everyday health magazine

By Madeline R. Vann, MPH Medically Reviewed by Jason Paul Chua, MD, PhD

Multiple sclerosis can negatively affect multiple processes that control or modulate breathing. Here’s what you can do to improve your respiratory function.

Among the many possible complications of multiple sclerosis (MS) is a reduction in your ability to exhale fully and to cough effectively enough to clear secretions or food from your airway, says Anthony Reder, MD, a multiple sclerosis specialist and professor of neurology at the University of Chicago. A serious consequence of these changes is a higher risk of respiratory infections like pneumonia. Changes in breathing function can also cause fatigue, as you work harder to breathe and supply your body with the oxygen it needs.

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