Maintaining a healthy and nutritious diet is important in managing the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). MS occurs when the body’s own immune system attacks the central nervous system. This can lead to potential symptoms such as numbness, fatigue, vision problems, bowel and bladder dysfunction, and movement challenges. Following a healthy diet can help play a significant role in dealing with these symptoms.
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society advises that there is no specific diet that can help cure MS since the symptoms of this condition tend to come and go. This makes it challenging to measure the effectiveness of any specific diet. However, following a diet that is low-fat and rich in fiber can be beneficial in helping with MS symptoms. Healthline has suggested some foods for those with Multiple Sclerosis to avoid or incorporate into a daily diet that may be beneficial.
Avoid Saturated Fats & Add Vitamin D
For good overall health, it is best to reduce fat intake to as low as 15 grams a day. You do not want to eliminate good fats or avoid cutting down in too many foods that contain Vitamin D. Some studies conducted by researchers at the University of Oxford and another conducted at the New Jersey Medical School have suggested that maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D may have a protective effect and lower the risk of developing MS and lessen the frequency and severity of symptoms. Some common foods that contain Vitamin D are liver, cheese, egg yolks and fatty fish like tuna and salmon.
Just Say No to Caffeine and Diet Drinks
Drinks that contain caffeine and aspartame can be a cause of irritation to the bladder. According to the nutritional guidelines provided by researchers, it is best to avoid such drinks especially if you experience bladder related symptoms.
What About Gluten?
A study that was published revealed that MS patients had high sensitivity to gluten. Before switching to a gluten free diet, have this tested to see if you do have an allergy to gluten. Gluten intolerance is a wheat-related disorder. Symptoms, including belly pain and bloating, occur after eating foods that contain gluten, such as, wheat, barley, and rye.
Opt for Fruit Instead of Refined Sugars
There is no evidence today that shows that refined sugar may lead to MS flare-ups, however, it is still suggested to cut back on sweet sugary foods to help manage a healthy weight. Additional intake of calorie rich food and sugar can lead to weight gain which has been linked to MS fatigue. It’s okay to have a slice of birthday cake once in a while but it is highly beneficial if you can choose fruit instead of food that contains refined sugar. Additionally, fruits are rich in fiber to help with constipation which can be a common symptom for MS patients.
Eat Well, Feel Good, and Live Long
Unfortunately, Multiple Sclerosis is a lifelong disease where the types and frequency of symptoms vary for each individual. There are various ways to help manage symptoms in order to have a better quality of life. Having a low-fat, high fiber diet will help provide energy, relief of some symptoms, and prevent additional health problems like heart disease.