Living with multiple sclerosis, or MS, can be a daily struggle and the subject of life expectancy can be an unsettling topic. However, here are ways to take back some control over your life and health. One of the best is through eating a multiple sclerosis diet that helps improve quality of life and extend life expectancy.
Multiple Sclerosis Life Expectancy
MS is a lifelong disease that affects the central nervous system and brain. It can cause muscle issues, vision problems, fatigue, and paralysis to name just a few of its symptoms. Even with all of these symptoms, those that suffer from multiple sclerosis typically live long lives. In fact, their life expectancy is only about six years shorter than those without MS.
Currently, there are new medications that actually slow down the progression of some types of MS. These medications can also reduce symptoms and the frequency of attacks.
Multiple Sclerosis Statistics
If your loved one suffers from multiple sclerosis, he or she is not alone. There are over 2.3 million people worldwide that have been diagnosed with MS. As a diagnoses of MS can take years, it stands to reason there are many more people dealing with the disease than is currently known.
In the United States it is estimated that up to 350,000 individuals are now living with MS. Studies also show that MS is 3 1/2 times more common in women than in men. (www.everydayhealth.com)
Diet for Multiple Sclerosis
One area that an older person can control in their life is there diet. There is some research that suggests that the right diet can help reduce the symptoms of MS and extend life expectancy. Seniors with multiple sclerosis should try to avoid saturated fat, especially in the form of dairy.
Fish, on the other hand, should be added to the diet as the extra dose of omega-3 fat seems to create a positive outcome, according to a study conducted by the Swank Multiple Sclerosis Clinic of Portland, Oregon.
In addition, eating well, over a long period of time, will help with symptoms such as excessive fatigue and bowel and bladder issues. A well balanced diet can also provide a senior with additional energy and help prevent bone loss.
Finally, MS patients need to be careful which diet advice they follow as some diets, especially diet supplements, can be harmful. Do talk to your doctor before you consider taking high doses of vitamins or minerals as some can lead to toxic levels in the body.
There is currently a clinical trial underway that is studying the effects of adding vitamin D supplements to the diet of MS patients. Vitamin D is known to help a body grow strong bones, but the jury is still out on whether or not it will help MS sufferers. To learn more, it is best to discuss this with your primary care physician.
What is most important to understand is that when caring for an elderly loved one with multiple sclerosis, you will want to have a multiple sclerosis care plan that includes a healthy, well-balanced diet to ensure general good health as well as a medication plan to suppress symptoms. With this combination, the senior in your life can live a long life with a better quality of life, and that’s what matters most.