Following the advice from a wonderful book I came across recently for people with MS, I put my feet in a (washing up) bowl of cold water first thing one morning and last thing that same night. The book professed that this was a great way to improve blood circulation – by dipping your feet in cold water for ten seconds, then exercising them over a towel 10-15 times. If I had thought about this before plunging (my feet) into it, I might have reasoned that warm foot baths always make my feet feel better and so this exercise was not for me. Instead, I inflicted MS symptoms (numb feet) on myself. My feet are still numb (albeit somewhat less) now, several days and several warm foot baths later.
I am in no way suggesting that this exercise is useless; the writer of the book (New Developments for MS Sufferers) worked closely with MS patients such as Roger MacDougall who felt it made a great difference. But it is not for everyone with MS; like most therapies/treatments of MS, you need to try them out for yourself and see what works for you. In my case for instance, I have noticed that going to bed early makes a HUGE difference to how I feel the next day. I do not always get to bed by 9pm as I would like, but aiming for it means I am in bed before 10 on most nights. Try it, it might mean giving up on nights out but it really might work for you and believe me it is worth the sacrifice!
So, now that I have come to the realisation that everyone with MS needs to do different things to manage their MS, I would like to point out that the MS Diet and the lifestyle I outline here on this blog, though proven useful for the majority of people with MS who they have been tried and tested on; is not perfect for everyone with the condition. Some people for instance, might have an aversion to some of the ‘safe’ foods included in the MS diet – we are not all allergic to the same foods; finding your ideal diet is a personal mission. Though having said this, the vast majority of MS patients are allergic to cow’s milk, and to gluten – even though I myself denied this for some time, I have now realised that gluten is a problem and have accepted that I need to avoid it.
The basic diet outlined on this blog is of value to most people with MS, though you will inevitably find that you need to make your own tweaks to it. If like me for instance you tend towards anaemia; red meat is of great value – you do not need to eat a whole steak to benefit from it – stick to the rules so you don’t cross the saturated fat limit, but make sure you get your weekly dose. If you are a little underweight, legumes and brown rice are gold dust. You might need to cut them out for a while due to digestive issues but as soon as you are able to, make sure you incorporate them back into your diet. There are loads of easy recipes for instance like humous or my new favourite: lentil dip that can help you make these useful legumes a very tasty part of your diet. If, like most people with MS you suffer from constipation, you will need to re-establish a good balance of intestinal flora by taking an adaptagen or by following a gut healing diet involving the removal of wheat and dairy from your diet until you are regular again.
We are all different; make it your mission to find what’s right for you.