Multiple sclerosis – Nutrition recommendations

Multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic inflammatory disease, affects the central nervous system, leading to damage of the myelin sheaths. This condition interferes with the nerve signals and thereby the contraction and relaxation of muscle tissue.

Symptoms of multiple sclerosis vary from one person to person concerning severity and duration. Common symptoms include loss of vision, pain, fatigue and impaired coordination. In some people, symptoms may not exist at all, while in others severe, chronic symptoms may persist throughout their lives.

While no permanent cure for multiple sclerosis exists so far, there are effective interventions for its management. These include medications, proper sleep as well as being physically active.

Adopting a special diet FOR multiple sclerosis
There is no special diet for multiple sclerosis since symptoms vary among patients. However, limiting certain foods or nutrients, which can trigger inflammation, is believed to alleviate symptoms.

Food allergens: Dairy and gluten present in wheat are common food allergens that may trigger the inflammatory process of the central nervous system.

Proinflammatory food: Excess consumption of low-fiber carbohydrates, sweetened drinks, saturated animal fat (whole milk, cheese, butter, red meat, etc.) and high salt intake – all can trigger inflammation and can have deleterious effects on the course of MS.

Recommended nutritional changes
Vitamin D: Vitamin D is a promising nutrient that exerts an immunomodulatory effect in the treatment of inflammatory course of a disease. Thereby it can slow down the progression of multiple sclerosis. Also, Vitamin D helps the uptake of calcium for healthy bones. These two nutrients can, therefore, have some active role in the management of MS. Vitamin D rich sources of food include milk, fortified soy drinks, and fish with omega -3 (salmon and tuna), eggs, mushrooms and dark leafy vegetables.

Vitamin B: The body produces energy with the help of B vitamins (B1, B9, and B12). The nutrient can, therefore, be utilized to deal with fatigue associated with multiple sclerosis. Chicken, nuts and seeds, avocados, green peas are some good sources of Vitamin B.

Antioxidants: Foods containing antioxidants help fight body cells against damaging effects of free radicals. The mineral selenium as well as vitamin A, C, and E are all antioxidants which can prevent damage to the myelin sheath of nerve cells.

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