With the news of Jack Osbourne’s Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis, Susie Cornell MBE, who has the condition, wanted to give some advice on how to manage symptoms and how diet can affect flare ups. Who are we to say no to a great piece of advice from one of our experts. Thank you Susie!
You may have just been diagnosed with MS, you may have had the condition for many years or you may be experiencing unexplained symptoms which could be MS but have not had a diagnosis. It is never too late or too early to do something about it. One of the first things you can do is to try and slow down the progression of the disease and in this process maybe even stop any further deterioration. It is so important to address diet and lifestyle.
Unfortunately, many medical professionals still treat the body like it is a conglomeration of separate symptoms, which is not good news for those with MS. The symptoms of any autoimmune disease affects the whole body, and consequently the body needs to be treated as a whole. If you treat only individual symptoms, you may experience periods of remission for a while, but it is extremely difficult to get truly well unless you get to the source of the problem and treat the body as a whole.
Where do you start?
You may have already read many articles about MS but the most important thing for you to do is to find what you can do to control, reduce and manage symptoms yourself.
Taking control is very important and the first thing you can do is to look at-diet, everyperson ‘s diet will have individual ‘food intolerances’ which should be identified.
An ‘anti-inflammatory’ diet is highly recommended below I have put together a list of “no” foods, on the next blog I will give you a list of “yes” foods –
Managing your diet
The main role of diet in multiple sclerosis is to enable people to manage common problems which include fatigue, incontinence and constipation and to help them avoid exacerbating other symptoms. Reducing ‘inflammatory’’ foods in the diet will reduce inflammation in the Central Nervous System (CNS). So the general rules of a dietary therapy are:
- Eat a diet with protein and anti-inflammatory oils (nuts, seeds, and cold-water fish); orange, yellow, and dark green vegetables;
- Whole grains – such as whole wheat, brown rice, oats and whole grain corn – provide a fiber boost to the carbohydrates in your diet;
- Avoid food allergens such as wheat, dairy, eggs, soy, citrus, tomatoes, corn, chocolate, fish, and peanuts – eliminate these foods, then reintroduce one at a time, watching for reactions.
Many individuals with multiple sclerosis are sensitive to foods that contain gluten. Eliminate refined and processed foods, alcohol, caffeine, saturated fats (animal products), and additives (MS symptoms and flare ups are said to be linked to artificial sweeteners, although the MS society has not issued advice against it). Below is a list of foods to try and eliminate.
Foods to avoid if you have MS
- Fast Food
- Packaged Food
- Canned Food
- Alcoholic Drinks
- Cola Drinks
- Soft Drinks
- Tea (Green Tea is the exception – it’s very good for you, with lots of antioxidants and immune boosters, as well as a tonic for the digestive system. Natural decaf, is the better choice)
- Bell Peppers and most other peppers
- White Potatoes
- Apples (maybe Jonathan variety once in awhile)
- Citrus Fruits
- Citrus Juices (exception: organic lemon juice in water)
- Cows’ Milk, in any form (Cows’ milk causes your body to produce mucus throughout your system)
- Barbeque sauces
- Jams, Preserves (ONLY ORGANIC, if you do use do so very sparingly)
- Syrups – Almost all (heavy sugar load)
- Soy Products (excluding fermented soy products)
- Table Salt (Sea Salt ONLY)
- White Sugar (feeds Yeast/Candida)
- Wheat Flour
- Any Artificial Sweetener
- Artificial Flavours
- Artificial Colours
Foods to use with caution
- Corn Chips
- Pork – even organic
- Regular wheat germ
- Lentils and other beans
- Rice – wild rice could be OK (be aware of carbohydrate levels)
- Regular old fashioned oats (Organic Oats processed in a plant that does not also process wheat products, may be OK)
- Pop Corn
Tomorrow I will give you a list of yes foods. Together with some advice on anti-inflammatory supplements. If you want more personalised help in managing your MS, you can call me via my Greatvine profile.