2: Sunlight & Vitamin D

sunshine and MS

Why is vitamin D so important?

Many people don’t get enough sun exposure and thus aren’t getting adequate levels of vitamin D. There is growing evidence to suggest that vitamin D is important in both preventing MS and improving your health outcomes if you have MS. 

types of vitamin D

What are the types of vitamin D?

There are several types of vitamin D, however only vitamin D3 is helpful in MS. Research shows that vitamin D3 is as effective in changing the immune response as many of the drugs used to treat MS, and it doesn’t cause any severe side effects.

dose of vitamin D

How much vitamin D should I take?

We recommend taking 5,000 - 10,000 IU vitamin D3 daily, however exactly how much you should be taking will depend on how much sunshine you typically get. This depends on the season, where you live and how much time you spend outdoors.

time in the sun

How much sun should I get?

Regularly spending time outdoors is important in managing your vitamin D levels. Aim to spend 10-15 minutes in the sun, two or three times a week. The exact amount of time you need will depend on the season, time of day and UV index at that time.

3: Exercises

Why is exercise important?

Studies have shown that exercise improves physical and mental well being in people with MS. Regular movement improves flexibility, strength and fitness, prevents injury and correct physical problems caused by MS.

Exercise also reduces stress and symptoms of depression.

What are my options?

Choosing a form of exercise will depend on a number of factors, including your ability and preferences.

It is recommended to aim for 30 minutes of vigorous activity, five days a week, however any regular physical activity is better than none. 

5: Medication

Do I need medication?

Choices around medication are highly personal.

Whether you choose to take medication or not, following the other steps of the Overcoming MS Program can slow – and sometimes even stop – MS symptoms helping you lead the fullest life possible.

Exploring your medication options

MS medications can cause a range of side effects so it is important that you do your research, know your options and are able to make an informed decision.

You may also need to try several medications before finding one that works for you.

6: Prevention in Family Members

Are you related to someone with MS?

If you have a parent, sibling or child with MS, you are at an increased risk of developing it yourself.

While you can’t modify your genes, there are lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your overall risk.

Pregnancy & MS

Find out about fertility, pregnancy and starting a family when you have MS.

FAQs about family

There is a genetic element to MS. Here we answer questions about family and MS, including questions about pregnancy and reducing your family’s risk of developing MS.

Next Steps

Read an Overcoming MS book

Read an Overcoming MS book

There is a new book, Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis: Roadmap to Good Health released at the end of 2021. Also, all the research supporting the Overcoming MS Program is detailed in the book Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis by Professor George Jelinek.

Attend an Overcoming MS event

Attend an online Overcoming MS event

Come along to one of our online webinars and events to learn more about the Program and to meet new people in a supportive, welcoming environment.

Connect with others

Connect with others

Find support and friendship from others who are overcoming MS by joining an Overcoming MS Circle.

Find Inspiration

Find Inspiration

Watch inspirational stories from OMSers like you who are on a journey to improve their health.