I am not a medical professional. I am a MS patient and a self proclaimed MS Gladiator.
Frequent MS newbie questions are what is MS, what do I do now, do I need to eat different, what do I need to know for now? It is so easy to feel overwhelmed when you are first diagnosed. It can be very scary and you want to avoid too much information.
Luckily there are several sources for support and information. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society should be an early contact. Calling and identifying yourself as newly diagnosed will set you up to receive information staggered in manageable chunks. Their website has lists of local doctors, details for the medicines available, local support groups, and much more.
As for the “do I need to eat differently” question, there are choices. At first, I ate the same and eliminated or reduced foods as I noticed they affected my symptoms. I reduced caffeine, sodas, and sugar pretty quickly. These seemed to increase/aggravate my symptoms. Pay attention to how your body reacts to foods. You may even find foods your body will react to in a very positive way. As I went on I explored diet options. There are several diets out there that each have their MS supporters. Mediterranean, Vegetarian, Autoimmune Protocol (AIP), Wahl’s Protocol, Paleo, Swank MS Diet, and Overcoming MS are several popular choices. Investigate the options and talk to your doctor.
I dabbled and mostly increased the healthier foods – more fruit and vegetables. I know, I am an adult, I really shouldn’t need to be told. Then I began to slowly add different diet rules. Gluten free was the first big change. I first just greatly reduced my intake considering the many breads, pasta, and baked goods I love. Give all of that up? Are there really a lot of tasty alternatives? Be aware, just like finding the one frog prince, there are gluten free items to be tried and then discarded.
For me, just following a specific diet does not work. I need to learn the what, how, and whys of each rule. This reasoning allows me to adjust and stick to the specific rules or figure if it will not benefit me. Intermittent fasting is one diet option that I am avoiding. The general idea is that it allows your digestive system to rest longer between the daily meals. However, other parts of my body argue against this.
So, you need to find the right diet balance for you, for now. Your own body will resist, then gradually adjust, and hopefully benefit. However, my fellow Snowflake Warrior, do not be surprised if you will need to switch diets or readjust their rules. Happy eating!