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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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Transcript

00:00
MAN: Because scientists don't know what causes multiple sclerosis, it's
00:07
impossible to prevent it from happening. But if you have been diagnosed, there are things you can do to prevent having a relapse.
00:15
Relapses or flare-ups come when there is some type of stress on the immune system. So prevention is key.
00:22
Stress is a big factor that many patients find can worsen their symptom. Trying yoga, meditation, and even psychological counseling,
00:31
can help keep stress to a minimum. Smoking is another risk factor for MS flare-ups. So if you are smoking, quitting can
00:38
help reduce inflammation and make you healthier all around. Every case of MS is different, but many patients
00:45
are susceptible to heat. If heat is a trigger for you, you may want to avoid living in extremely hot climates,
00:53
or using hot tubs, steam rooms or saunas. You should also stay away from long hot showers or baths
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and exercising in the heat. Medication can also cause problems for MS patients. Taking certain specific for rheumatoid arthritis or Crohn's
01:09
disease can spur new symptoms, as can taking too many medications that interact with each other
01:15
to cause symptoms. Finally, infections are responsible for almost a third of MS flare-ups, so proper hygiene is key.
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Get a flu shot every year, avoid being around people who may be sick, and washing your hands regularly

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