Other MS alternative treatment strategies
In addition to disease-modifying drugs (DMDs) that treat the disease, there are other therapies and strategies that may help manage MS symptoms. For example, medication and/or physical therapy could be prescribed to treat stiffness, or spasticity. These alternative treatments, however, have no effect on modifying the course of relapsing MS. In other words, they will not reduce the frequency of relapses or the development of active brain lesions, or delay disability.
Complementary and alternative medicine for multiple sclerosis
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) includes everything from specific exercise and diet regimens to the addition of certain food and herbal supplements to incorporating stress management strategies and other lifestyle changes that don't typically fall under what is considered conventional medicine.
You may find that some people use the terms "complementary" and "alternative" interchangeably. However, there are important distinctions:
Complementary therapies are those that are used along with conventional medical interventions.
Alternative therapies are those used instead of conventional medicine.
If you are considering CAM therapies to treat your MS, remember that only FDA-approved disease-modifying drugs (DMDs) have been proven to be effective in the treatment of relapsing MS.
And don't stop taking your prescribed MS therapy without talking your doctor.
Complementing your MS treatment plan
Getting on a DMD treatment and taking it as prescribed is key to treating your relapsing MS. There are also additional things you can do to help manage your relapsing MS.
For example, maintaining a positive attitude and a healthy weight as well as helping manage some symptoms with short-term medications are some examples of complementary strategies that may help you live well with relapsing MS.
Keep in mind that no complementary or nutritional/dietary therapy has been shown to change the course of relapsing MS. Always speak with your health care professional before beginning an exercise or nutrition program or trying any complementary therapy.
Work with your doctor to create an individualized action plan to help you fight your relapsing MS and live well. Together, you can decide which DMD therapy is right for you and also discuss possible complementary approaches that may help you with your relapsing MS.