Recent research indicates that diet and other lifestyle modifications can aid in managing MS, including a diet that is very low in saturated fat, plus supplementation with essential fatty acids, sunlight or vitamin D supplementation, stress management techniques, and regular exercise. Such activities can significantly aid in slowing MS’s progression.
What is Multiple Sclerosis?Multiple sclerosis, often known as simply "MS", affects an estimated 400,000 people in the U.S., with about 200 new cases diagnosed each week. MS is considered the most globally widespread of the disabling types of neurological maladies affecting young adults, according to Healthline.com.
Those with MS deal with a multitude of variable symptoms, based on which of the types of multiple sclerosis is affecting them.
Common multiple sclerosis symptoms include problems with vision, bladder, constipation, loss of bowel control, walking, muscle spasms, dizziness, vertigo, fatigue, numbness, tingling, pain, emotions, memory, and depression.
What causes MS? This is presently unknown. But MS appears to be brought on by a combination of environmental factors and a genetic predisposition, according to the National MS Society. MS damages the myelin coating that surrounds nerve fibers in the central nervous system, and can even damage the nerve fibers scrambling the nerve messages going to and coming from the brain.
Diet and Multiple Sclerosis
MS: What to eatThe short version is this: focus on a diet of plant-based whole foods, and include fish. “Whole foods” means the basics – think potato instead of potato chip; carrot instead of carrot cake; baked fish instead of breaded and deep-fried fish; rice instead of Rice Krispies treats.
Processed, non-whole foods have many added ingredients or methods of preparation that often reduce the health value per bite, that can harm a person with MS.
For more guidance on good foods for those with MS, check out these recipes for multiple sclerosis sufferers.
MS: What not to eatOvercoming MS specifically warns against consuming the following if you have multiple sclerosis. Some key foods to avoid:
- Most fried or deep-fried foods (read why here) and, consequentially, most fast foods
- Dairy products (the protein and saturated fats can both be a problem)
- Egg yolks
- Commercially prepared baked goods
- Most snack foods
- Many kinds of fats, including margarine, shortening, coconut oil and palm oil – Just 5 grams/day of trans-fatty acids increases the risk of heart disease by 25%, according to a 2006 Australian study)
Understanding and Diagnosing MSIf you believe that you are experiencing MS symptoms, review these multiple sclerosis diagnosis methods here and contact your physician. For an overview of multiple sclerosis, see this MS information article at WebMD.