Studies have shown that exercise can help manage MS symptoms, reduce complications, improve cognitive function and boost mood. Also, people with MS who exercise and maintain a healthy weight retain a higher level of physical ability over time.
“The complex interplay of MS, other medical conditions, and lifestyle has significant impact on the overall health of the person living with MS. High-quality general medical care and a healthy lifestyle can work synergistically to improve health and quality of life,” says Dr. Hersh.
A Form of Empowerment
At the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, wellness is an integral part of MS treatment. Since 2016, Dr. Hersh has offered wellness consultations that address nutrition, exercise, the importance of vitamin D supplementation and tobacco cessation, sleep and stress reduction. A variety of complementary approaches, such as yoga, meditation and stress management, is also encouraged.
“People with MS who follow a healthier lifestyle have more energy and manage their daily routine with greater ease. Healthy lifestyle practices allow them to feel more empowered despite living with a complex and unpredictable disease,” says Dr. Hersh.
Interested in learning more? Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, NV in collaboration MSSA Society is offering a “Health and Wellness” patient education series during the month of May 2018. For more information go to: https://healthybrains.org/hbevent/.
Learn more tips on how to live with MS at: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/11605-multiple-sclerosis-ms-living-with-ms