A healthy lifestyle is an import part of everyone’s life. Good diet, exercise, relationships and social interaction are some of the facets of a lifestyle that can help people keep their mind and body healthy.
For people with MS, a good lifestyle is very important, too. Keeping yourself as healthy as possible can alleviate some of the symptoms, delay disability, and sustain your mental wellbeing. Managing symptoms for someone with MS is an important feature of staying healthy. By finding ways to deal with symptoms, you can improve your health, reduce stress and maintain independence.
There are a number of health professionals who can help and advise. It is recommended that you keep in touch with your neurologist, as he or she will be able to refer you to others or provide information that will assist you.
Staying healthy is about recognising the way MS affects you and making choices that have a positive impact on your life, and on the lives of those around you.
You might find that symptoms of MS affect what you can eat or how you prepare meals. Learning new ways of cooking or using energy-saving tips can help you carry on eating what you enjoy.
Adjusting to MS will not always mean changing your diet, but sometimes it can help. With careful planning, perhaps with the help of a dietician, you can make sure you meet your dietary needs – even if they change over time.
Everyone benefits from being physically fit, including people with MS. However MS affects you, there are exercises that can be helpful, to stay as healthy and fit as possible and to improve some of your symptoms and their effects. All kinds of physical movement can be of benefit.
Physiotherapy can also be particularly useful, with the help of a physiotherapist you can find exercises that meet your specific needs and abilities.
Stress is a normal part of everyday life. Not all stress is bad – getting married, having friends over for a meal, having a baby can all be sources of stress and yet are happy occasions that most of us would look forward to. However, too much stress can make it hard to cope with our normal day-to-day tasks.
Prolonged or chronic stress can lead to ill health. One definition of stress that sums it up quite well is; stress is when the demands made upon us, physically and mentally, outweigh our ability to deal with them - resulting in reduced wellbeing.
Issue 4 is out now! MS Research is a bi-annual research eZine. In each edition we will be sharing the latest updates from scientific and social MS research, from here in Ireland and internationally. In this issue Research prioritisation survey results Research event reports Causes of MS Biotin Physiotherapy Psychology Stem cells Myelin repair ECTRIMS And so much more…. Get in touch Contact Harriet Doig, Information, Advocacy and Research Officer: email email@example.com or call (01) 6781600
New international research published into treatment expectations of people with MS New international research finds that people living with MS prioritise slowing disease progression when considering treatment choices. People with MS want therapies that reduce the number of relapses they suffer and to achieve better control of symptoms like fatigue and pain. The TaP-MS survey, published on 8th December, gathered over 1,000 responses from people with MS in countries ranging from the US, Canada and Australia to Sweden, Germany, France and the UK. It found that as well as seeking to stop disease progression people with MS want more vitality and energy. A new University College London School of Pharmacy report (Greater Expectations: the Future Hopes of People with Multiple Sclerosis, also published last week) highlights the value of early diagnosis and universal access to medicines that people with MS and their doctors judge are most likely to benefit them. It stresses the need for personalised combinations of medical, pharmaceutical, nursing, psychological, social and economic support for people with MS and calls for regular auditing of care delivery standards. Greater Expectations argues that current economic evaluation methods can under-estimate the true value of better MS treatments. Fears about the affordability of high quality health and social care can also be exaggerated. The UCL School of Pharmacy report in addition points to the potential for MS prevention programmes aimed at reducing vitamin D deficiency related risks and cutting smoking and obesity rates amongst teenagers. However, providing disease modifying treatments and investing in ongoing biomedical research are central to further reducing MS related harm. Greater Expectations’ recommendations include: Governments throughout Europe should publicly commit to providing everyone with MS with the treatments that they, their neurologists and other professional advisers judge will offer them maximum benefit; There ought to be open access to reliable, up-to-date, figures on all forms of MS DMT use on a country by country and locality basis; Care funders should provide adequate facilities for the early identification of MS and monitoring treatment outcomes. This includes assuring good access to neurologists and to MRI scanning (Ireland has the lowest number of neurologists per heard in Europe and long waiting times to access MRI) as well as maintaining high quality disease registries; People with MS and organisations representing them have a vital part to play in raising MS care standards, preventing access inequalities and contributing to pharmaceutical literacy Download TaP-MS (Treatment Expectations and Priorities of People with MS) survey Download Greater Expectations: the Future Hopes of People with Multiple Sclerosis Further reading MS Ireland's Time to Act report on the importance of early diagnosis and treatment in MS MS Treatment Decisions - MS Ireland’s guide to making informed decisions about MS treatment options
Many people with multiple sclerosis experience falls, which can have significant consequences for the individual. The MS Research Team at the University of Limerick, led by Professor Susan Coote, have developed a falls prevention programme for people with multiple sclerosis and we would like to assess how suitable and effective the programme is. What do I have to do? The 'Better Balance' programme consists of 12 weeks of twice-weekly classes run by a chartered physiotherapist. The classes will consist of 45 minutes of exercises aimed at improving balance, strength and walking and 45 minutes of education on topics such as fear of falling, task analysis, getting up from the floor, what devices can assist you – these will include group discussions and problem solving. There will also be a home exercise programme provided to each participant. The classes will take place in Limerick and Galway and will be offered in the morning and/or evening depending on the preference of the individuals attending. Beginning in January, interested individuals will be asked to attend an assessment day where a chartered physiotherapist will test your strength, balance, walking and feelings about falls. We will then give you falls diaries to complete for two months. This is like a calendar where you will write down if you had a fall. After these two months, the classes will begin. When the 12 weeks of classes are finished you will again have your strength, balance, walking and feelings about falls assessed and complete another two months of falls diaries to see if the intervention has been successful. After completing the two months of falls diaries you will attend one last assessment with the researcher to assess your strength, balance, walking and feelings about falls. Who can participate? To be eligible to take part you must have multiple sclerosis, be over the age of 18 years, have experienced a fall in the last three months, and be able to walk for 10 metres with or without a walking aid (one stick or one crutch). Get in touch If you would be interested in taking part in this study or have any further questions about the study you can contact the researchers by calling Laura Comber on 086 0231335 or email Laura.firstname.lastname@example.org or Prof. Susan Coote on (061) 234278 or email email@example.com
Letter to Minister Simon Harris regarding ocrelizumab Today, (Monday, 11th December) MS Ireland have written to Minister for Health Simon Harris regarding new medication ocrelizumab, which is the first ever medication to be indicated for primary progressive MS. MS Ireland are asking the Minister to take action to ensure that this medication is made available to people with MS in Ireland as soon as possible. Further reading Download letter to Minister Simon Harris. Information about ocrelizumab Get in touch Questions or comments regarding this letter can be directed to Harriet Doig, Information, Advocacy and Research Officer – firstname.lastname@example.org
Irish life sciences company, Genomics Medicine Ireland (GMI) have announced an important scientific research study aimed at unlocking the mystery of the genetic and lifestyle factors that contribute to MS. Volunteers with MS currently being treated at St. Vincent’s University Hospital, Tallaght Hospital, Cork University Hospital or Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry are invited to participate in the study which aims to identify these factors in order to find better treatments, diagnoses and, ultimately, a cure for MS. GMI also hopes to rollout additional study sites around the country in future. MS Ireland welcomes this exciting new study as an opportunity to further understand the causes and mechanisms of MS, which will hopefully lead to better management and treatment of the disease in the future. Further information on the study is available in the third issue of our research eZine, Interested volunteers should speak with their clinical team at one of the current research sites for more information. Further information: Read the full press release from Genomics Medicine Ireland RTE News
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