Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a rare neurogenerative disease which affects the movements and the autonomic functions of the body.(1) The patient’s experience loss of muscle movements, difficulty in maintaining posture, difficulty in walking, speaking, rigidity, tremors, and the autonomic features such as low blood pressure, changes in heart rate, bladder, bowel and erectile problems. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this disease and there is no treatment to stop the progression of the disease.
Treatment is directed in order to reduce the symptoms so, that the patient can have a near normal life and manage daily activities of living at least for some period. Drugs are one way of treating certain symptoms and natural remedies and lifestyle changes can also be done to improve the symptoms and thereby, the quality of life.
Natural Remedies For Multiple System Atrophy
There is no cure for multiple system atrophy the only way is to treat the symptoms.(2) Natural remedies and lifestyle changes can improve the symptoms and make your daily living easy. The natural remedies and lifestyle changes are: to maintain blood pressure have plenty of fluids, move slowly and change positions slowly, and wear elastic support stockings; have plenty of fruits and vegetable as those have anti-inflammatory properties and full of antioxidants, and practice active movement therapies and passive hands-on therapies.
Maintaining The Blood Pressure
- Have plenty of fluid including water and other fluids. Add some amount of salt to your diet (more than the usual amount). The salt and fluids increase the blood volume and this increase your blood pressure.
- Due to the autonomic dysfunction, the pressure drops significantly when moving therefore, move slowly with extra precautions.
- Raise the head end of the bed
- Add extra salt (kidney function should be checked prior to that)
- Elastic support stocking can prevent the dropping of blood pressure, wear these supports stocking up to your waist.
Have a low-calorie diet as it increases the brain glutamate levels which is a neurotransmitter helps the motor control.
Low protein diet as it interferes with action of levodopa. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) are another drug prescribed sometimes and it can react with tyramine and increase blood pressure. Usually, aged cheese is one product containing high amounts of tyramine so avoid it.
Follow an anti-inflammatory diet with food containing antioxidants. So, have plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits. Add plenty of spices to the food as these have anti-inflammatory properties. Avoid fast food, commercially prepared food, baked goods and processed food
Active Movement Therapies And Passive Hand-On Therapies
Difficulty in moving, loss of coordination and tremors can be problematic in day to day life. Active movement therapies and passive hand-on therapies might help in multiple system atrophy.
Active Movement Therapies
Alexander Technique: It is a method on learning how to get the harmful tension out of your body. It improves the balance, coordination, freedom of movement and support. It is a very simple and practical method which teaches you to focus on one particular activity with maximum effort and this can give you more energy for all your activities. It is an activity involving the mind and body.
Pilates: Set of stretching and strengthening exercises for the whole body which can improve the muscle strength, flexibility, balance and posture. It is a combination of yoga, western exercises, and martial arts.
Passive Hand-On Therapies For Multiple System Atrophy
Massage: Massages can be applied by using the fingers, hands, forearms, elbows, knees, and feet or by using a massage device. It improves the blood circulation, relieves pain and relaxes the body and mind. Essential oils can be used to massage the body.
Chiropractic: The therapist uses his or her hands on the joints and muscles to treat the problems in the musculoskeletal system through spinal manipulations.
Reflexology: Reflexology applying pressure to specific places on the feet using the fingers. It is believed that applying pressure on these areas of the feet relaxes the body and mind as feet are associated with organs, muscles, and bones in the whole body.
- Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) or Shy Drager Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis
- Complications Of Multiple System Atrophy
- What Causes You To Have Multiple System Atrophy?
- Who Is At Risk For Multiple System Atrophy?
- Prevention Of Multiple System Atrophy
- Recovery Period For Multiple System Atrophy
- Lifestyle Changes For Multiple System Atrophy