Many effective treatments are available for MS patients. DeWitt strongly recommends finding a neurologist and medical team who have expertise in treating MS.
“It is extremely important to have a neurologist who understands MS,” DeWitt says. “There are many treatments, and it can be confusing to choose the correct treatment for the patient’s presentation.”
Prompt treatments with these MS specialists can make a huge difference in patients’ overall health as they navigate life with MS. In addition to symptom management, healthy lifestyle changes can slow down the progression of the disease, such as:
- Eating a healthy diet, especially foods high in Vitamin D
- Regular physical activity
- Not smoking or quitting if you do smoke
- Getting plenty of sleep
- Manage stress with techniques such as yoga or meditation
- Staying on top of preventive health care
“The aim now is to attempt to achieve NEDA, which means No Evidence of Disease Progression,” DeWitt says. “The important thing is to be diagnosed early, be compliant with medication, and closely follow neurological changes.”
While many unknowns still surround MS, the medical world has made huge strides in treatment over the decades, and currently promising clinical trials are underway. The initial diagnosis may be overwhelming, but most people with MS live full, productive lives.