We get lots of questions about which diet to follow if you have MS.
Tad Campbell, MCN, RD, LD is a registered dietitian at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center’s Total Life Care (TLC) MS clinic and also serves as the Education Coordinator for the Clinical Nutrition department in UT Southwestern’s School of Health Professions.
CHECK out his tips below for eating to reduce inflammation. How many of these are you doing for the New Year???
- Diet alone will not control MS, but following a diet that focuses on achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, hydration, and reducing inflammation can help improve energy levels and battle fatigue, and reduce symptoms like constipation.
- There is no data to support following a particular diet or food for MS. However, people with MS should follow a diet that focuses on reducing inflammation. Here are ways to do this…
- adequate water consumption
- eat lots of fruits and vegetables
- limit red meats (focus more on chicken, fish, and plant based proteins)
- limit saturated animal fats
- eliminate trans fats
- eliminate sugary drinks
- limit salt intake
- do not overeat
- When seeking out a dietitian you want to make sure that the person is a registered dietitian (RD or RDN) and licensed dietician (LD). The Commission on Dietetic Registration https://www.cdrnet.org administers rigorous valid and reliable credentialing processes to protect the public and meet the needs of CDR credentialed practitioners, employers and consumers.
- Seeing a dietitian for MS is not typically covered by insurance, but if you have a comorbidity that is, your visit with an RD may be covered. You can pay out of pocket. If you can go to a clinic like UT Southwestern the nutrition program is free thanks to donations and funds raised by Dr. Elliot Frohman.
- Supplements that are helpful are turmeric, CoQ10 (helps increase energy) 500 mg a day and fish oil up to 3 grams a day
- Some supplements can be harmful depending on what other medications you are taking so go to drugs.com and use their interaction checker http://www.drugs.com/drug_interactions.html
- I am not aware of any trials that are recruiting for nutrition clinical trials for MS right now. You can check clinicaltrials.gov, msdiscovery.org, or nationalmssociety.org periodically.
- Two helpful resources you should read are Food for thought: MS and Nutrition http://www.nationalmssociety.org/NationalMSSociety/media/MSNationalFiles/Brochures/Brochure-Food-for-Thought—MS-and-Nutrition_1503.pdf and Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs in MS http://www.nationalmssociety.org/NationalMSSociety/media/MSNationalFiles/Brochures/Brochure-Vitamins,-Minerals,-and-Herbs-in-MS_-An-Introduction.pdf
- If you have gastroparesis – eat small frequent meals (4-6 meals a day), eat foods low in fat, chew foods well before you swallow and drink water while eating.