My husband was diagnosed with MS this past January 2012. I believe he has relapsing-remitting MS. We've done a good overhaul on his diet and he gets a good amount of physical activity but is reluctant to take medication. Is medication the best treatement for MS? I've heard of people managing it with diet, vitamin supplements (like added vitamin D and others) and keeping active... But someone the other day told me that unless he's medicated, he'll not be able to live a full active life. Thoughts?
If I were male with RRMS I would be on a DMD for three reasons MS damage or progression happens with or with out symptoms, once damage or progression happens you can't go on a DMD and reverse the damage you can only go on a DMD or Disease Modifying Drug and hope it will slow further damage or progresssion, and MS can be more aggressive in males. Men often do not like to treat anything but it is important. That said I know I have to leave medical decisions to my husband, If I bug him he digs his heels in and won't do it. The DMDs are not guaranteed to stop progression but there never has been a time in MS history when we have so many choices. He is lucky they caught the MS so young. I had had mine a few more decades before they finally figured out I had MS and my disease was in a progressive form beyond DMDs.
This is definitely something he needs to review with his neurologist. DMD's or Disease Modifying Drugs are something that needs to be decided upon between both yourselves and your doctor. My own neurologist felt that for me this was the best way to help keep any progression at bay and that was my thinking too. I eat well and exercise as much as I can but again wanted to do everything possible to stop progression. I have been on Avonex since February and go for updated MRI's tomorrow so we shall see if it is working!
Diet and exercise will not cure MS nor slow down its progress. Alex has given you very good advice. I too had mine years before it was found and damage can not be reversed. Now I am taking DMD and hoping it keeps the future lesions and damage to a minimum.
Go to the www.ms.org website, they have some excellent articles. Rule of thumb: if diet and exercise and such were the cure for MS, their website would be shouting it from the roof tops! It might help you live a longer life but will not reverse or limit the progression of MS. It works 24/7 and sometimes never tells you til the damage is done.
While diet and exercise will not slow the progression of MS down, they are very helpful in battling MS. I find that if I am not exercising then I have a harder time with fatigue.... I also take 5,000 mg of vitamin D3 every day (as requested by my neurologist) to promote a healthier immune system. Being as healthy as you can is always a good idea in any situation.
These guys are right though. Your husband should consider a DMD. I know that the side effects are scary, and the prospect of constant injections is no fun (there are some oral DMDs too....) but they are designed to help people with MS live a fuller life in the long run.
For what it's worth, I had a hard time with choosing to use a DMD at first too. It's really not so bad......
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