Nutrition Advice for People with MS
Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is a frightening disease. It is both progressive and degenerative. It damages muscles, cells, and structures such as myelin that the body needs to function properly. Therefore, a person with MS can experience a range of physical and cognitive symptoms. Brains of those with MS often shrink as the body degenerates, negatively impacting memory and cognitive function. People with MS usually lose their ability to walk and can lose the ability to control more muscles and fully see, hear, or speak.
There is no cure for MS, but there are steps you can take at home that may help alleviate its symptoms. One key step involves nutrition. Many doctors aren’t fully aware of MS patients’ nutritional needs, but online sources have exploded with information over the past several years. Today, we’ll highlight some of the best nutritional choices an MS patient could make.
Please consult your health care professional before making any drastic changes to your diet, especially if you suffer with any chronic ailments or have health concerns that involve diet restrictions.
Increase B Vitamins
People with MS typically need consistent high doses of B vitamins including B12, B9, and B6. Vitamin B6 is thought to help with energy, while vitamins B9 and B12 aid amino acid conversions into proteins and help regulate the nervous system and production of red blood cells. People who have low vitamin B12 levels may in fact experience symptoms that mimic MS. B12 and its counterparts may help restore function to the mitochondria in cells, thereby increasing energy. You can find B vitamins in lean meats, eggs, and dairy products. Because eggs and dairy are also fattening, ask your doctor whether you need egg substitutes and what forms of milk and cheese are best for you.
Avoid Processed Foods
Physicians and nutritionists know that as society becomes busier and more affluent, people eat more processed foods. MS patients should avoid these products because they typically drain energy and cause symptoms such as weight gain, headaches, stomachaches, and in some cases, depression. These foods include fast foods, any foods or drinks that use preservatives, processed meats and cheeses, white bread, and some sauces.
Go Light on Grains
Some doctors recommend that MS patients avoid carbs and grains altogether. Ideally, you should eat foods from every group, but you do need to monitor the types of grains you eat. The white flour used in many processed breads will turn to sugar once it hits your bloodstream. Look for whole grains and brown breads such as rye and pumpernickel. Consider buying whole grain and supplement grains with protein. For example, for a healthy snack, spread low-fat peanut butter or almond butter on rye toast.
Read this amazing story of one woman who was able to cure MS with diet. TED Talk: Minding Your Mitochondria
If you have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, be sure to take your medications as instructed by your doctor. If you need help affording your medications, download a free Watertree Health Prescription Discount Card, request a card be mailed to you, or text CARD to 95577. All brand name and generic medications are eligible for savings with our card–including those for heart-disease.
Instructions and Disclaimer: The content on this website is designed for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses. Always consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your health.
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