A nurse is discharging a patient with multiple sclerosis. The nurse should instruct the patient on which of the following?
• Multiple sclerosis at its most basic is a chronic inflammatory disease in which the myelin of the nerves is damaged. This damage disrupts the ability of parts of the nervous system to communicate and results in a wide range of signs and symptoms.
• Bladder dysfunction is a common symptom of multiple sclerosis. Detrusor hyperreflexia (failure to store), detrusor sphincter dyssynergia (failure to empty), or a combination of the two, lead to incontinence or retention. Constipation is the most common bowel complaint. It's important for patients to manage these symptoms.
• The nurse should provide the patient with information on managing the fatigue that is common in MS. Fatigue can range from mild to severe and disabling.
• Too much exposure to heat or cold can exacerbate multiple sclerosis symptoms.
• For the patient with multiple sclerosis, there are no dietary restrictions. The patient should eat nutritious and well-balanced meals.
• Vigorous exercise is not recommended, but physical therapy is necessary to facilitate adequate mobility in a patient with multiple sclerosis.