Ask the Experts: Multiple Sclerosis Relapse Prevention

While there is no way to cure or prevent multiple sclerosis, there are a number of ways people who have MS can prevent flare ups. Watch Sharecare Medical Advisor Kevin Soden, MD, explain strategies that can help keep MS symptoms in check.

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MAN: Because scientists don't know what causes multiple sclerosis, it's
impossible to prevent it from happening. But if you have been diagnosed, there are things you can do to prevent having a relapse.
Relapses or flare-ups come when there is some type of stress on the immune system. So prevention is key.
Stress is a big factor that many patients find can worsen their symptom. Trying yoga, meditation, and even psychological counseling,
can help keep stress to a minimum. Smoking is another risk factor for MS flare-ups. So if you are smoking, quitting can
help reduce inflammation and make you healthier all around. Every case of MS is different, but many patients
are susceptible to heat. If heat is a trigger for you, you may want to avoid living in extremely hot climates,
or using hot tubs, steam rooms or saunas. You should also stay away from long hot showers or baths
and exercising in the heat. Medication can also cause problems for MS patients. Taking certain specific for rheumatoid arthritis or Crohn's
disease can spur new symptoms, as can taking too many medications that interact with each other
to cause symptoms. Finally, infections are responsible for almost a third of MS flare-ups, so proper hygiene is key.
Get a flu shot every year, avoid being around people who may be sick, and washing your hands regularly

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