Wellness means different things to different people. At the Mellen Center, we include all of the following topics in the wellness category:
• Avoiding behaviors that have a negative impact on health
• Having a health maintenance management plan
• Following a diet that promotes health
• Engaging in activities that promote health
• Performing other activities that improve wellness and wellbeing
• Exploring complementary and alternative medicine strategies
Maintaining a regular exercise program is one of the smartest things you can do for your MS. Exercise has been shown to help with fatigue and a sense of well being, as well as increasing physical capacity in people with MS. We encourage a regular exercise program. That is, there is no special restriction in what you can and cannot do. You should listen to your body, as you may find that after exerting yourself you may feel it more than you had anticipated. It is important to know that exercise will not worsen your condition.
In addition to exercise, we recommend a heart-healthy diet, one with low amounts of red meat, lots of fruit and vegetables, and fewer carbohydrates and fatty foods. If you have problems with being overweight, we do recommend looking at reasonable ways to lose weight. Extra weight negatively affects balance and strength, increasing the risk of falling. Extra weight may also worsen in patients with high blood pressure and diabetes.
While there are many aspects of MS that cannot be easily controlled, diet and exercise are two ways in which you can help take control of your disease. Having MS is a lifelong journey requiring the ability to create balance and to ask for support. Dr. Rensel will elaborate on how you can take steps to improve daily activities with a focus on health and wellness.
As part of Cleveland Clinic’s Neurological Institute, the Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis offers state-of-the-art resources to provide the most advanced specialized care, supported by an extensive program of research and education. The Mellen Center is the largest and most comprehensive program for MS care and research worldwide, managing more than 20,000 patient visits every year. Basic and clinical research conducted at Cleveland Clinic sheds new light on MS every year.
Mary R. Rensel, MD, is a Staff Neurologist in Neuroimmunology who treats adults, children and adolescents at Cleveland Clinic's Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis Treatment and Research, where she was appointed in 1998. Dr. Rensel is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and a member of the American Academy of Neurology.
Dr. Rensel has served on the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Pediatric MS Advisory Board since 2004. In 2001, she was a participant on the Bureau for Children with Medical Handicaps. Dr. Rensel received the Clinical Neurology Award from the Medical College of Ohio in 1992. Her specialty interests including adult multiple sclerosis, pediatric multiple sclerosis and wellness for MS patients.
To make an appointment with Mary Rensel, MD, or any of the other specialists in Cleveland Clinic’s Mellen Center, please call 216.444.8600, toll-free at 800.223.2273 (extension 48600) or visit us at clevelandclinic.org/mellen for more information.