TRANSCRIPT: Ask the Expert with Dr. Anne... - My MSAA Community

My MSAA Community
5,588 members12,847 posts

TRANSCRIPT: Ask the Expert with Dr. Annette Okai - Wellness and Healthy Living with MS

johnMSAA
johnMSAAAdministrator

Good evening and welcome, My MSAA Community, to our Ask the Expert with Dr. Annette Okai! We are grateful to have Dr. Okai joining us again to answer YOUR questions.

Dr. Okai is a neurologist in Dallas, Texas and specializes in multiple sclerosis. She is affiliated with Baylor University Medical Center.

For the next hour, please feel free to ask Dr. Okai your questions concerning issues related to wellness and healthy living as a reply to this post. Don’t forget to keep refreshing the page to see the latest questions and responses.

Bring on your questions below!

The ability to reply to this post has been turned off.
27 Replies
oldestnewest

It's great to be hosting another program with the MSAA

johnMSAA
johnMSAAAdministrator

Are there any particular diets that are recommended for people with MS?

Dr_Annette_Okai
Dr_Annette_OkaiMS Expert
in reply to johnMSAA

The best tip for MS patient is to start eating healthy. Avoid fried and fatty foods. Eat more vegetables and fruits.

The Mediterranean diet is a great guide to start eating your way to a healthy life style

johnMSAA
johnMSAAAdministrator

What are some exercises that you recommend for people with MS who have mobility issues?

Dr_Annette_Okai
Dr_Annette_OkaiMS Expert
in reply to johnMSAA

for those with decreased mobility, I recommend starting with stretching exercises. Other types of exercises include seated yoga, and using a recumbent bike.

It is best to consult with your healthcare team for modified exercise regiment to fit your needs

Does increasing a vitamin d3 help?

Dr_Annette_Okai
Dr_Annette_OkaiMS Expert
in reply to Redhead4377

Adequate / normal vit D levels is beneficial for people with MS. If levels are low or deficient, increasing the vit D 3 dose to get is normal level is recommended

johnMSAA
johnMSAAAdministrator

What stress management tips can you offer?

Dr_Annette_Okai
Dr_Annette_OkaiMS Expert
in reply to johnMSAA

Stress can come in different forms and can impact MS symptoms.

One way to manage that is to be organized. Prioritize tasks to avoid being overwhelmed. Delegate or ask for help with tasks

Avoid situations or minimize exposure to situations that can cause you stress

Develop a regimen, which can be mediation based, to relax your mind and body

johnMSAA
johnMSAAAdministrator

What strategies can people with MS do to help with cognition?

Dr_Annette_Okai
Dr_Annette_OkaiMS Expert
in reply to johnMSAA

One way to help with cognitive symptoms to keep organized.

Write notes and reminders if memory is an issue

Finish up up task before going to the other if there is difficulty multitasking

Keep your brain active by playing memory games and puzzles

take time to process information before acting on it

Will the neurologist offer steroids at my first appointment next week? To hopefully help ease my symptoms...mainly numbness and difficulty walking.

Dr_Annette_Okai
Dr_Annette_OkaiMS Expert
in reply to Redhead4377

Normally steroid used is reserved for symptoms that starts suddenly / new onset, such as a relapse.

Is this your first time seeing this neurologist?

Yes. Symptoms for four months now. Debilitating. Two mris by pcp now. But had to wait to be seen by a neurologist.

Dr_Annette_Okai
Dr_Annette_OkaiMS Expert
in reply to Redhead4377

Depending on what the neurologist find on exam, there are plans that can be put in place for symptom management.

johnMSAA
johnMSAAAdministrator

The next question is from one of our community members who could not attend:

Can you explain what test(s) you recommend to confirm the diagnosis of MS for people who are showing initial MS symptoms?

Dr_Annette_Okai
Dr_Annette_OkaiMS Expert
in reply to johnMSAA

A brain and / or spine MRI is the test neurologists use, in addition to your history and exam, to diagnose MS.

There are times when a spinal tap (lumbar puncture) is done but this is not needed all the time

johnMSAA
johnMSAAAdministrator

Another question from a community member who could not attend tonight:

We often hear that it’s important for people with MS to keep track of their MS activity such as symptoms, medication side effects, etc. What are some tips you suggest to help keep track of the often-changing course of MS?

Dr_Annette_Okai
Dr_Annette_OkaiMS Expert
in reply to johnMSAA

It is always a good idea to keep a journal. not only does it keep track of symptoms and med, but also help your visits to the doctor go smoother.

make sure to list in order of priority what you would like to address at the visit.

A journal also provide a look back at your journey over time and help track the course. This makes a treatment plan easier to put in place

johnMSAA
johnMSAAAdministrator

Can you talk about depression and MS?

Dr_Annette_Okai
Dr_Annette_OkaiMS Expert
in reply to johnMSAA

Depression is common. It can also make MS symptoms worse and decrease quality of life overall.

It can worsen fatigue as well

It is important to talk to your doctor if you are experiencing depression. If properly addressed, some MS symptoms may improve as well

johnMSAA
johnMSAAAdministrator

Will exercise worsen someone's MS symptoms?

Dr_Annette_Okai
Dr_Annette_OkaiMS Expert
in reply to johnMSAA

Exercise can make some symptoms more pronounced if you have not exercise in a while. Remember to start off slow and slowly increase your exercise plan over time. It's better to exercise than not.

johnMSAA
johnMSAAAdministrator

What are some tips to help with fatigue?

Dr_Annette_Okai
Dr_Annette_OkaiMS Expert
in reply to johnMSAA

Fatigue can be from different causes

First - make sure you are getting refreshing sleep - if not, mention to your provider

second: prioritize your task and don't overdo it

Also, if depression is present, get treatment

start exercising. It helps build endurance and energy level

johnMSAA
johnMSAAAdministrator

On behalf of everyone here at MSAA, we thank Dr. Annette Okai for her time and expertise, as well as our My MSAA Community members who have participated and asked questions! We would also like to thank Biogen, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Genentech for supporting this Ask the Expert program.

Dr_Annette_Okai
Dr_Annette_OkaiMS Expert
in reply to johnMSAA

Thank you and it was a pleasure working with the community

The ability to reply to this post has been turned off.

You may also like...