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Controlling Blood Pressure with MS

November 15, 2016

It is thought that high blood pressure in MS Patients will increase the risk of disability progression. However, there are ways to combat this without necessarily taking medication:

Stay Active: Obviously every patient with MS will have different abilities and amounts of energy. It is important to do your best to stay active and do what you are comfortable doing. Aquatic exercise classes and sitting yoga are just two of the many activities patients can do. As a result of staying active, you will probably lose a few pounds. Blood pressure is known to increase with weight.

Eat Healthier: Eating a diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products and skimps on saturated fat and cholesterol can lower your blood pressure. Potassium can lessen the effects of sodium on blood pressure. The best source of potassium is food, such as fruits and vegetables, rather than supplements. Talk to your doctor about the potassium level that's best for you. Stay away from sodium if at all possible. A reduction in sodium, even a small one, can reduce blood pressure by 2 to 8 mm Hg.

Limit Alcohol: Believe it or not, alcohol can actually be beneficial to your health. You will hear many people swear by a glass of wine with dinner. However if alcohol is overdone, that potential benefit goes out the window. Limit it to one drink per day at the most.

Remain Stress Free: Chronic stress is an important contributor to high blood pressure and has been known to trigger the effects of MS as well. Patients should know what will trigger their stress and do their best to stay away from those situations. Take time out of your day to do things that you enjoy, and give yourself extra time to go places, as rushing can be very stressful. Nothing wrong with being early!