Although there's no cure for primary lateral sclerosis, you can make a few lifestyle choices to preserve muscle function for as long as possible:

  • Stay active. Continue activity or exercise programs as long as you can comfortably and safely do so. Staying active may help you keep your existing function and slow the progression of the disease.

    Be sure you stay safe, keeping in mind that your muscle weakness puts you at higher risk of tripping and falling.

  • Eat a healthy diet. Because PLS can cause your activity level to slow down, be sure you're eating a nutritious diet to avoid excessive weight gain and added pressure on your joints.

Periods of feeling down about having primary lateral sclerosis are expected and normal. Dealing with the reality of an incurable, progressive disease can be challenging. To cope with the disease and its effects, consider these tips:

  • Seek emotional support. Family and friends can be great sources of comfort and support when you're wrestling with the emotional aspects of long-term disease.

    Because primary lateral sclerosis is an uncommon diagnosis, it might be a challenge to find a local support group for people with your condition. However, some online discussion groups are available, and it may be helpful to see how others have coped with the disease.

  • Get professional help if you need it. When faced with a chronic illness, it's not unusual to become overwhelmed at times. Seek out professional counseling for another perspective, or if you're struggling with depression and need advice on treatment.
  • Know and use resources available to you. If you reach a point where your disease is restricting your activities significantly, ask your doctor about devices designed to help you stay independent.

    In addition, there are social services available to people with disabilities of all kinds. Try to learn all you can about the resources available to you. Sometimes relying on your community for help can strengthen ties in new ways.

Oct. 19, 2016
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