Diets are very individual and we all need different diets to meet our needs. Diets are extensively discussed but there isn't a lot of formal research in this area as it is difficult to do. It is clear that there doesn't seem to be a specific diet that seems to be beneficial for everyone with MS and it is very much an individual process. People with MS have found that cutting out certain food groups has been beneficial but this can be trial and error. Advice is always needed to ensure you are getting the right nutrients in the right way. Some of the MS symptoms such as depression, pain, constipation and fatigue can be improved by diet.
The importance of vitamin D and MS
Adequate vitamin D is felt to be important if you have MS, so your diet should include some foods rich in vitamin D such as: fatty fish (mackerel, tuna, salmon) liver, cheese, egg yolks. Currently there is a view from NHS England that even apparently 'healthy' people should consider taking Vitamin D supplements during the autumn/winter months (October -March) but it is important to check that this is appropriate for you.
A number of supplements including vitamins, biotin and the omega oils 3 and 6 are popular in MS. However, there are so many available that it is always best to seek advice, as quality and cost will vary enormously.
There is currently a lot of evidence looking at gut biomes in MS and ensuring the bacteria in our guts is healthy. This is achieved through the healthy diet advice.
We would advise that you avoid "fad diets" and seek advice about the right dietary approach for you.
The image below represents the recommended components of a balanced and healthy diet.
The UK MS Society website (search Diet and Nutrition) has more information on diet and some useful publications.
Our local nutritionist
Our local team follow guidelines from the NHS on healthy balanced diets. It recommends that we cut down on salty, sugary and fatty foods but that we eat a good amount of fruit and veg along with a moderate amount of carbohydrates. Diets can be tailored to individual requirements, and advice on which supplement is needed can be provided by dieticians or nutritionists.
You find it may it beneficial to keep a food diary and monitor which foods have a positive or negative effect on your MS.
Please contact the dietetic department at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital for more advice by calling: 01481 220000