According to the Multiple Sclerosis Society, no one particular diet has been proven to significantly affect the symptoms of MS. Doctors recommend MS patients follow the same low-fat, high-fiber diet as everyone else. However, MS patients have found through experience – and some research has suggested – that adding certain things to your diet and avoiding others may help to diminish MS symptoms.
But these MS diet changes will not have the same effect – if any at all – on every patient. It’s important to figure out which dietary changes are best for you, in conjunction with and under the supervision of your doctor.
Here are some of the things you can add to or avoid in your diet to combat MS symptoms.
Salt – Research has suggested that salt accelerates nerve damage.
Gluten – Studies have identified a higher incidence of celiac disease, or gluten intolerance, among MS patients and their first degree relatives. Gluten is found in wheat and related grains.
Saturated fat – Some research suggests that, depending on when a diet low in saturated fat is adopted, MS patients may be able to stop or slow the progression of their symptoms. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, low-fat/no fat dairy, and fish are good choices for a low saturated fat diet.
Vitamin D – Studies have noted a strong correlation between low vitamin D levels and MS. Take supplements as recommended by your doctor and look for vitamin D rich foods like shiitake mushrooms, salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, and other foods that are marked as vitamin D fortified on their labels.
Omega-3 fatty acids – Commonly known as fish oil, studies have shown omega-3 fatty acids to have some effect on slowing the progression of MS symptoms. The fatty fish that are also high in vitamin D – salmon, mackerel, and herring – are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Speak to your doctor before taking fish oil supplements to ensure they’re safe to take in conjunction with other medicines.
Ginger and turmeric – These spices are natural anti-inflammatories. Since MS is thought to stem from inflammation of the myelin sheath around nerve cells, it’s suggested that these natural anti-inflammatories may help to lessen the severity and duration of MS symptoms.
Have you found that other foods help to diminish your MS symptoms? Share them with us below.
Sources: emaxhealth.com, nationalmssociety.org, and life-in-spite-of-ms.com