Coping with the ‘winter blues’ when you have MS

By: Samantha Domingo and Amy MB SullivanThe winter season can mean relief for some people with MS who are highly affected by heat in the warmer months; for others, it can mean facing the dreaded ‘winter blues.’ As the days get shorter, people may find themselves feeling sad – usually these feelings resolve as the seasons change. However, for others these feelings can turn into seasonal depression, also referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Exclusive Content

Five Health Insurance Processes and Protocols to know

By: Matt CavalloIn addition to the financial terms, you must also follow the processes and protocols determined by the terms of your health insurance plan. These processes and protocols include what is covered by the plan and how to go about ensuring the plan will cover what is prescribed. If you follow the process and protocols, then you are more likely to ensure that the health service rendered to you is covered by the plan. Here are the five health insurance processes and protocols you must know.
Exclusive Content

12 Ingredients for a Gratitude Cornucopia

By: Gay FalkowskiNearly 400 years after colonists gathered to give thanks for a good harvest and for surviving their first year in the New World, we’ve learned that giving thanks is not just good for the community; it’s also good for the brain and body. Here are a dozen ways to exercise your gratitude.
Exclusive Content

Five financial health insurance terms to know

By: Matt CavalloWhen evaluating a plan to determine which one best meets your needs, it is imperative to understand all of the different health insurance terms and what they mean to you. Health insurance is a complicated necessity that most of us don’t fully understand. As a person living with a chronic illness, purchasing health insurance is one of the most important decisions that you can make, so make sure you understand what you are buying.
Exclusive Content

12 Reasons you Should Seek Treatment for Depression

By: Gay FalkowskiIf you’re managing a lot of different MS symptoms, feelings of depression can easily be overlooked. You may believe you are just tired or understandably sad to be living with a chronic illness. If so, you may not speak to anyone about what you’re feeling, hoping the blues will just fade away. They won’t, not if what you are experiencing is clinical depression. To be sure and to receive a proper diagnosis, visit a qualified mental health professional, ideally one who understands the particular challenges MS brings. Here are a dozen good reasons to seek help if you think you might be depressed.
Exclusive Content

Managing MS as a Team

By: Matt CavalloLiving with MS is a lifelong commitment and you don’t have to fight it alone. There are many people on your life that can be valuable members of your team to help you battle the disease. It is important that you learn, however, how to effectively and opening communicate in order to get the support that you need from each person.
Exclusive Content

Five ways to embrace the change of seasons with MS

By: Matt CavalloFor those of us living with MS, there is a season to capitalize on change and that time is now. As the calendar turns from summer to fall, those of us with MS welcome the cooler temperatures. The heat and humidity of summer have passed and hopefully, so have the pseudo-exacerbations (brief flare-ups) associated with the summer heat. Embracing change means being prepared for it, as well. The following are strategies to help you make the most of the change of seasons.
Exclusive Content

Seven Reasons to Visit an MS Center

By: Gay FalkowskiWhether you are a newly diagnosed person with MS or someone searching for more specialized treatment of your MS, an MS Center can be a valuable resource in meeting your needs. Since its inception in 1986, the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) has grown rapidly. There are now more than 200 member centers in the United States, Canada, and Europe representing more than 4,000 health care professionals worldwide who provide care for more than 150,000 individuals with MS. Here are seven good reasons to visit.
Exclusive Content

5 habits of highly effective MS caregivers

By: Gay FalkowskiWhile caring for someone with MS can be deeply rewarding, it can also be difficult because the disease is unpredictable. As a result, caregiving needs are continually shifting. Those who most easily adapt have developed habits that keep them grounded even in turbulent times. Here are five habits of highly effective MS caregivers.
Exclusive Content

MS and your Circadian Rhythm

By: Matt CavalloWe all have a natural sleep cycle called our circadian rhythm. This helps tell us when it is time to sleep and when to be awake. If you are living with MS, sleep is a priority. Lack of sleep can lead to fatigue, brain fog and other MS symptoms. To train your circadian rhythm, you can establish a sleep schedule by going to bed at a consistent time, making sleep a priority, staying disciplined to that schedule, turning out lights and other distractions and taking advantage of the light of day. By getting on a sleep schedule, you will find harmony with your circadian rhythm.
Exclusive Content

MS and Sleep Disorders

By: Matt CavalloOne of the common themes among the patients that I have talked to is sleep disorders. Many say that the chronic fatigue they experience with MS leads to problems with sleep. They also mention that they have trouble staying awake during the day, but are wide awake at night. This interruption of sleep cycle is can greatly affect all areas of a person’s life. In this article, we will explore the relationship between MS and sleep disorders.
Exclusive Content

6 Reasons You Don't Exercise and What to Do About Them

By: Gay FalkowskiExcuses, excuses – we've all made them at some point in our lives, especially when exercise is what we're trying to avoid. But sometimes those excuses become beliefs that we need to challenge in order to do what's best for us. So, here are six common reasons for not exercising, along with solutions to overcoming those barriers.
Exclusive Content

Neurologist and Specialists of MS

By: Matt CavalloRecently we looked at the early signs and symptoms of MS. The question now becomes, “Who should I talk to about my signs and symptoms?” Let’s look at the different specialists that may be involved in the diagnosis and care of someone living with multiple sclerosis.
Exclusive Content

Early Signs and Symptoms of MS

By: Matt CavalloMultiple sclerosis is unique in that the signs and symptoms are unpredictable and can affect each person in a different way. According to the research, most people will experience the initial onset of their MS symptoms in their 20s to 50s. The same research reveals that of the 2.3 million people in the world diagnosed with MS, 66 percent are women. While MS affects each person in a different way, there are certain common symptoms that are associated with the early onset of the disease.
Exclusive Content

Technology for Families and Caregivers

By: Joanne FortunatoCaring for someone with MS can be a big responsibility with many unique challenges. Overlap can easily happen when there are multiple people, whether family members or professional caregivers, involved in caring for someone. The result could be problems with organizing medications, appointments, or several other tasks. There are two types of technology that can help. First, an app for sharing important medical information. Then, support sites for loved ones and anyone else entrusted with giving care.
Health & Wellness, Family-Friends

Learning to Let Go

By: Jessica PetroffWhen you are first diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, it can be extremely overwhelming – not just for you, but also for your family and friends. At first, you try to learn as much as possible about MS, so you can be prepared to advocate for your health and answer questions from family and friends. (At least, that’s how I was and still am.)
Life With MS, Family-Friends

How to Support a Family Member with MS

By: Annie BrewsterI love my husband, but he is the king of putting his foot in his mouth. In the beginning of our relationship, it took me a while to gather enough courage to tell him about my multiple sclerosis. I was terrified that he would consider me damaged, or a high-risk investment given the very real possibility of significant disability in my future. I finally blurted it out on our third date, after a glass of wine at dinner. “Oh, I have a friend from college who died of that,” he said.
Life With MS, Family-Friends

Adapting to MS’ Parenting Challenges

By: Shelley Peterman SchwarzI was so naive and unprepared when I became a parent. I was completely overwhelmed by the 24/7 responsibility. And I certainly didn’t expect to be diagnosed with multiple sclerosis! Every day, it seemed I lost physical abilities, and I didn’t have the energy or stamina of a normal 32-year-old mother. It was difficult and depressing for me, especially when I saw what other mothers were doing.
Life With MS, Family-Friends

How MS Affects the Family

By: Emily CadeMS does not exist in a bubble. Those with MS know that, while this condition affects them in ways many people cannot understand, it is not only the person with the disease whose life is touched. Their families are also affected, and, frequently, that brings about changes in family dynamics (the way family members relate to and interact with one another). But not all change is negative.
Life With MS

iConquerMS provides patient powered research

By: Laura KolaczkowskiThe purpose of iConquerMS is to guide research that is meaningful and effective to people affected by MS. Through the online portal we can submit our own thoughts and research ideas. Has a researcher ever asked you what you want to have looked at in depth? Me neither! iConquerMS gives us the opportunity to change that and ask questions important to us.
Exclusive Content

10 Evidence-Based Dietary Tips for Disease Prevention

By: Gay FalkowskiKnowing what to eat when you have MS can be downright confusing. After all, the jury is still out on dietary protocols aimed at delaying MS progression or reversing its effects. Yet, anecdotal "evidence" abounds on the Internet. So, what should you put on your plate? Foods that fill your nutritional needs and lower your risk of serious complications. Credible research has established which foods can help you be nutritionally fit and which foods can harm you, whether you have MS or not. To help you get started, here are 10 evidence-based dietary tips for disease prevention.
Exclusive Content

Our MS Superheroes Five unforgettable Tales of people fighting against MS

By: MSF staffForget Spiderman, Batman and the Avengers. We offer you real heroes fighting multiple sclerosis every day and contributing to the larger MS community. As part of the 2015 National MS Education and Awareness Month®, and with your help, the MSF set out to find them. And you came through. Dozens of worthy nominations were made in the MS Superhero Awards, making it difficult to pick just three winners.
Life With MS, Family-Friends

AT Makes Cruising Smoother for Travelers with Disabilities

By: MSFocus staffDuring the past decade, hundreds of people with MS have discovered the joy of cruising with the Foundation aboard our annual MSF Cruise for a Cause®. For many of them, assistive technology has not only made the trip possible, but it has also made the journey much smoother.
Life With MS