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MS and gluten. An article from 'The Lancet'. It's long,sorry

Hi there,
Gluten sensitivity, like most conditions, (including MS), can be mild (slight bloating) to severe, (Coeliac disease).
In my case, it causes terrible fatigue and makes my nerve pain go nuclear.
I’ve been gluten-free (I do cheat at times) since 2006, after a challenge here by the lovely Lollipop, to try diet for a while.
I was at rock-bottom after a 9 month relapse and went a bit far, actually eating a raw food diet for 6 months, but it really did help. I got very tired of this difficult diet in the end and now, I’m gluten-free. (I have to eat low-carb as well, but that’s another story).
Not everyone responds to cutting gluten from their diet.
Some do well on Swank, or Professor Jelink’s diet, some on Best Bet Diet and there are other diets, all of which will work for someone, somewhere.
It’s worth a try, but only if you feel you really want to, or else you’ll hate your new diet and cheat wherever possible.
The way that MS manifests itself is so different from person to person, makes it very frustrating to deal with. Very.

The Lancet Neurology, Volume 9, Issue 7, Pages 653 - 654, July 2010
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doi:10.1016/S1474-4422(10)70149-6Cite or Link Using DOI
Gluten sensitivity and the CNS: diagnosis and treatment

In their Personal View, Hadjivassiliou and colleagues1 indicate that some cases of gluten sensitivity are associated with white matter lesions in the brain and the spinal cord, and that these lesions are indistinguishable from those seen in patients with multiple sclerosis.
We would like to speculate whether, in a patient with multiple sclerosis and coeliac disease, treatment of one condition could lead to an improvement in the other disorder.

We have described a case report2 of a 29-year-old woman with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. After treatment with interferon beta for 1 year, she had another relapse that was, for the first time, associated with gastrointestinal symptoms (diarrhoea and abdominal pain) and weight loss. The patient was diagnosed with coeliac disease (as proven by duodenal biopsy samples). Interferon beta was stopped and a gluten-free diet was started as a single treatment. She has followed this diet for the past 7 years and has been in good health during that time without any further relapses. Since the first year of being on a gluten-free diet, concentrations of anti-transglutaminase IgA antibodies have returned to normal. In 2004, after 2 years of being on this diet, gastrointestinal endoscopy showed normal duodenal mucosa. In 2009, a clear decrease in spinal and brain lesions was confirmed by use of MRI. The patient is now fully asymptomatic and results from neurological assessments are normal.

Although the favourable response of the neurological and gastrointestinal symptoms to the gluten-free diet of this case strongly indicates coeliac disease as the primary cause of the CNS effects, we believe that this patient presented both diseases. Coeliac disease appeared as an associated condition rather than as the main cause of the neurological disorder. Moreover, coeliac disease is often associated with other autoimmune diseases and its association with optical neuromyelitis or multiple sclerosis has been described.3
The complex causes of autoimmune diseases not only present a challenge to the development and testing of new therapies but also offer the potential to identify subgroups of patients who might benefit from particular approaches. Consuming gliadin for several years, starting in infancy, might not only be the cause of activation of coeliac disease but, in some patients, could also be an additional factor to trigger the beginning of other autoimmune diseases. Continued studies of such diseases are needed to help identify the most appropriate strategies for each disorder.4
We have no conflicts of interest.

Thanks for posting this, it is a really interesting article

Hi,
Have just read your post - with great interest l might add. l know that l am so much better if l do not eat bread/gluten and also
other carbs l , like you, try to keep a 'low’intake. And l say ‘try’. l just wish my will power was stronger. l could do with someone putting
the right foods in front of me. l know from reading all the latest info on Vit d3 - that coeliac is one of the auto-immune conditions effected
by vitd3 deficiency- along with psoriasis and osteo arthritis. l suffer from all of these. l have had lots of tests on my bowels/stomach as l have a ‘rapid transit’ problem. Unlike most ms ers who seem to be more inclined to have severe constipation. l wish l could be more
strong minded and stick to a regime of sensible eating. l like muesli with yoghurt and banana for breakfast or a piece of granary bread toasted with peanut butter. But as soon as l have eaten it l get pains in my tum and then have to rush to the loo.Which l can put down to wheat or gluten intolerance. l know l am not on my own - we all know what we should eat - and not eat. We all know what is making us put on weight. Being sensible about it is the difficult part. Some foods are so comforting - especially if you are feeling a bit low - depressed even. l do eat chocolate at times to cheer myself up. Chocolate is good for boosting endorphins - and brain power - so no need to feel its a guilty pleasure.
l think l will start getting gluten-free bread - for a start. l know how to make gluten-free puds/biscuits as l do have a coeliac friend who comes to dinner occasionally and l always make him something suitable. Crumbles are the easiest as gluten-free pastry is so difficult to roll out. Have succeeded by rolling the pastry between two layers of clingfilm.

We need a section on this forum just for diet/menu suitable for us pwms. A weekly shopping list of all the foods we need - and what to have each day. We can be are own worst enemies. [l am beginning to sound like Don - he would be saying ‘Keep a food diary’].
We are what we eat. And l am definatley a ‘Lardy Cake’.

Hi, I have to confirm what you say about not everyone responds to gluten free. I tried going gluten free. I did it for a few week (probably about 2 months), I went very lethargic and weak. and felt so ill. As soon as I went back to my normal diet, I felt back to my usual self in about 2 weeks. Gluten free was not for me!

Lynne x

Oh yes, I was with Don on that. Food diaries are useful.
I discovered that I was allergic to oats as a child. My parents forgot to mention this and I’d fall for all those adverts that claim the wonderful powers of oats and feel guilty. I like them, but they just don’t like me.
Frances - I think my good blood glucose levels were due to the Vitamin D3 as well as a stricter diet. I was a bit spooked by the previous tests, when I had to get a proper Diabetes test and was borderline.
My urine dip was 130, which was too high as well, so I took my diet very seriously and it worked. When I take D3, I don’ t even feel hungry.

Funny thing, is that when I’m feeling ill (virus or a bad day) I crave bread. It’s weird.

Lynne- wouldn’t it be nice if there was a one-stop fix for all. It’s as confusing as MS itself.
The evangelists really make you feel guilty. ‘You should be…, or …’ and if it doesn’t work, it’s so depressing. I’m glad you felt better after stopping the diet. I’m a bit envious…We have fantastic bread here. Wood-fired ovens, slow proven bread and it’s gorgeous.

It does take a while for the body to adjust and stop craving certain food groups when you eliminate them. I now follow the paleo diet, which is no grains (rice, flour etc), no dairy, no sugar, no peas and beans, no processed food. I’m really enjoying it and have lots of energy. You just have to learn to cook and eat a different way. I’m not missing junk at all. If it helps my MS then great, but otherwise I know I’m doing goos things for my health in general.

"I now follow the paleo diet, which is no grains (rice, flour etc), no dairy, no sugar, no peas and beans, no processed food. I’m really enjoying it and have lots of energy. "

Me too. It’s changed my life. My energy levels are pretty good. It’s been 5 years for me now and I don’t regret it at all (except when I’m ill with a bug and crave bread, but I have no idea why that happens!).
I get recipes at palefood.com
I have grown to love almonds and almond milk, but living in Spain means that I get great quality almonds for less.
I do eat Quinoa a couple of times a week as I love it.
Thanks for posting.
K
xx

Hi,

I’ve been on the Best Bet Diet since 2008, so no dairy, no gluten and no legumes. I’ve also had a few other complications in that I have/had a candida overgrowth, so no yeast, sugar, dried fruit, plus I have continuous bouts of cystitis and have self-diagnosed myself with Interstitial Cystitis which I control through diet, so I personally can’t have fruit, oils (eg. olive oil), dairy, grains of any kind (even buckwheat and quinoa), rice, spicy or salty food…and a few others that I can’t remember to hand. As part of the candida diet, I was having oats every day for breakfast and the spasiciity in my right leg became very bad. I cut it out and it went away. I recently started having Buckwheat Crispibread and the same thing happened.

Some would say that my diet is very restrictive, but it works for me. I’ve lost a load of weight over the years, but am now putting it back on slowly after reading books by Barry Groves and following his high-fat, low-carb suggestions. I have a cooked breakfast every day. I think diet is very important for us MSers, but the key is to tailor it to meet your own requirements. We’re all different.

Barry also has a web-site which is worth visiting.

Heather

Good to hear others are feeling good on this type of diet. I never thought I’d be able to do it but am finding it surprisingly easy, I love cooking and am at home with kids so I can make lovely things pretty easily. I can’t imagine eating junk again, there are a few things I will have on special occasions though! Once in a while is ok :slight_smile:

After reading all the replies about ms and gluten. l had never heard of Barry Groves - so googled him - and l have spent the last hour and a half intrigued. Nobody before has mentioned anything about this man to me - so many thanks Heather for this. Which of his books would be the best to get. l already know how much better l am if l cut out the carbs. So l intend to learn more and put it in practise.
l am already feeling thinner and fitter!
Frances

Yeah my thinking is that even if it helps a tiny amount then it will be worth it, and in any case will be good for my overall health which I am so much more aware of now I have MS.

One thing l did read on Barry Groves website was that when he was in Portugal - he did eat the rustic bread without any ill-effect.
This he believes is because the bread was made from dough that was left to prove overnight - this he says removes any toxins.
So bread made the old fashioned way is kinder to any of us who have a wheat/gluten intolerance.

I can get away with eating it once in a while, but if I try to eat more, then my nerve pain goes nuts.
The slow-proved bread, baked in wood-fired ovens is wonderful though - the other good thing, is that you can’t eat a lot. It’s very filling.
I prefer to cheat by eating things like profiteroles or cheesecake. If you are going to break your diet, do it with chocolate and cream!

I had a google at Barry Groves as well and oh my, the low-fat brigade hate him.
I don’t understand all these rants about him or low carb diets. No one is forcing anyone to eat the food. It’s food, not war or guns or child abuse. No one should get so pi**ed off about lunch.
There is a good-sized group (maybe 30%) of the population who are insulin resistant - maybe as a result of hypothyroidism, or through lack of exercise.
As people with MS can’t (as a general rule) exercise a lot, we have to watch what we eat and if you are insulin resistant, then it makes sense to eat less of the foods that raise your blood glucose levels.
This still leaves, green leafy vegetables, courgettes, salad leaves, berries, nuts, avocados, fish, chicken, meat, eggs and seeds. Not exactly an unhealthy diet.
If a person has a normal metabolism, then they are fortunate. It must be nice to be able to eat rice and pasta and bread. I may envy those lucky people from time to time, but I’m not going to risk my health.

I’ve been reading a book by Jan de Vries called New Developments for MS Sufferers which is all about having a gluten, dairy & sugar free diet, it’s really interesting x