As one of the most common neurological conditions worldwide, multiple sclerosis plays a big part in over two million people’s daily lives. Since it is so prevalent, there is currently a lot of ongoing research into preventing and treating MS. Many people already diagnosed wonder whether there is a diet that can cure or slow the progression of MS.
What Is MS?
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease characterized by the degeneration of the myelin sheaths protecting nerve fibers in the brain. However, MS and its progression vary significantly from person to person and affect some people much more than others.
Some people may experience a small, controlled lesion that does not affect cognitive or physical functions. In contrast, others may have multiple lesions across their brain or spine and experience significant cognitive and physical disabilities.
Can the Right Diet Cure MS?
There is not a diet or treatment available that can cure MS. People who claim to know secret eating habits that will cure this chronic condition are promoting non-science-backed products. But luckily, making healthy dietary choices may help lessen your symptoms.
The diet recommended for MS patients is the same that’s recommended for the average adult. A well-balanced diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and little saturated fat is ideal. For people with MS, healthy eating can help overall management of the condition, potentially slow the progression of the disease, and improve quality of life.
What to Avoid
There tends to be a lot of confusion about what lifestyle habits people with MS should avoid. Things MS patients should avoid include the following:
- Skipping meals
- Eating lots of processed foods
- Not exercising regularly
Some recommendations say to avoid dairy, and others say to avoid gluten at all costs if you have MS. Neither of these suggestions is significantly backed by scientific research. People with MS may be lactose intolerant or gluten intolerant. However, if you aren’t, there’s no reason to avoid these products as they have no impact on the progression of MS. One study showed a relation to Vitamin D deficiency and those with MS.
Other Ways You Can Manage Your MS
MS symptoms can become more manageable with the help of medications, lifestyle adjustments, and emerging experimental therapies. One such alternative treatment that may help manage MS symptoms is stem cell therapy. This approach has the ability, through the science of mesenchymal stem cells, to restore damaged myelin sheaths and prevent further progression.
Stem cell therapy has shown promising results in research and will continue to undergo extensive studies in the coming years. Patients may want to explore more to see if it is something that they may have a potential benefit from this alternative therapy. If you are interested in learning more contact a care coordinator today!