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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Dietary Recommendations for Managing MS by Bridget Sandorford

Dietary Recommendations for Managing MS Multiple sclerosis can be a devastating diagnosis, but learning to manage the disease can ensure that you maintain a good quality of life and diminish your symptoms. One way that many have found to manage their condition is to focus on diet to avoid exacerbating symptoms. There have been many "best" diets promoted for multiple sclerosis, but the research has not shown that any of them are the "right" way for managing MS. Instead, there are some general recommendations that may or may not help you manage symptoms, depending on your own body type and your unique condition. Here are a few dietary recommendations that may help you to manage your multiple sclerosis: Eat More Fish Oil Fish oil is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are not only good for your heart but can also help you to reduce inflammation in your body, which can help diminish the symptoms of MS. You can get all the fish oil you need by eating fatty fish like salmon and mackerel. However, if you don't like the taste of fish, you can still get the benefits by taking fish oil supplements. These are sold as capsules that you can take every day, or you can get oil to add to your smoothies or other recipes. Just be careful to eat a diet that is low in overall fat, as this has been shown to improve the symptoms of MS. Cut Out Gluten More and more people have been shown to have an intolerance or a sensitivity to gluten, which can cause a number of health disorders, including immune-related problems and inflammation that can lead to poor health and disease. Even if you don't have an intolerance to gluten, it can still cause inflammation in the body, which can aggravate the symptoms of MS. Simply cutting out gluten -- found in breads, cakes, cookies, pasta, and any other products that contain flour -- and focus on other sources of complex carbohydrates, like brown rice, oats (as long as there is no cross-contamination), and quinoa. Cut Out Dairy Dairy has also been shown to increase inflammation in the body, though there is some debate about this. You may find that cow's milk gives you problems, but that goat's milk does not. Or you may find that milk is an issue, but that some types of cheese or eggs are not. Most seem to agree that casein is the problem ingredient found in dairy. Experiment with an elimination diet to see what helps you in reducing symptoms the most. Get More Vitamin D Some research has suggested that there is a link between low levels of Vitamin D and a risk of developing MS. The link is most pronounced in children who have low Vitamin D and then develop MS later in life. People with MS have also been shown to have lower bone density and to be at higher risk of developing osteoporosis, which definitely indicates a need for more Vitamin D. You can get Vitamin D from direct exposure to sunlight, by eating fatty fish like salmon and mackerel, and by taking supplements. Eat Plenty of Fruits and Veggies One thing that everyone can agree on -- whether you have MS or not -- is that a healthy diet consists of eating a wide variety of fresh fruits and veggies. By doing so, you will get the nutrients you need, you will reduce inflammation in the body, and you will improve your overall health. You'll feel better and you'll help to diminish the symptoms of your MS. Proper medical care, medication and therapy are, of course, the best approach to treating and managing your multiple sclerosis. However, improving the quality of your diet may also be able to help you reduce your symptoms. Try these common suggestions to find out what works the best for you and brings you the best results. About the Author: Bridget Sandorford is a freelance food and culinary writer, where recently she’s been researching all culinary schools in the US. In her spare time, she enjoys biking, painting and working on her first cookbook.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Going through the motions

I am just trying to live one day at a time, one minute, even as my mind keeps extending farther out into the days and weeks before me. Even the idea of little tasks and responsibilities fill me with panic. The only way to get through is by continually dragging myself back to right where I am in the moment, continually reassuring myself that I only need to think about the thing right in front of me. I just need to focus on that one thing. I guess that is the only way I am really hanging on right now. The more focused and present I can be, the less my panic. The problem is that it keeps sweeping over me in overwhelming waves. I am so ready for a solid shift back to feeling good, or even just ok all the time. Right now I truly value the minutes of ok. In times like these, I know it is good to go back to gratitude meditations. The trouble is, I am so overly fixated on the things that are not working, the worst possible outcomes. Sometimes these visions make me want to avoid even the things I should enjoy. Now I will try... I am grateful for the growing warmth and light of the early spring. I am grateful for my strength and generally good health. I am grateful for my friends, family and those I love. I am grateful for my home and creature comforts. I am grateful to be employed. I am grateful for my cats. I am grateful for yoga and moving arts. I am grateful that others do not judge me with the harshness I judge myself. Despite the darkness and the struggle, I believe I am grateful to be alive. I am grateful that right in this moment I am ok.