My Favorite Diet for Managing Multiple Sclerosis

My Favorite Diet for Managing Multiple Sclerosis

Jan 12, 2021 | Holistic Health, Multiple Sclerosis

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Diet is a key component of my healthful life

During my journey with multiple sclerosis, several factors have played a crucial role in helping me to heal and regain an active life. One of the most important is diet. After my diagnosis, I took an IGG test to locate possible food sensitivities that might exacerbate my condition. As it turns out, gluten is extremely problematic for me. I also avoid sugar and processed foods.

Ultimately a ketogenic diet, combined with periods of intermittent fasting, is the most helpful for me. At times I alternate with an anti-inflammatory diet. Following this style of eating has been exceptionally beneficial for renewing my energy, clarity, and health.

What is a ketogenic diet?

For those unfamiliar with a ketogenic diet, it’s essentially a high-fat, low-carb eating plan. Wild-caught fatty fish, grass-fed/free-range meats and poultry, non-starchy vegetables, eggs, raw cheese, avocados, nuts, and healthy fats like coconut and extra-virgin olive oil are the foundation of a healthy keto diet. Carbs are typically limited to 20-50 grams per day.

Several studies have demonstrated that a ketogenic diet is helpful for those struggling with multiple sclerosis. In one experiment, researchers found that the diet improved mitochondrial energy production and cellular repair in MS patients.1 Another study involving a mouse model discovered that a ketogenic diet suppressed inflammatory markers, which lowered inflammation and led to improvements in physical function, memory, and learning.2

Moreover, the diet has shown promise in addressing other health issues, including:

  • Alzheimer’s disease 
  • Seizures 
  • Some forms of cancer 
  • Diabetes 
  • Migraine headaches 
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease 
  • Obesity 
  • Parkinson’s disease 
  • Depression 
  • and autism 

There are times when I adhere to a classic anti-inflammatory diet, which is somewhat higher in carbohydrates from fruit and the occasional indulgence of dark chocolate. I continue to avoid refined carbohydrates, processed foods and oils, and sugary beverages—including fruit juice.

Intermittent Fasting

In addition to adhering to a ketogenic and anti-inflammatory diet, I also practice cycles of intermittent fasting. Research has demonstrated that this type of fasting can have a profound impact on your health and brain. It may even help you to live longer.

With intermittent fasting, you are not told what foods you should eat—although I personally try to keep my diet healthy at all times—but rather when you should eat. Common methods include fasting for a 16 to 24-hour period, twice each week. There’s also the 5:2 diet where you consume only 500-600 calories during two, non-consecutive days of the week, yet eat normally for the remaining five days.

When you practice intermittent fasting, your human growth hormone (HGH) levels significantly increase, which leads to fat loss and lean muscle gain.3 You also experience improved insulin sensitivity.4 Cellular repair processes are initiated as well.5

Herbal Support

Beyond diet, I’ve found the herbal tinctures in my Warrior Bundle to be exceedingly valuable for keeping the symptoms of fatigue, brain-fog, and muscle weakness in remission. So much so that I use them every day. I believe these tinctures are also helpful for other forms of autoimmune disease. The bundle, which includes Lion’s Mane, Turkey Tail, Balanced (Leaky) Gut Tincture, Usnea, Blue Elderberry, and my All-Purpose (First Aid) Salve, can be found in the Apothecary. 

The combination of a ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting, and the herbs in my Warrior Bundle have truly transformed my health by significantly reducing my multiple sclerosis symptoms. It’s my greatest hope that this personal story of healing will assist you in overcoming your own challenges with autoimmunity.

Sources

  1. Storoni, Mithu, and Gordon T Plant. “The Therapeutic Potential of the Ketogenic Diet in Treating Progressive Multiple Sclerosis.” Multiple sclerosis international vol. 2015 (2015): 681289. doi:10.1155/2015/681289.
  2. Kim, Do Young et al. “Inflammation-mediated memory dysfunction and effects of a ketogenic diet in a murine model of multiple sclerosis.” PloS one vol. 7,5 (2012): e35476. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0035476.
  3. Ho, K Y et al. “Fasting enhances growth hormone secretion and amplifies the complex rhythms of growth hormone secretion in man.” The Journal of clinical investigation vol. 81,4 (1988): 968-75. doi:10.1172/JCI113450
  4. Heilbronn, Leonie K et al. “Alternate-day fasting in nonobese subjects: effects on body weight, body composition, and energy metabolism.” The American journal of clinical nutrition vol. 81,1 (2005): 69-73. doi:10.1093/ajcn/81.1.69
  5. Kim, Insil, and John J Lemasters. “Mitochondrial degradation by autophagy (mitophagy) in GFP-LC3 transgenic hepatocytes during nutrient deprivation.” American journal of physiology. Cell physiology vol. 300,2 (2011): C308-17. doi:10.1152/ajpcell.00056.2010

Nicole Apelian

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