148 episodes

Welcome to Living Well with MS, the podcast from the Overcoming MS charity. In each episode, your host Geoff Allix explores a different aspect of the Overcoming MS Program in greater depth by talking with experts and people with MS about health lifestyle changes. New episodes are published on Wednesdays and feature interviews with scientists, neurologists, fitness specialists, diet experts, stress reduction professionals. The podcast also features inspirational, real-life stories from people with multiple sclerosis following the Overcoming MS program, about the challenges and victories of managing symptoms through lifestyle modification.

Living Well with Multiple Sclerosis Overcoming MS

    • Health & Fitness
    • 4.5 • 35 Ratings

Welcome to Living Well with MS, the podcast from the Overcoming MS charity. In each episode, your host Geoff Allix explores a different aspect of the Overcoming MS Program in greater depth by talking with experts and people with MS about health lifestyle changes. New episodes are published on Wednesdays and feature interviews with scientists, neurologists, fitness specialists, diet experts, stress reduction professionals. The podcast also features inspirational, real-life stories from people with multiple sclerosis following the Overcoming MS program, about the challenges and victories of managing symptoms through lifestyle modification.

    Dying Well with filmmaker Krystina Christiansen

    Dying Well with filmmaker Krystina Christiansen

    Welcome to Living Well with MS, where we are pleased to welcome Krystina Christiansen as our guest! Krystina is a filmmaker who has recently finished a documentary about an end-of-life letter she found, written by a man with MS.
    Overcoming MS wants everyone to live a full and healthy life with MS, but it is inevitable that everyone, with or without MS, will pass away. It is therefore unhelpful that death is often a taboo subject. Krystina talks to Geoff about healthy ways to think about your own mortality, her new film, ‘Dear Brandon’ and planning ahead for your end of life, which is something that everyone needs to consider.
    Keep reading for the key episode takeaways.
    Topics and Timestamps: 02:29 Krystina found an end-of-life letter from a man with MS on a mountain in Hawaii.
    04:12 ‘Dear Brandon’ is a film about death and grief, but also hope and community.
    10:41 Healthy ways to think about your own mortality.
    12:31 Writing a will and planning your funeral.
    14:55 Resources at the end of life.
    18:00 Death doulas can help the dying and their families.
    20:18 Death cafes are safe spaces to talk about mortality.
    24:35 Follow along with Brandon’s story and Krystina’s films.
    Selected Key Takeaways: Talking about death and dying doesn’t have to be taboo
    07:03 “To know Brandon is to know someone who is going to die, he is on his deathbed. That's the social contract that you agree to when you become friends with him. I’d also like to point out that that's the social contract you have with everybody. It's just more obvious with him, I guess. I've learned that sometimes just talking about [death] does make it a bit easier for everyone.”
    Make a plan for your funeral and estate
    09:32 “Make sure that you plan for your death if it is something that we have the opportunity to do. Planning makes not only your end of life a bit smoother, but also for the ones you leave behind. It makes their lives a lot better and allows them to just focus on grieving versus dealing with the business of death.”
    Death is not an emergency
    19:05 “If you have someone in the home who passes away, you don't have to call anyone immediately. You can take your time and be with your loved one. There is no rush. You can even have people come over and say goodbye in the home. You can prepare the body in the home, there are so many different options.”
    Want to learn more about living a full and happy life with multiple sclerosis? Sign up to our newsletter to hear our latest tips.
    More info and links: Learn more about Krystina’s work and “Dear Brandon” See the people and places Brandon’s letter reached Connect with others following Overcoming MS on the Live Well Hub Visit the Overcoming MS website Consider leaving a give to Overcoming MS New to Overcoming MS? Visit our introductory page  Follow us on social media: Facebook Instagram YouTube Pinterest Don’t miss out:  Subscribe to this podcast and never miss an episode. Listen to our archive of Living Well with MS episodes here. If you like Living Well with MS, please leave a 5-star review.
    Feel free to share your comments and suggestions for future guests and episode topics by emailing podcast@overcomingms.org.
    Make sure you sign up to our newsletter to hear our latest tips and news about living a full and happy life with MS.
    Support us:  If you enjoy this podcast and want to support the ongoing work of Overcoming MS, we would really appreciate it if you could leave a donation here. Every donation, however small, helps us to share the podcast with more people on how to live well with MS.

    • 27 min
    Webinar Highlights: Ask a Neurologist with Dr Aaron Boster

    Webinar Highlights: Ask a Neurologist with Dr Aaron Boster

    Welcome to Living Well with MS. In this episode, we are sharing the highlights from one of our ‘Ask Aaron’ webinars, where neurologist, Dr Aaron Boster, answers questions about MS from the community. In this episode, Dr Boster covers a range of topics, including heat intolerance, when to start a DMT and his tips for self-managing MS.
    You can watch the original webinar here. Keep reading for the key episode takeaways.  
    Topics and Timestamps: 02:13 Considerations for changing to a less stressful job and stronger DMTs.
    05:09 Talking to clinicians about stress.
    06:25 Hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
    08:11 Stem cell transplants for PPMS.
    10:35 Tysabri during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
    12:23 MS and Stroke.
    13:52 MRI showing brain cysts.
    16:57 Betaferon and slow progression.
    19:45 Changing from Tysabri to Ocrevus.
    21:41 Vertigo.
    23:05 Ampyra for walking, spasticity, and nerve pain.
    25:50 Types of inflammation.
    28:05 Anesthetic or epidural and MS.
    30:15 B-cell depletion therapy and allergies.
    31:17 Tips for self-managing MS.
    37:42 Heat intolerance.
    40:30 When to start on a DMT.
    41:22 Ocrevus and low lymphocyte levels.
    43:40 Diet and MS.
    48:50 Nausea as an MS symptom.
    51:30 CBD for MS.
    52:45 Bursitis and MS.
    53:36 Choosing a DMT and considering side effects.
    55:16 Invisible illness in an ableist world.
    Selected Key Takeaways: Exercise as part of your daily lifestyle 
    34:42 “Exercising as part of a lifestyle means that if you do it, you're not rewarded. There's no reward for doing something as part of your lifestyle and if you don't do it, there's no punishment - you're not sent to the naughty corner. So, for example, I have a lifestyle of brushing my teeth. I don't tweet about it. I don't make YouTube videos about it. I don't even talk about it when I get to work. It's just something I do every morning and if I happen to forget to brush my teeth before I head off to the office, I'll run upstairs and do it. This is part of my lifestyle. So, I need people impacted by MS to exercise as part of their lifestyle.”
    Plan your day to minimise symptoms like heat intolerance
    39:43 “We can conserve energy during those times when it's really hot out. Whereas I would normally encourage a patient to park at the back of the parking lot to get their steps in. If it's the middle of the day, [walking that far is] going to sap all your energy so that when you get to the grocery store you can't shop, that doesn't really work very well, does it? And so that's an example where we would have someone drop us off at the threshold of the grocery store so that you can be successful in your shopping.”
    Be brave in using mobility aids and seeking accommodations.
    57:27 “I tell people who are embarrassed by their cane, ‘Don't you dare be embarrassed by your cane, a cane is a sign of intelligence.’ A person with a cane would like to not fall. So, when a little boy is walking with [his] mum, and says, ‘Mummy, why is she using a cane?’ That's an opportunity for the mother to say, ‘Well, she doesn't want to fall, she has a problem with her leg and the cane helps her.’ It normalises it. So, one of the things that we need to do is to be brave. I'll remind you of the definition of bravery, ‘doing something despite being scared’. The second thing is, I want you to be very selfish. You need to be selfish; you live your life once. You're not living your life so some stranger, you don't know, thinks nice polite things about you.”
    Want to learn more about living a full and happy life with multiple sclerosis? Sign up to our newsletter to hear our latest tips.
    More info and links: Watch the original webinar here. Dr Boster was on three previous Living Well with MS episodes: S1E11: Making the Right Medication Choices   S2E17: Lifestyle Choices and Their Impact on MS  S3E43: Let’s Talk About Sex (and MS) Check out Dr Boster’s popular YouTube channel covering all aspects of MS. New to Overcoming MS? Visi

    • 1 hr
    Webinar highlights: Guide to the Overcoming MS Diet with Gillian Robertson and Ashley Madden

    Webinar highlights: Guide to the Overcoming MS Diet with Gillian Robertson and Ashley Madden

    Welcome to Living Well with MS. In this episode, we are sharing the highlights from our webinar, ‘A guide to the Overcoming MS Diet’, with Gillian Robertson and Ashley Madden. Gillian and Ashley are both professional chefs who follow the Overcoming MS Program. In this webinar, they discuss how to adopt the diet, the benefits of a plant-based diet, dairy substitutes and much more.
    Watch the original webinar here. Keep reading for the key episode takeaways.
    Topics and Timestamps 02:52 Practical ways to adopt the Overcoming MS Diet.
    08:56 What is a plant-based diet?
    14:58 Meals and snacks that offer a complete protein.
    22:32 Substituting cheese and ice cream.
    27:13 Cooking without oil.
    33:13 Meal planning equipment.
    39:33 Plant-based meal planning on a budget.
    Selected Key Takeaways A whole food, plant-based diet is health-promoting. 
    11:00 Ashley Madden: “A plant-based diet is high in essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fibre. It's overall anti-inflammatory because we're getting a lot of antioxidants from all those colourful plant foods. It's low in saturated fat, which is important for us, of course, and also has extensive health benefits that go beyond. A plant-based diet has been shown to reduce the risk of some cancers, it can help with weight loss or weight stabilisation, and it can also decrease the risks and sometimes reverse some of the modern-day chronic diseases that we're seeing in a lot of the developed countries.”
    It’s easy to get enough complete protein on a plant-based diet. 
    14:27 Ashley Madden: “What modern science has taught us is that the amino acid gaps in one plant food are filled in by another plant food. The bottom line is that you don't need to strategically pair plant foods in specific meals to get the protein that you need. We now know that eating a variety of whole plant foods will get you all of the essential amino acids that are required. I have here listed just some simple meal and snack ideas that actually do offer you complete protein that you're probably already doing and don't even know it. So brown rice and beans, oatmeal, and nuts and seeds or soy milk, sprouted bread is a great one because it has a combination of legumes and grains and nuts and hummus on whole wheat toast.”
    Plant based cooking can be done on a budget.
    39:45 Gillian Robertson: “Organic now is a big trend. Obviously, it can be very expensive. Don't feel that you always have to buy organic. As long as you're washing your fruit and vegetables well, you're going to be okay. And it's okay to look at frozen fruit and vegetables as well as fresh ones, these are often cheaper, they're just as nutritious and they can help save time because they're often pre-prepared as well. Frozen fish can also be much more economical. If you start thinking about the inexpensive items in plant-based cooking, [such as] grains, pulses, seasonal vegetables, if you make those the base of your meals, then your meals really are not going to cost that much money.
    More info and Links: Watch the original webinar   Try out some recipes on our website Read our blog for tips on shopping at the supermarket New to Overcoming MS? Visit our introductory page Connect with others following Overcoming MS on the Live Well Hub Visit the Overcoming MS website Follow us on social media: Facebook Instagram YouTube Pinterest Don’t miss out:  Subscribe to this podcast and never miss an episode. Listen to our archive of Living Well with MS episodes here. If you like Living Well with MS, we’d appreciate it if you could leave us a 5-star review.
    Feel free to share your comments and suggestions for future guests and episode topics by emailing podcast@overcomingms.org.
    Make sure you sign up to our newsletter to hear our latest tips and news about living a full and happy life with MS.
    Support us: If you enjoy this podcast and want to support the ongoing work of Overcoming MS, we would appreciate it if you can leave a don

    • 45 min
    Ask Jack – Cooking with Tofu

    Ask Jack – Cooking with Tofu

    Welcome to Living Well with MS, where we are pleased to welcome Jack McNulty as our guest! Jack is a professional cook and a longtime follower of the Overcoming MS Program. In this episode, he answers questions from the community about how to cook with tofu.
    Watch this episode on YouTube here. Keep reading for the key episode takeaways.
    Topics and Timestamps: 01:42 What is tofu?
    02:37 Is it possible to make tofu from scratch?
    03:59 Benefits of adding tofu to your diet.
    05:54 Debunking the myth that ‘tofu is bland’.
    07:03 Saturated fat levels in tofu.
    08:52 Different types and textures of tofu.
    16:24 The difference between tofu and tempeh.
    21:49 Ways to change the texture of tofu.
    28:57 Do you have to press tofu before cooking?
    31:22 Jack’s favourite tofu marinades and recipes.
    Selected Key Takeaways: Tofu is an affordable, easy-to-digest, source of protein. 
    04:25 “Tofu is fairly easy to digest. A lot of people who may have trouble [digesting] legumes can actually digest tofu a little bit easier than they can from the whole bean, which is nice. It's definitely a good source of protein. It’s really affordable. The other thing that I think that's really interesting with tofu is it's basically just a blank canvas."
    Tofu vs. tempeh
    17:01 “Tofu is made from soy milk from the whole soybean turned into milk and then coagulated. Tempeh which originates from Indonesia (and you see it a lot in Indonesian cooking) is [made from] whole beans. It's generally soybeans, but it can be made with other kinds of beans like chickpeas and is pressed together and inoculated with a mold and then packaged so it has this sort of white net around the beans, which gives it a very specific flavour.”
    Pressing tofu can make it dry.  
    29:19 “You want to be careful [pressing tofu] because you're forcing out a lot of the moisture from the interior of the tofu that's going to make it fundamentally dry at the end. I would be very cautious with recipes that say, ‘start off by pressing the tofu’. I think it's much better to take a different approach, maybe freeze it, maybe pour some boiling salted water over it, or marinate it rather than pressing it.”
    Want to learn more about living a full and happy life with multiple sclerosis? Sign up to our newsletter to hear our latest tips.
    More info and links: Try Jack’s Marinated & Dry-sautéed Tofu Try Jack’s Tofu Vegan Mayonnaise Listen to ‘S4E48: Ask Jack’ for his tofu scramble recipe New to Overcoming MS? Visit our introductory page  Connect with others following Overcoming MS on the Live Well Hub Visit the Overcoming MS website Follow us on social media: Facebook Instagram YouTube Pinterest Don’t miss out:  Subscribe to this podcast and never miss an episode. Listen to our archive of Living Well with MS episodes here. If you like Living Well with MS, please leave a 5-star review.
    Feel free to share your comments and suggestions for future guests and episode topics by emailing podcast@overcomingms.org.
    Make sure you sign up to our newsletter to hear our latest tips and news about living a full and happy life with MS.
    Support us:  If you enjoy this podcast and want to support the ongoing work of Overcoming MS, we would really appreciate it if you could leave a donation here. Every donation, however small, helps us to share the podcast with more people on how to live well with MS.

    • 41 min
    Oils and Fats with industrial chemist Mike Newton

    Oils and Fats with industrial chemist Mike Newton

    Welcome to Living Well with MS, where we are pleased to welcome Mike Newton as our guest! Mike is an industrial chemist and follows the Overcoming MS Program. He lives in Australia and has been following the recommendations of Dr Roy Swank and Professor George Jelinek for 25 years. He talks to Geoff about the difference between saturated and unsaturated fats, heating oils and his Overcoming MS journey.
    Watch this episode on our YouTube here. Keep reading for the key episode takeaways.
    Topics and Timestamps: 01:13 Defining oils, fats, triglycerides and lipids from a cooking and chemistry perspective.
    07:35 Fats to avoid and include in your diet.
    12:54 What’s the difference between plant, animal and fish triglycerides or fats?
    16:44 Why do we want to increase our Omega-3s and decrease Omega-9s?
    19:24 The difference between monoglycerides and diglycerides is in the melting point, lower melting points are better for brain health.
    22:50 Overcoming MS and Dr Roy Swank
    Selected Key Takeaways: Defining Oils and Fats 
    01:40 “Triglycerides are the encompassing description of all oils and fats, whether they are from plants or animals, and whether they are liquid or solid. The terms oil and fat are more for the layman and the cooking man. Oil is a liquid at room temperature, and fat is a solid at room temperature.”
    Hydrogenated fat in commercially produced foods
    16:09 “The reason that they use hydrogenated fats is to give the [food] structure so that they can make a pie that you can eat with ease without it all collapsing around you while you're eating it. So, it's purely done for your mouthfeel and structure, so you can eat it (more easily).”
    Roy Swank’s theory on fat and MS 
    24:27 “Swank took the theory that the brain is made of a very high percentage of fat and cholesterol. If [your brain] is rock hard like this candle, then when it's rattling around in your head, the lesions in your brain will be scraping against your skull or another very hard piece of brain, causing more symptoms than that you would get if your brain was fluid and malleable.”
    Want to learn more about living a full and happy life with multiple sclerosis? Sign up to our newsletter to hear our latest tips.
    More info and links: Recommended Oils on the Overcoming MS Program Guide to understanding Fats in the MS Diet Role of Fats in the Overcoming MS Diet Types of fats in your diet New to Overcoming MS? Visit our introductory page  Connect with others following Overcoming MS on the Live Well Hub Visit the Overcoming MS website Follow us on social media: Facebook Instagram YouTube Pinterest Don’t miss out:  Subscribe to this podcast and never miss an episode. Listen to our archive of Living Well with MS episodes here. If you like Living Well with MS, please leave a 5-star review.
    Feel free to share your comments and suggestions for future guests and episode topics by emailing podcast@overcomingms.org.
    Make sure you sign up to our newsletter to hear our latest tips and news about living a full and happy life with MS.
    Support us:  If you enjoy this podcast and want to support the ongoing work of Overcoming MS, we would really appreciate it if you could leave a donation here. Every donation, however small, helps us to share the podcast with more people on how to live well with MS.

    • 27 min
    Autoimmunity with Dr David Bilstrom

    Autoimmunity with Dr David Bilstrom

    Welcome to Living Well with MS, where we are pleased to welcome Dr David Bilstrom as our guest! Dr Bilstrom, MD is the Director of the International Autoimmune Institute & Bingham Memorial Center for Functional Medicine and an expert in treating autoimmune diseases. He talks to Geoff about what autoimmune diseases are, about Vitamin D and gives his tips for sticking with lifestyle change.
    Watch this episode on YouTube here. Keep reading for the key episode takeaways.
    Topics and Timestamps: 00:59 Dr Bilstrom’s introduction and work in autoimmunity.
    01:48 Reversing MS symptoms.
    03:32 Infections and autoimmune diseases.
    05:52 Vitamin D and MS.
    10:45 Supplementing with butyrate.
    12:23 Leaky gut and autoimmunity.
    14:34 Oestrogen dominance and autoimmunity.
    19:03 Adverse childhood events and autoimmunity.
    23:40 Tips for sticking with lifestyle change.
    Selected Key Takeaways: The risk of autoimmunity increases if a parent has an autoimmune disease.
    02:04 “It's so easy if you get one autoimmune disease to get a second or third or fourth, but also, if a parent has an autoimmune disease, the child is at a higher risk of every autoimmune disease. For example, if a parent gets rheumatoid arthritis, that child is at a 5.4 times greater risk of getting type one diabetes. We want to educate people about what we know about why people get autoimmune diseases.”
    Vitamin D and prevention of autoimmune diseases
    06:38 “If a woman's vitamin D is above 50 during pregnancy, she's going to decrease the risk of her child ever getting MS by 50% … Vitamin D is uber important when it comes to immune system stuff, such as preventing MS in pregnancy. Cancer is the flip side of the same coin, that's [another] autoimmune disease. If a woman's vitamin D is above 60, she has automatically decreased her risk of ever getting breast cancer by 82%. Kids that take vitamin D 2000 IU in the first year of life will decrease the risk of ever getting type one diabetes by 90%.”
    Epigenetics and autoimmunity
    11:11 “We used to think our genes, our DNA in our cells, [that] whatever we got from our parents [and] grandparents we’re stuck with it. If a parent has MS, they’d think “well, I wish I could change some of the genes my child has.” Well, it turns out, it's not what genes you have, it’s which ones get turned on and turned off. So, it's epigenetics, the things that influence gene expression. There are a lot of bad genes that drive chronic disease, we’ve got to turn those guys off, as well as good genes that drive health, we’ve got to turn those guys on.”
    Want to learn more about living a full and happy life with multiple sclerosis? Sign up to our newsletter to hear our latest tips.
    More info and links: Learn more about Dr Bilstrom’s work Take Dr Bilstrom’s free online course New to Overcoming MS? Visit our introductory page  Connect with others following Overcoming MS on the Live Well Hub Visit the Overcoming MS website Follow us on social media: Facebook Instagram YouTube Pinterest Don’t miss out:  Subscribe to this podcast and never miss an episode. Listen to our archive of Living Well with MS episodes here. If you like Living Well with MS, please leave a 5-star review.
    Feel free to share your comments and suggestions for future guests and episode topics by emailing podcast@overcomingms.org.
    Make sure you sign up to our newsletter to hear our latest tips and news about living a full and happy life with MS.
    Support us:  If you enjoy this podcast and want to support the ongoing work of Overcoming MS, we would really appreciate it if you could leave a donation here. Every donation, however small, helps our charity to share how to live well with MS with more people.

    • 26 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
35 Ratings

35 Ratings

cm102019 ,

Well done!

Living Well with MS hits the ball out of the park in featuring inspirational, real-life stories. Others with MS, as well as family members and friends could benefit from listening and understanding. In particular, I enjoyed hearing Shari Short’s unique journey. It was a fantastic interview with in depth questions.

Rb165405 ,

Accessible and informative

Living Well with Multiple Sclerosis offers hope and true stories of recovery from professionals and people with MS who are following the OMS recovery program. I always learn something new and feel part of a movement to self-manage autoimmunity through lifestyle choices.

kbh1717 ,

Truth

Love hearing true facts from Liz!

Top Podcasts In Health & Fitness

Scicomm Media
Unknown
ZOE
iHeartPodcasts
John R. Miles
Peter Attia, MD

You Might Also Like

Barry Singer, MD
Dr. Gretchen Hawley PT, DPT, MSCS
Jon Strum
Dr Rangan Chatterjee: GP & Author
Fearne Cotton
Sleep Meditation