If you’ve been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), you’re likely under the care of a doctor. While you shouldn’t discontinue the prescription medications you’ve been given, you may want to consider trying natural remedies to treat the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Here are 10 simple, soothing options.
Get More Vitamin D
Many people with multiple sclerosis are low on vitamin D. In fact, some studies suggest that low levels of vitamin D can cause multiple sclerosis. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, increased chance of illness, depression, bone pain and hair loss. Fortunately, you can raise your vitamin D levels by simply getting more sun and taking a vitamin D supplement.
Drink Green Tea
One study found that people with multiple sclerosis who lack certain antioxidants might notice their symptoms getting worse. You can combat this issue by drinking green tea, since it’s packed with the antioxidants you need. Note that it’s not recommended that people with MS drink soda or alcohol, so consider replacing those drinks with green tea.
Get Plenty of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
One of the best ways to manage your symptoms is to reduce inflammation in the body, and omega-3 fatty acids can do the job. You can get lots of these healthy fats by eating fish — especially wild sockeye salmon. But if you’re not a big fan of seafood, you can also get omega-3 fatty acids from walnuts, hemp seeds and flax.
Avoid Sugar and Processed Foods
Your diagnosis of MS is a good excuse to eat better, and that means reducing the amount of refined sugar and saturated fat you get. After all, saturated fat can make symptoms worse and make you gain weight — which can worsen your symptoms — so limit it to about 15 grams per day or less. Refined sugars can also lead to weight gain and fatigue, so limit these, too. If you’re craving something sweet, stick to fruit rather than cake, cookies and other processed sweets.
Take a Multivitamin
Vitamin D is likely not the only vitamin you’re low on. You might also be missing other key vitamins and minerals that could help you manage your symptoms. You can get testing done to discover what vitamins and minerals you need. You’ll most likely find you need a multivitamin that contains helpful nutrients including vitamin A, C, E, selenium and calcium.
EAT LOTS OF VEGETABLES
Vegetables are good for everyone, but especially people with MS. In particular, green vegetables (such as kale, spinach, broccoli and cucumbers) are rich in the phytonutrients you need.
It’s common for people with MS to be sensitive to gluten, which can cause inflammation. That’s the last thing you need when you have MS. So if you suspect you’re allergic to or sensitive to gluten, limit the pasta, breads, crackers and cereal in your diet since they likely contain wheat, barley or rye.
GET REGULAR MASSAGE
Life with multiple sclerosis can be stressful and even painful, but getting a massage can bring the relief you need. Not only can a massage relax you and reduce your pain, but it can also reduce any stiffness in your body.
FIND OUT IF YOU HAVE ALLERGIES
Being allergic to certain foods can cause inflammation in your body, making your symptoms worse. This is why it’s important to get tested for food allergies and sensitivities, not just for gluten but also for other allergens, such as milk, eggs, nuts and shellfish.
GET SOME EXCERCISE
Another way to bring some relief to your bones and muscles is to work out. Find an exercise you like to do and that your joints can handle, and do it a few times a week to feel a little better. Yoga and walking are two great options that many people can do to ensure their muscles don’t atrophy and to stay healthy in general. These natural remedies should help you manage the symptoms of MS at home so you can feel better than ever between doctor appointments!