This post was originally written when I had very little experience of serious Blogging. It was badly written, poorly structured, and didn’t focus on a multiple sclerosis lifestyle as it should have done.
So, as part of a curating cleanup, I have rewritten a lot of the article.
What is life like with Multiple Sclerosis
One of the main areas of lifestyle which can help overcome MS, is diet. A great deal is written on this subject and many books advocate the exclusion of all red meat and gluten. Gluten includes all flour based foods such as pasta, bread and pastry to name but a few.
I, personally, have not been following this regime, although my mother has for many years. I cannot see it making a difference to her and I am more than a little partial to a nice fillet steak. To my mind living with multiple sclerosis should not mean denying yourself what pleasures you can still enjoy. However with the onset of IBS-like symptoms I am being forced to reconsider my position. I am avoiding milk, but not all dairy, and after my next consultation with my gastroenterologist, I may need to give up the gluten as well.
That said, I do maintain, or think I do, a healthy balanced diet. Always fresh produce and NOT processed foods of any kind. OK! so we do have tins of baked beans in the larder, but that’s it.
Adopting a Healthy Lifestyle
I thought, for many years, that because I had a healthy diet, I had a healthy lifestyle. I did not, I drank too often, I smoked and insufficient exercise was being taken.
Should you stop smoking? Yes, probably, but I shall use a quote from a specialist I have consulted: “I can give you a hundred good reasons to stop smoking, but multiple sclerosis is not one of them.”. This is bound to be controversial and I am sure to get angry emails in response.
Smoking IS bad for you and every smoker should stop. I was a smoker and it was only a few months ago that I decided to stop. It wasn’t the MS that prompted me to quit, but I do feel better since I took the plunge.
I have stopped off and on. But, the worst action I have taken is that I started again. It makes me dizzy, impairs my mobility more than it aleady is and exacerbates the abdominal pain I have. AND I STILL do it! I must be mad.
Should you stop drinking? No, but you should certainly moderate it. I cannot be sure, but I think that too regular drinking was a factor in bringing on my latest MS relapse. It wasn’t the only factor, as I also believe that periods of strenuous physical work had a bearing on the situation also. However, I do enjoy an occasional drink and I do find that a small nightcap helps ease many of the aches and pains that you can get from multiple sclerosis. One of my main multiple sclerosis symptoms is loss of balance and unsteadiness of gait and ironically two or three beers of a Saturday evening appears to help even this.
I have since all but stopped drinking beer. An occasional glass of cider or a glass or two of red wine, I consider acceptable. I have not drunk spirits of any kind for very many years.
Does cannabis help? I have heard many reports that commend the benefits of cannabis, marijuana, hemp, hash, ganja whatever you care to call it, but I do not necessarily concur.
I had been an occasional, perhaps not so occasional, spliff smoker in my youth. You might think that would have prevented or delayed multiple sclerosis; it did not.
Smoking tobacco is not good, so a cannabis spliff is unlikely to be beneficial. Of course there are other means of cannabis intake, the most interesting I heard recently was from an older gentleman who marinates his in whisky and has a tot every evening.
I haven’t tried this yet, although it does sound appealing. You may also incorporate cannabis in the baking of cakes and biscuits. However as cannabis is still illegal in the UK I/we cannot openly condone it in public!
My Lifestyle Opinion
I don’t know why I should offer my opinion, nobody will heed it; I seldom do.
Stop smoking; this is a definite. Restrict drinking of alcohol stringently. Look very closely at your diet; you should strongly consider the standard guideline of 5 a day for fruit and vegetables.
I know I say I ignore my own advice but I don’t really. I don’t smoke tobacco, I very rarely drink beer and I eat lots of fruit and vegetables every day.
Interestingly, I found a multiple sclerosis lifestyle article in the New York Times. It corroborates my opinion, so take a look.
My own post: A Plethora of Neurological Dysfunctions may be your starting point for further exploration of my Blog.