6 foods to avoid when dealing with multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis is a disease in which the body’s immune system begins to attack the nervous system, and this damages the nerves and the myelin sheath that covers the nerve fibers. Consequently, the nerves begin to lose the ability to transmit signals to different parts of the body, hindering the patients’ ability to carry out everyday activities. Currently, there is no permanent cure for this illness. However, treatment can ease the symptoms and discomfort.
Food plays a major role in providing the body with the nutrition it needs. Certain minerals and vitamins strengthen the body and help it fight against illnesses and infections. Even though there are no specific food-related guidelines for multiple sclerosis (MS), patients can avoid the following foods to prevent worsening the symptoms and their overall health.
Saturated fats have been linked to multiple conditions. These include hypertension, heart disease, strokes, and even some forms of cancer. Some research also points out that saturated fats in foods may be related to the relapsing MS symptoms and even the progression of the disease. Foods that have saturated fats and should be avoided by people with MS include meat, milk, eggs, chicken skin, etc.
Research shows that high or moderate amounts of sodium/salt intake can lead to relapse of symptoms in multiple sclerosis patients, increasing their discomfort. This also triggers inflammation in the body and other problems, such as hypertension and heart-related issues. So, it is advised to avoid excessive salt in meals. Instead, one should opt for fresh fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants to combat inflammation.
Even though proteins are good for one’s health, people with autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis can develop an intolerance for gluten, a protein found in all wheat-based products. This is due to a higher incidence of celiac disease in MS patients, which can cause immense harm to their overall health and weaken them. Foods that contain gluten are wheat products like bread, pasta, and cakes. Alternatively, one should opt for whole grain options that can provide the needed nutrition.
White bread, cold cereal, and white rice are some foods that need to be limited when dealing with MS. These foods contain processed carbohydrates that can elevate the patient’s blood sugar levels and impact their condition negatively. As an alternative, they can choose brown rice and whole grain bread that may benefit one’s health and also help them avoid uncomfortable symptoms of multiple sclerosis such as constipation.
Many foods and drinks have added sugar, which can hamper the health of sclerosis patients and make them feel exhausted and unable to perform everyday activities. Too much sugar also harms the body, as it cannot break it down, causing additional health problems such as diabetes and high blood sugar levels. In addition, excessive sugar can also cause brain fog and moodiness. So one should avoid desserts like cookies and cakes and sugary drinks like sodas.
Dairy products, including cow’s milk, contain saturated fats that can harm the health of those with MS. Eliminating dairy products such as milk and cheese can help ease sclerosis symptoms. However, one should find alternative sources of protein, calcium, and vitamin D to meet daily nutritional needs. So, one can opt for soy milk, cashew milk, or almond milk, as they are not only good sources of calcium but are also less likely to cause discomfort.
Before making these changes, it is important to speak to a healthcare professional so that a treatment and eating plan can be devised depending on the severity of the symptoms. As the treatment of this illness focuses on the symptoms, it may include FDA-approved pills to soothe the symptoms of relapsing multiple sclerosis, such as muscle stiffness and fatigue. Pills for relapsing MS can help patients prevent relapses and avoid developing a lesion.
One recommended treatment option for multiple sclerosis is Ocrevus. The prescription is administered as an injection for relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis in adults. Ocrevus is also introduced to the body by healthcare experts for the treatment of primary progressive MS in adults. The safety and effectiveness of the treatment are inconclusive for children with the disease.