Evidence-based lifestyle guides for minimising the impact of multiple sclerosis

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A woman in a red hat, a man in a check shirt and a toddler sitting on the verandah of a colonial era house

Frances Shaw was diagnosed with MS more than 10 years ago. She follows a healthy diet and is a non-smoker.

Two new guides recommend lifestyle changes that can minimise the impact of multiple sclerosis.

Adapting your lifestyle: A guide for people with MS is designed to help people living with multiple sclerosis (MS) and their families, friends and carers. Modifiable lifestyle factors and MS: A guide for health professionals is for doctors, nurses, other health professionals and researchers.

The guides are available online from MS Research Australia, a not-for-profit organisation that aims to accelerate research into MS. University of Melbourne researchers contributed to the two new guides.

Many lifestyle factors are thought to contribute to the development and progression of MS. They include gut health, supplements, vitamin D and sun exposure, smoking, physical activity, diet, weight and obesity, and other medical conditions.

People with MS can lessen the impact of the disease by managing some of these lifestyle factors. These new guides can help.

The two guides were written by researchers who are experts in these areas. Dr Claudia Marck contributed to the sections on smoking and weight and obesity. Dr Steve Simpson-Yap contributed to the section on vitamin D and sun exposure.

Both guides make recommendations based on scientific evidence. They also present evidence to counteract myths about MS.

MS is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system. It can cause physical and mental symptoms that range from mild to severe. MS affects more than 25 000 people in Australia and 2.8 million people worldwide. There is no known cure. Several treatments are available to slow progression of the disease or treat symptoms.

Please note: the external site requires information such as an email address from you before you download the PDFs.

Access the guide for people with MS

Access the guide for health professionals

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