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‘I’m eating better and exercising more — and in ways that are different to how I was before my diagnosis. I’m just trying to build healthy habits into my daily life; make sure I’m stretching, have two litres of water, take my vitamins, that sort of thing.’

When Tarika started experiencing symptoms of MS again in 2023, after 3 years symptom free, she had a feeling that this time it was something more serious. Although the diagnosis was confronting, she felt validated as well.

‘I think I knew that it would be MS. There was also an element of feeling validated that these symptoms were real and there was in fact a reason for them,’ Tarika said.

Tarika then reached out to Plus Connect, who sent her a welcome pack with information about available services and support. She saw the dietitian service and decided to reach out.

‘I think with MS, there’s so much that’s outside of your control. Everyone’s pathway is different. I was just like, ‘what can I do that is in my control?

‘My neurologist told me that living the healthiest life I can will help me to deal with whatever happens moving forward.

‘What I wanted to know was, how closely does what I currently eat and my current habits align with what a professional would say?

‘There’s a lot of mixed info out there but I needed someone who understands the quirks of an MS diet and would also have that impartial view of what constitutes a good, healthy diet. I just wanted to cross check what I was doing.

‘I also have a strong family history of diabetes, so I was pretty scared of having MS and other comorbidities. My diet is one way I can possibly avoid this.’

Jady has since provided Tarika with tailored support that has helped her to make healthier choices.

‘I wanted some strategies to put myself in the best position possible to avoid diabetes moving forward and (dietitian) Jady has been really helpful guiding me through that,’ Tarika says.

The Plus Diet & Nutrition service helps empower people with MS and other neurological conditions to eat and live well, with support from a professional dietitian.

I think Jady’s really helped to enhance my knowledge of the Australian Dietary Guidelines and has given me some very practical advice and tools that I’ve been able to refer back to when I need them.

‘I really appreciate that she’s been able to help me make healthier choices based on my own preferences.

‘If you look online, you get such different views and it’s hard to know what’s right, so I’ve found it so helpful to cut through that and have someone who I can ask diet-related questions.

‘Jady has taught me so much. If I fall off the wagon with my diet, I know she’s there to call and help me to get back on track,’ Tarika says.

‘I think MS teaches you the importance of taking care of yourself, which is the reason I talk to Mahenddra (physiotherapist) and Jady, I’ve learned the value of taking care of yourself. I think most of us learn this lesson eventually as we get older. I’m 29 so I’m just on that journey a little earlier than most people.’

To speak with an MS Plus dietitian, phone Plus Connect 1800 042 138

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