Food, Exercise and Rest. Improve Your Brain Health and Get Stronger to Fight MS

Today’s article is centered on a topic that has been part of my MS management strategy since the month of being diagnosed. It’s the first thing that came to mind: how can I take care of my body in order to minimize the possible effects this condition might have on me at some point.

It might seem like common sense to eat well, get your body moving and having a good night’s sleep, but in dealing with MS, they become crucial, as your body is attacking itself and needs all the help that it can receive in order to have a chance to fight back.

MS is primarily or at its early stages an inflammatory disease. To me it makes a lot of sense to do your best to reduce that inflammatory state. All these three elements are potent inflammation fighters, if used right and on a regular basis.


Our bodies constantly renew cells, giving us new tissues, organs and a whole new body in just a few years. This is why what we eat it crucial to our health. 

Imagine your body as a dirty glass, the dirt in it being all the junk and processed foods we have, all the toxins and damage done by intestinal inflammatory processes throughout our lives. And now imagine opening the faucet and letting fresh water pour over the glass. What happens? At first, nothing much, the water fills the cup and then overflows. But if you let it on, the dirt will finally clean away, it will melt and let the glass cleaner. Not entirely clean, there will be harder bits remaining (scars), but you’ll end up with a clearer vessel. 

Eating healthy foods and as little processed or cooked as possible will get you similar results. Stick to it, make it part of your identity. Train to battle MS.


Exercise is another must-do when your body faces getting weaker. Long story short: MS aims to get us totally paralized. There! I’ve said it! It gives me chills everytime I think or say it, but it is a fear I understood I must face from this year onwards. It has been at the back of my mind for a while now. But you know what they say about your “enemies”: keep them closer than your “friends”. And this year I will do just that: face my fears, say them out loud.

It’s the same thing as when my mother and I took our first airplane flight together. It was a first for the both of us, but she was more scared than I was. I don’t know exactly why, but heights don’t scare me. Not being in control does. So, she was so anxious about turbulences and getting safe to our destination and although I tried to calm her down, she had her fears. So I decided to say her (our) fear out loud: “What is the worst thing that could happen? The airplane falls down and we die. That’s it! Can we prevent it? Can we do something about it? Then why bother? Worrying is of no help. Just enjoy the ride!”. She looked surprised and a bit shocked, but in the end she agreed with me.

Likewise, what is the worse that can happen with MS? You can become paralyzed, have major pain or die. Can you prevent it? Can you control it? Can you do something about it? No, but you can make the ride the best it can possibly be. The ride is your life and you can help yourself by moving your body. Do whatever you can do. 

We all have different capabilities and MS affects us in different ways. There are MSers who do thriathlons and others who are bed bound. There are people who are afraid to get heated up or to get out of the house. There are people who have pain and decide that they can’t push through.

But YES, YOU CAN! YES, YOU CAN! “Use it or lose it” one expression used to say. I’m not mean, I’m not forcing you do do anything that you can’t or don’t feel comfortable doing. It’s just that I saw it to be possible. I see examples of people that do it. Of course that at the same time there are people who can’t. There are all kinds of situations. There are all kinds of snowflakes. #NoTwoTheSame, as says.

Our bodies are made for movement. As long as you can crawl, do that. Get better ar crawling. There is no shame in wanting to survive. There is no shame in wanting to live and get better. People make it so hard by having big egos, by being so influenced by what other people say about them, about being judged.

It might sound unbelievable to you, it might seem like I’m you, but little by little, I come to understand that there is no ego, there is nothing to be ashamed about. It is all in our minds. We humans are independent beings, and when we face losing that, we get scared, we refuse to accept it. But at the end of the day, who are you to feel that way? There are thousands of people going through the same battle everyday. Some push through. Be one of those people. Constantly. Make it a life quest: "Be on top of all my struggles!"

Be dignified enough to push through the struggle. It’s the hardest thing you might need to do, but it’s why God allows you to live. To make a difference, to be humble and to be more open to what others are going through. We are so selfish and think that our lives are the most impacted ever.

Open your eyes and see how many are in the same or even worse situations. Stop complaining and start acting and doing something to fight back. Get on that eliptical and peddal for as long as your body alows you, stretch your upper body half while sitting in the wheelchair, smile if you are bedbound.

You are a wonderful human being. Don’t feel sorrow. We all face the same end. There’s no need to make the road there even harder than it is. Cry, hit something, yell, journal, confess to a priest, pray, get it out of your system.

And then smile. It calms your soul.


Sleep is the key element that binds the first two together. We eat, we move, but the body needs to rest and recuperate after all this effort. It needs to regenerate the organs, to recharge your energy supplies and to tend to the body. 

We sleep in 1 and a half stages. It has been recommended to sleep at least 5 stages like this, meaning a minimum of 8 hours a night in order for sleep to be efficient.

Of course, when you have MS and fatigue as a symptom, no amount of sleep can make you feel rested, I agree. But you must go with the flow. Do your best in managing your daily activities and hacking the life out of your tasks, as to help the body recharge. I’ve writter about this here. I will also come back with even more details about sleep and how well it correlates to what you eat and how you move.


Nobody said that you can cure MS by doing these three things. That would be just junk talk, delusional and counterproductive. When MS hits you, cause it will, it’s best to be prepared and a little more stronger than you were yesterday. You’ll get through it with possible less damage, you’ll raise up the chances of recovering faster after a relapse. 

These three are not miracle cures, are not whishful thinking, but ways through which you can take care of yourself, in which you can help your body cope with life with MS.

It’s like healing the wounded. It’s fighting back. It’s not giving up, accept your faith and drown yourself in anger and frustration. Be assertive! Take control of your life as well as you can.

Why give in? Why be a victim? Choose to live!

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Until next time, make the SMart Choices for your lifestyle.