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I just received an official MS diagnosis this past week. I'm seeing a neurologist who is known to be the best MS doctor in Kansas City, so I have alot of confidence in her but one of the first things she said to me was that there is no MS diet. My personal experience runs contradictory to her statement.

I've had three MS flare ups over the past three years that led to the diagnosis. Looking back on each incident, they were preceded by a binge on wheat or gluten based foods:
1 - I had a vertigo attack right after my daughter was born, I'd been eating a diet that was heavy on pizza and wheat beer as my wife was nine months pregnant and we didn't want to cook or do any dishes.
2 - I developed numbness from the waist down after going to a wedding where I ate alot of pasta and drank a alot of wheat beer
3 - just recently my wife found a new bread (wheat based) that was fantastic, I ate about eight slices in one weekend only to develop double vision the following week and had to be hospitalized for a steroid treatment

So in spite of my doctor's claim that diet doesn't impact MS, these three instances make it clear to me that wheat and or gluten are triggers to my MS attacks.

While waiting on the diagnosis from my neurologist, I finally put this connection together so I went to an allergist. She ordered a food allergy test for me and low and behold, it came back stating that I'm allergic to wheat, gluten, rye, cow's milk, cheeses and baker's yeast. I've eliminated these from my diet over the past month and started taking a probiotic called Sustenex as well.

When I had a check-up with my family doctor last year noted some intestinal problems, he thought I had IBS and gave me some prescription. Since making these diet changes, I've been more regular the Big Ben and feeling better than I have in years. It's ironic that historically, whenever I've felt bad, my comfort food was a turkey and cheese sandwich on wheat bread. So I've been essentially giving myself poison whenever I've been sick.

My questions for everyone are:
- Have any of you found specific foods that trigger your MS attacks?
- Have you been checked for food allergies?
- I read the story about Roger McDougal and how eliminating gluten was key to his progress against MS. Has anyone seen any research on gluten's connetion to MS, beyond what Dr Cordain has on his Paleo Diet blog and Direct-MS?

I have a sister who has had MS for a decade. She loves beer and mexican food with lots of cheese. Since she is my sister, I'm guessing she may have similar food allergies and have told her to get checked out. She has taken a different approach to the disease than I have, being more dependent on the doctors and letting the meds run their course, plus I don't see her ever giving up beer or cheese.

Mcopy of OMS arrived in the mail yesterday from Amazon.com, about halfway thru and can't put it down.. Thinking of sending a copy to my Neurologist.
Diet FAQ's in Resources on this site is worth reading: "Should gluten be excluded from my diet?"

Diagnosis Dec 1998 OMS Feb 2010 Retreat Feb 2012
Hey Vybbob

Your situation is spookily similar to ours (it is my wife, and me that has MS but I have taken it on myself to research and implement the diet strategy).

My wife had a history of weird medical symptoms that seemed to resolve themselves but we were never really given an explanation. We can't remember the exact timeline but it seemed that they always happened over winter with a tendancy towards Jan/Feb and on a yearly basis.

Year 1. Crushing Fatique
Year 2. Balance Issues - almost drunk like
Year 3. Vision issues in one eye
Year 4 (last xmas): Numbness from chest down for approx 2 to 4 weeks.

The final relapse started the path towards diagnosis which was MRI confirmed with a big lesion on the spine and some four or so in the brain in May this year.

Our research led us to the Direct-MS.org site and the swank diet and we started to implement those recommendations in January when the doctor first mentioned MS as a possibility and we then upped things somewhat in May. It was also around May that we found this site and read the Doctor Jelinek books and have done lots of other reading around the subject on food allergies and their affect on MS.

At the time it certainly seemed plausable as my wife drank lots of milk, maybe a few pints a day. She also ate a lot of cheese, bread and maybe had a chocolate bar many nights after dinner. We also ate a lot of pasta and other wheat based cerials and products. Also, we like food, are healthy and exercise so have got away with eating sausages, cured meats like salami and lots of other foods that are now on the bad list. This was all in what was a healthy diet with the bread and pasta being wholegrain, lots of salads, vegetables, extra virgin olive oil etc - healthy, or so we thought!

The professor and many on this site don't really subscribe to the gluten free approach and certainly, it seems not to be an issue for everyone but in my experience, this disease has many different guises and no one is effected the same way. There is a case that the epidemiological evidence does not stand well placed in the favour of this and legumes but that really only tells part of the picture and we have to factor in the fat consumption, sun exposure and much more. One argument I have seen touted is that mexico eats lots of legumes but I guess they also have lots of sun and maybe other elements that are protective so the several factors that seemingly have to combine to create this illness are not so prevelant to make any one factor stand out.

So, with that point raised, we now have the perspective now of nearly 11 months on our own version of the Best Bet / Jelinek / Anti Inflammatory Diet and our findings our as follows:

1. Allergies - we have various food allergies: Milk, Gliaden(Gluten), Sesame Seeds, Bakers Yeast, Cocoa, Rye, Peas and some others I can't recall. We took two tests - one from both of the big labs offering this in the UK and important results parried up so the argument for this being a poor model of testing don't stand up for us.

The more interesting aspect here is our own personal experience. My wifes big relapse resulted in various hangover symptoms: tingling and pain in her hands, itching skin on the hands, a few patches of numbness, periods of fatique and a slight problem with one leg.

By following the main tennets of the diet (satfat, vitd, veganism + fish + chicken breast) and then bolstering this with avoidance of any alergens and eating lots of anti inflammatory foods (ginger, garlic, tumeric) we had practically removed all of the symptoms and her hands were returning back to normal mid October.

So, we decided to re introduce bread and a few other food types to try to make the diet a little more practical - bad idea. Over a couple of weeks we have seen a return of many symptoms: fatique, itching hands, weakness in the arms and other small ones.

We are now back off the problem foods for over a week and we seem to be slowly, slowly getting better.


Whilst we have no idea of the allergens affect disease progresion, what we certainly know, in our own unique case is that they definately help us control the symptoms. Eating a bad food can see symptoms come back in minutes - it's simply that apparent for us.

So, we stick to our version of the diet which is based on a super healthy (Thrive Diet) vegan diet which is supplemented with chicken breast and fish. We also supplement with Vit D, Fish Oil, B12 and borage oil. We avoid cooking with fat or oil where possible and exercise three to four times a week (running).

So, from my reading around, it seems some people can get away with eating gluten and it does not affect them, but for us, gluten and other allergens are a bit part of controlling the symptoms at least and when it comes to leading a happy, fullfilling life, controolling symptoms is really important.

Hope it helps, bit rushed as at work!

I appreciate the feedback on this question because I am confused about this topic as well. It would be nice if all the diets added up neatly, and in many ways they do but the gluten and legume controversy is definitely a sticking point. And it is a big one because I am comfortable cutting out all the other stuff but I happen to really like wheat and legumes!

Based on what you are all saying it seems it is a good idea to experiment. As it is the first year with this for me it seems difficult to know what my influence really is on this through diet, but Marcus you spoke about your wife's reactions being immediate so it seems a good idea to experiment.

I also wanted to add that Marcus how you are so fully and actively embracing your wife through this is really impressive and beautiful.
Hi vybob and welcome to the site. Stick around and add to the community that we are building here.

It would be lovely if all the MS diets tallied together nicely but unfortunately they don't so set yourself aside a few years and get reading; unfortunately you are gonna have to come to your own conclusions.

Jelinek makes a compelling argument why gluten should be OK yet Ashton Embry and others make a compelling argument why gluten should be avoided. As someone once put it, all this is sure to "bake your melon". For now gluten is in for me, basically because it's easier that way. I'm gonna have to revisit the gluten question when I am further into this process. If your body is suggesting to you that you should avoid gluten, then I would avoid gluten. Unfortunately, my body doesn't seem to give me feedback in this way. Either that or I'm not mindful enough to notice it.

Hey Marcus, does your wife have an account on here? She should come on here, say hello and witness some of the fine work that you have done on her behalf. On all our behalves for that matter. I was about to answer the OP, when I saw your your completely comprehensive reply.

Hey Gareth

Emma is not on here, she kind of leaves that to me really, I think it is all just a bit too emotive and she lives with it in her symptoms so does not want to pore over endless details in the way I will. I have a technical job, read loads of manuals and am a bit of a data head so it kind of works out for me to do the research and I guess I can be a little more impartial and can read things that may upset emma etc, try to save her a bit of the stress where possible.

If we get real success from our approach and manage to go another 12 months without any kind of relapse that will be a marked progression from the 10 to 12 months inbetween problems we were seeing up to the big one last xmas and I will drag her on here and get her to tell her side of the story. Maybe she will regale you with tales of the 'Food Nazi'. ;)

Anyhow folks, just about to wrap it up for the day and return home to cook up another gluten free, dairy free, satfat free dinner. :)

Here is a great presentation that is the basis for the Best Bet Diet. You will be glad you watched it... it's very interesting:


I hate it that neurologist say that there is no MS diet. It makes me so angry, because they don't even care about the research that is going on out there, trhoughout the world. They should at least be telling people about all the books that are out there and the people that are doing the diet and getting great results.

I, personally, stay away from gluten, dairy, and most soy (except tamari). I will probably be weening myself off of the legumes over the next few weeks. I love them, so it is hard. I also eat a crazy amount of veggies every day in smoothies, since raw veggies are best. I was just diagnosed in August after my first significant episode.

I, too, wish that all the diets weren't so different, because it does cause doubt and confusion. I feel like we have to review the research for ourselves and come up with the plan that we believe in the most. That's what I am trying to do.

Shawn Caroline
Thanks a lot Marcus, for your extensive story. I think it's a personal journey.
Every body is different and reacts differently.
I too struggle with gluten; I eat sourdough spelt bread on this moment,
and before rice with vegetables. Just started (4 months) the diet, so I have to wait and see;
like everybody.

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