Dr. Mitzi Joi Williams Gives Healthy Living Tips for MS Patients (Video)
Dr. Mitzi Joi Williams is a top neurologist and Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Specialist in Atlanta, Georgia. She received her undergraduate degree in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology from Emory University and her Doctor of Medicine degree from Morehouse School of Medicine. Dr. Williams completed her internship and residency in neurology as well as a Clinical Fellowship in Multiple Sclerosis at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, GA. Dr. Williams has a strong interest in understanding and furthering research in MS in ethnic minority populations. She is a sought-after speaker and presenter and has discussed her research both nationally and internationally at various scientific meetings. She has spearheaded and participated in multiple Steering Committees and Work Groups to further research in underserved population with MS. She also has recently increased involvement in efforts to increase diversity in clinical research and educate the community about the importance of research participation. Dr. Williams is the author of MS Made Simple: The Essential Guide to Understanding Your Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosis. Because of her passion for teaching and advocacy.
There are many things that a person can do in their daily life to improve their health. Living with multiple sclerosis or any other chronic condition. I always liked to say that there are a part medicine plays and there was a part that the patient plays and so the part that you can play in empowering yourself is number one, making sure that you are understanding your treatments, why you’re taking them and what they are supposed to do. I think the other important thing that you can do or someone who lives with MS can do is to listen to their body because if you’re having new symptoms or changes in your function, you need to inform somebody so that your healthcare provider can know if they need to adjust your treatment or potentially change your medicines. We cannot fix or help symptoms if we don’t know what they’re going on and I’ve unfortunately had many people that have come to the office and said, Dr. Williams, I had this episode a couple of months ago and I’m like, well, why didn’t you call?
Because maybe that’s an indication we need to change treatment and maybe that’s some disability that we could’ve avoided if we had attacked that symptom or that episode earlier. Other things that people can do are to eat right and exercise the same things that your mom, your grandma told you, right? Everyone asked if there’s a particular diet that helps multiple sclerosis and there’s a lot of research that needs to be done in terms of diet and exercise, not only in our field but in many fields of medicine, but a healthy well-balanced diet, whatever that looks like for you. More Greens, right? I usually say that when we’re putting it in our mouth, nine times out of 10 we know if we should be eating it or not. And so eating more healthy raw foods will certainly help improve someone’s overall health with a chronic condition such as multiple sclerosis and building in some exercise.
And sometimes we have to reframe our thoughts of exercise. So especially for my patients who may have difficulty with disability walking, or they may have fatigue, which is a very common symptom of MS. Exercise does not always mean putting on your outfit and going to the gym for an hour. It can mean taking that extra time to walk to and from the grocery store parking a little bit further away, walk into your mailbox and back just doing a block. Right? So building in a little bit more movement every day will make a big difference. So those are the things that I recommend to my patients that they can do on a regular basis to empower themselves and to live well with MS.
Another thing that’s very important is to stop smoking. Smoking is not only a risk factor for multiple sclerosis, but it can cause someone to develop the progressive disease earlier. So there are people who have a relapsing-remitting disease, the symptoms that come and go, but there’s progression where they just tend to get worse and worse and worse over time. And so people have a faster change from relapsing-remitting to progressive disease if they are smoking. And also there are other conditions that can be affected by smoking as well. So that’s another important thing that someone can do is to stop smoking. To help themselves with multiple sclerosis.
Monday, September 16th, 2019