Following your health care providers’ advice matters a lot when it comes to managing your myasthenia gravis. Something else matters, too.
Taking care of yourself can go a long way to helping your feel better and improving your quality of life. Taking care means taking steps to improve your nutrition, manage stress, make lifestyle changes, and incorporate movement into your day.
Nutrition and MG
Interesting fact: When people visit this site, the topic they look for most often (according to our analytics) is “diet and myasthenia.” We all know the food we eat has a bearing on our state of mind and health. (How did you feel after you ate that banana split at age 12?) It turns out, over time eating better can make a difference with our immune system.
What does it mean to “eat better”? These resources offer guidance.
*8 Ways to Optimize Immune Health Naturally, April 2020. Read blog post. Julie Rowin, MD, identifies specific ways to eat for a more effective and balanced immune system.
Building Muscle at Any Age, Summer 2020. Read blog post. Julie Rowin, MD, explains, “The benefits of maintaining muscle mass at any age cannot be underestimated.”
Functional Medicine Approach to Treating Myasthenia Gravis, May 2016. Watch video. Julie Rowin, MD, ABIHM, discusses the root cause of autoimmune diseases such as MG: a combination of genetics and enviromental factors of toxic chemicals, dietary components, gut dysbiosis, and infections. She explains how functional medicine seeks to restore and rebalance the body’s interworking systems.
Myasthenia Gravis and Nutrition, October 2014. Watch video. Get handouts. Jennifer Koman, registered dietitian, explains ways for MG patients to cope with chewing and swallowing issues, sodium reduction and diarrhea.
Increase your physical activity
Once your myasthenia is well managed, it is an opportunity to get moving! The benefits of exercise – from improving your breathing, energy, mood, and even digestion – are undeniable. What kind of exercise is best, you ask? Whatever activity that you like, and will do!
For starters, consider walking.
MG Wellness: Myasthenia Gravis and Exercise, June 2020. “If your MG has stabilized, exercise can be part of your recovery,” notes Julie Rowin, MD. She and Julie Hossack, certified fitness instructor, explain how to gradually resume exercise if you’re deconditioned from illness.
- Watch full video
- Watch exercise demonstration video only
- Discussion: Facing your fears about exercise
- Handout: Start your exercise routine – a step-by-step guide
- Join the “MG & Exercise” Group on Facebook
Exercise and Myasthenia Gravis- AMackowiak, JFord, October 2017. Watch video. Neurophysical therapists Angela Mackowiak and Jennifer Ford, NorthShore University Health System, discuss ways individuals with myasthenia gravis can resume activity once their illness is stable.
Myasthenia Gravis and Exercise, October 2014. Physical therapist Brittany White offers exercise guidelines for myasthenia gravis patients.
Stress Management and MG
What does a stressful day feel like for you? Maybe it gave you a queasy stomach or a headache. When we encounter prolonged periods of stress – from big things like job loss, divorce, or a pandemic – it can take a toll on our immune systems. It can help with our overall health to develop a toolbox of ways to cope. These resources offer you ideas and strategies.
Wellness Now: Own Your Health In a COVID-19 World, May 2020. Watch video. Read the highlights. Julie Rowin, MD, and Maria D. Zepeda, National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach, discuss ways to combat pandemic stressors of loneliness, overeating, too much time indoors, and cleaning product exposure.
Meditative Breathing, July 2020. Watch the video. Read the highlights. Jill Crockett, instructor and owner of Molcintah Yoga Studio, and Julie Rowin, MD, discuss health benefits that occur when you set aside time to focus on the rhythm of breathing. Includes a guided demonstration to use this always available, always affordable tool of breath.
Myasthenia Gravis and Stress Management, October 2013. Watch the video. Deb Smith, M.Ed., LCPC, discusses 7 ways (“A-C-C-E-P-T-S”) to cope with stress.
Meditation as Medication, October 2013. Watch the video. Dr. Tim Fior describes benefits of meditation, then provides beginners with easy-to-follow steps to meditate.
Each resource has its own source material, sited by its authors. Information about MG treatments is of a general nature. This information is not intended to be medical opinion, nor is it a substitute for personal professional medical care.
Reviewed by the Conquer MG Medical Advisory Board, October 2022..