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The Impact of Stress on People Living with MS

Researchers have known for years that stress can negatively affect health; it can raise blood pressure, increase the risk of obesity and depression, and cause gastrointestinal issues. Stress can also severely impact individuals who are living with autoimmune diseases, especially individuals who are living with multiple sclerosis.

What Causes Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis develops when the immune system attacks the protective covering known as the myelin sheath, which covers the nerves that make up the central nervous system.

How Does Stress Affect Individuals Living With Multiple Sclerosis?

Numerous medical studies have shown that periods of high stress or periods of prolonged stress can cause the development of lesions, or scar tissue, on the brain and spinal cord. These lesions can cause numbness, tingling, paralysis and pain and negatively impact mobility.

What Are the Signs of Stress?

Some signs of stress include frequent or prolonged feelings of anger, frustration, anxiety or tension. Other signs include mood swings, headaches, tooth grinding, neck and shoulder pain, stomach pain, and changes in blood pressure.

Tips to Manage Stress When Living with MS

While thinking about stress negatively impacting your MS may make you stress out even more, stop and take a deep breath. You can reduce your stress and protect your health using a few tools:

Relax. We get it - it is easier said than done, especially when you do not feel well. Learn some stress-reducing techniques such as relaxation breathing to help you work through stressful situations.

Exercise regularly. Exercise is an excellent way to reduce stress and feel better. Exercise also increases blood and oxygen flow, which will lower your blood pressure naturally and help you relax.

Eat well-balanced meals. A healthy diet is a key component of feeling good, and eating healthy foods can help you fight through flares.

Get enough sleep. Being tired contributes to stress and causes flares. When you feel run down, you are at risk of an MS attack.

Skip substances. You may feel like relaxing with a drink or cigarette, but while these things can temporarily bring you stress relief, be careful not to become reliant on these escapes. Additionally, smoking and drinking to excess can exacerbate your MS.

Learn about stem cell therapy. You do not have to live with the pain and discomfort of MS. Stem cell therapy from Innovations Stem Cell can help reduce pain and uncomfortable symptoms. Learn more today and schedule a consultation. Call 214-256-1462 today.

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