Forum

Ms & diet

Hi, I’m Ruth & I’ve been having symptoms for 4 months my MRI showed a lesion on my back & 2 on my brain at my neurologist appointment he was unable to diagnose ms as I have not had a symptom free day or a previous episode, so I am currently classed of having a clinical isolated case with another appointment in 3 months more mri’s in 6 and with a potential diagnosis of primary progressive ms. I have obviously been reading loads of stuff and from what I have read about diet is it may help if I stop eating fats, dairy, sugars and basically all nice food it will help my symptoms and I wondered if anyone has tried this and if so did it help?? Thanks in advance Ruth x

Hi Ruth,

Although, like most alternative/complementary therapies, some people will swear it has helped, there is actually no convincing scientific evidence for the role of diet in MS. That is why dietary solutions are NOT advocated by neurologists. Do you really believe giving up “all nice food” would be a boost for you, when you’re already worried and not feeling well? I know opinions will vary, but I think this is a step unsupported by science, which will likely only have the effect of making you more miserable. Also not without risk, as radical changes to diet, such as cutting out whole food groups may leave you vulnerable to other health issues.

I don’t have to look far for an example: my mum, after being told she had high cholesterol, had the knee-jerk reaction of cutting out ALL dairy. She then developed osteoporosis, and broke her ankle very badly, and has not been the same since. She’s been told she is at high risk of other breaks, including her back - which is of more concern than the original high cholesterol.

So even if diet did help MS - which is doubtful - you’ve got to be careful you’re not just setting yourself up for a different lot of problems.

As an aside, it seems a bit premature for you (or your neuro) to conclude PPMS is the most likely diagnosis, and not RRMS. Relapses can last many months - more than four - so not being better yet isn’t proof it could only be PPMS. It might just be a long episode. I haven’t had very many relapses (I’m a diagnosed person), but those I have all tended to be months.

It’s also a myth that you have to have a symptom-free day to ever be officially in remission. Remission is relative, and doesn’t really mean much more than: “better than you were”. It doesn’t mean you must be symptom free, and many people experience daily symptoms, even during remission. It’s the difference in number or intensity of symptoms that’s important. If there’s a noticeable improvement, it can still be remission, even if they haven’t disappeared altogether.

Tina

x

Thanks for your comments Tina, I will certainly take them on board. And a big thank you for your advice on ppms I was shocked when my nuro mentioned it, it certainly wasn’t what I was expecting to hear and has caused me a lot of worry since. I know ms is unpredictable and everyone is different but some relief of my symptoms would be nice. I’ve tried a course of steroids as I suffer from muscle weakness but I finished them last week and I have not seen any improvement but ms nurse said it could take upto 5 weeks for them to kick in - so here’s hoping :slight_smile: Thanks again Ruth x *off for toasty toast with butter on now

I’ve lost 4 stone since DX,mostly through dietary changes. Single ingredient, whole foods, a mix of protein, complex carbs and healthy fats (there is such a thing) are my recommendations.

I have been reading that also, but I’m just taking a multi vitamin, making sure I eat regular meals, )as sometimes I feel like my body forgets to tell me to eat, then I get hungry really suddenly), omega 3, and plenty of water!! A person I know, who has MS mentioned these simple things to me, and I really do believe the water is a good option. 2-3 litres per day when symptoms are worse. She also mentioned cutting out aspartame too…due to its possible effects

Not sure what other people would think on here, but it’s something I’ve done to see if it all helps. I do feel that the water has had the best affect so far.

Yeah, after having suffered gastro problems which I initially thought might have been coeliac disease, I would really hate the idea of messing with my diet, eating sensibly is enough for me!

Having said that, I did go completely Gluten free (GF) for about a year and prior to MS discovery (and associated meds etc.) messing with my sleep) - I did notice quite quickly that my sleep patterns improved greatly. I actually started waking up in the mornings which I had never done without LOTS of alarm setting etc. So I cannot just go back to it as I’ve learnt that digesting gluten is hard for most people.

So day to day I avoid bread, pastry and regular cake/biscuits - there are some pretty good GF alternatives available now so I eat those instead. But I don’t sweat it if I have a sauce with gluten in and I’ll eat a KFC every few weeks. Pizza will literally give me hangover so very occasional only as I will sleep til lunchtime the next day! Going to GF if a tough one tho, even HP sauce has to be replaced wth an expensive GF version, and OXO cubes (seriously!) so it’s a massive undertakng if you don’t have to.

When I read up a lot on coeliac disease, there was something that recommended GPs should test if labelling with any chronic fatigue illnesses, naturally they don’t!

Sonia x

Thanks guys I tried cutting all carbs in a aim to loose weight a couple of months ago and didn’t miss bread … To much, i went back onto them in the hope they would give me more energy but it doesn’t seem to have made much difference, but ill defiantly give the gluten thing a try - thanks. I’ve already cut out the aspartame but it doesn’t seem to have had an effect but after reading up on it I’m not sure I want it in my system anyway but will drink water - I will give anything a go! I can fall asleep at the drop of a hat and my body is constantly tired, I’m a single mam of 2 and started dating an amazing guy 8 months ago but 4 months of that I have had symptoms and its been hard on us all and not something my bf thought he would end up with a gf who is to tired to do anything, walks at a snails pace and has no muscle strength, the kids are suffering to and I can no longer do half the stuff I use to be able to do so anything is a massive help. I am taking those energise me tablets (from the woman on dragons den) but not sure they make much difference but don’t want to stop taking them in case they do :slight_smile: Thanks again for the advice Ruth x