4 MS-Focused Ways to Support Your Immune System
- by Shekinah R.
- September 19, 2016
Shekinah R. is a paid employee of Teva Neuroscience, Inc.
The immune system is a complex system made up of a vast network of cells and proteins that work together to provide your body with a natural system of defenses. Since multiple sclerosis is believed to be an immune-mediated disease, in which the immune system attacks certain structures and cells in the central nervous system, it is important to understand the value of a healthy immune system.
Taking good care of your immune system is vital to your overall health. You can think of the immune system as a team of football players. Each player has their specific responsibility; however, they are all working towards one common goal: to keep you healthy.
There are many different lifestyle changes you can make to support your immune system. Modifications to your diet, activity level, stress level, and sleep can impact your overall well-being. Before you consider a diet modification or exercise program, I encourage you to first consult with your health care provider. Together you and your health care provider can develop a plan that best suits your needs.
- Eat Healthy Eating a well-balanced diet that consists of low-fat foods high in fiber and antioxidants is important to overall health. Foods high in antioxidants include fruits, vegetables and their juices, whole-grain products, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices, and even chocolate!
- Get Moving Moderate exercise can help support general health. I’ve found I stay more dedicated to workout regimens when I have an accountability partner rather than if I go it alone. If going to the gym is too difficult, put on your favorite music at home and move around. According to the NMSS, the key is consistency; do a little bit each day.
- Reduce Stress Be mindful of your stressors. Stress triggers the overproduction of neurochemicals in the brain that can lower your immune function. In turn, reducing stress may benefit your general health.
- Rest Up Say yes to sleep! Eight hours of sleep every night can promote overall health. It may also be helpful to remove stimuli like televisions, cell phones and other distractions from the area where you sleep to ensure your rest is not interrupted.
In closing I would like to commend you on taking positive steps to stay healthy. Small changes can make a big impact on your health and wellness. I encourage you to discuss the best ways to promote your overall health with your health care provider.
Shared Solutions® Nurse
About The Author
Shekinah R., RN, MSCN is a MS Certified Nurse at Teva's Shared Solutions®. She has six years of nursing experience with multiple sclerosis.
COPAXONE® (glatiramer acetate injection) is a prescription medicine that is used to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS), to include clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting disease, and active secondary progressive disease, in adults.
Do not use COPAXONE® if you are allergic to glatiramer acetate or mannitol.