It’s fall. The weather is getting cooler, leaves are changing colors, and everyone around me is sneezing. It’s the start of the cold season. If you’re already taking several medications to control your MS symptoms, adding a cold medicine could cause unwanted side effects. To help you out, I’ve rounded up a list of natural remedies that work just as well as their OTC counterparts. As a reminder, this is purely informational. We are not dispensing medical advice. You will need to consult your doctor for any medical advice or before beginning any treatment or therapy seen herein.
1. Honey as a Cough Remedy
Recent studies have shown that honey is just as effective in calming a cough as over-the-counter cough remedies. In children, a study done by the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, found that “children who received a small dose of buckwheat honey before bedtime slept better and coughed less than those who received either a common over-the-counter cough suppressant (dextromethorphan) or nothing at all.” (abcnews.com) Is it important to note that honey should never be given to children under 1.
2. Gargle with saltwater to calm a sore throat
I’ve tried this and I can confirm that it works – it just tastes like the ocean. Luckily, WebMD has some alternatives to straight up saltwater. “Gargling can moisten a sore throat and bring temporary relief. Try a teaspoon of salt dissolved in warm water, four times daily. To reduce the tickle in your throat, try an astringent gargle — such as tea that contains tannin — to tighten the membranes. Or use a thick, viscous gargle made with honey or a mixture of honey and apple cider vinegar, a popular folk remedy. Steep one tablespoon of raspberry leaves or lemon juice in two cups of hot water and mix in one teaspoon of honey. Let the mixture cool to room temperature before gargling.” (webmd.com)
3. Use a humidifier/vaporizer
“Cold viruses thrive in dry conditions — another reason why colds are more common in winter. Dry air also dries the mucous membranes, causing a stuffy nose and scratchy throat. A humidifier can add moisture to your home, but it can also add mold, fungi and bacteria if not cleaned properly. Change the water in your humidifier daily, and clean the unit according to the manufacturer’s instructions.” (mayoclinic.com)
If you don’t want to invest in a humidifier or vaporizer, try taking a hot shower or bath to help loosen up mucus. Just remember to blow your nose to get rid of the mucus so it doesn’t drain down your throat!
4. Sleep propped up
Trying to sleep is the worst part of being sick for me. I could even tolerate a painful cough if it meant I could sleep through the night without waking up because my nose was completely stopped up. Put a few extra pillows behind your head and back to allow you to sleep at an angle. The angle will help your sinuses to drain and make it easier to sleep (provided you don’t sleep on your stomach). WebMD recommends putting the pillows in between the mattress and the box spring if the angle is uncomfortable. (webmd.com)
If you have any other remedies you’d like to share, let us know!
And now it’s time for your MS Monday Motivational Moment
Multiple Sclerosis Resources
UroMed provides links to the following educational resources for patients, caregivers and medical professionals to help increase awareness, support and assistance for people affected by Multiple Sclerosis.
We are also strong advocates. Almost 20% of UroMed’s Customer Care Associates or one of their family members has some form of disability, enabling us to share our understanding and expertise when working with you.
You may have a wide range of questions and concerns if you or a loved one has just been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has created a special page to help you with the information and support you need to live comfortably and confidently with this change in your life. Please visit http://www.nationalmssociety.org/about-multiple-sclerosis/newly-diagnosed/index.aspx
Although MS is a progressive disease, the rate of progression differs from one person to another. The key message to anyone living with advanced MS is that there is always more that can be done to improve the situation. For people whose MS has become more disabling—and their family members and friends—the NMSS has provided information about how to manage the challenges they face at http://www.nationalmssociety.org/about-multiple-sclerosis/living-with-advanced-ms/index.aspx
Multiple Sclerosis & Urology Questions
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society also has produced an excellent brochure to assist people with urological information, Living with an MS Bladder.
About the Author: Lindsey Beacham, from Atlanta, serves as Marketing Coordinator for UroMed. She graduated from Auburn University with a B.A. in Criminology and from Georgia State University with a B.B.A in Marketing. When she’s not busy with marketing or studying for additional degrees, she enjoys cooking, reading, and spending time with her family.