Stress and MS – and yoga

Stress is a necessary, normal part of life. But living with the daily realities of a chronic condition can elevate your stress levels as you deal with the challenges of everyday living and make decisions about managing your MS.

Stress can be experienced both mentally and physically. Mentally, you may feel anxious, irritable, or overwhelmed, while physically, stress might make itself known in the form of clammy hands or sweating, constipation or diarrhea, stomach aches, headaches, heart palpitations, changes in sleep patterns, and other effects.

When you feel stressed, your body releases a flurry of stress hormones, which in the short term increase your heart rate and blood pressure and cause other bodily changes. In the long term, chronic stress can also increase your risk of heart disease, obesity, immune system problems, and other conditions.

If you have MS, stress can take an even bigger toll. While scientific data is inconclusive, many MS sufferers report experiencing more symptoms and more severe symptoms during stressful times. Though it isn't clear whether experiencing MS symptoms leads to the stress or whether the stress triggers more symptoms, many say managing stress can help to reduce symptoms.

But here's the good news. While stress is normal, it isn't inevitable. There are a number of practices that can reduce the level of stress you feel in your day-to-day life, from exercise and yoga to breathing and relaxation techniques. Seeking support – whether from loved ones, from other people who suffer from MS, or from a trained healthcare professional – can also help to reduce the stress you feel as a result of your condition.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2022. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: