By Dr Ananya Mandal, MD
Multiple sclerosis is a lifelong, incurable illness that is rapidly progressing and severely debilitating. The condition is managed with long-term medication regimens and progression of the disease leads to severe symptoms and eventually death.
The management of this condition may also involve modifications being made to normal daily living. This helps a patient adapt to living with their condition and to retain as much bodily function and independence as possible on a day-to-day basis.
Some of the measures that may be taken after an individual is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis include:
Multiple sclerosis is a long-term and progressive disorder in which the patient requires regular and routine monitoring to keep track of their health and how they are coping with the disease.
Self care is a very important part of helping a patient live a healthy and productive life. Self care includes taking responsibility for one’s own well being and health through exercising regularly in order to stay fit and taking measures to prevent illnesses and accidents.
Maintaining a good level of self care helps a patient lead a better quality of life and minimizes the likelihood of associated problems such as anxiety, depression, fatigue and pain. Engaging in regular physical activity also helps patients maintain an active and relatively independent life for as long as possible.
A healthy diet can help maintain good health and also prevent other concomitant diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
Measures a person can take to prevent ill health include receiving regular influenza and pneumococcal vaccines and being vigilant in detecting and treating infections.
Maintaining mental health
A long-term illness such as multiple sclerosis can put a severe strain on the mental health of patients as well as their care givers. Worsening symptoms and declining health and ability can lead to depression, frustration, anxiety and even suicidal tendencies among patients as well as those close to the patient. Any measures a patient can take to maintain their mental health can help them cope with the condition and decrease the risk of the emotional problems associated with the condition.
Reviewed by Sally Robertson, BSc
Last Updated: Feb 16, 2014