Step 1: Diet

cooking for an MS diet

Why is diet important?

Following a healthy diet is important in improving symptoms and preventing the progression of multiple sclerosis. Research shows that saturated fats and dairy are particularly harmful for people with multiple sclerosis (MS).

 

Switching to a plant-based, wholefood diet that is rich in omega-3 while excluding dairy and minimizing saturated fat intake is critical in recovering from your symptoms and living a long, healthy life.

What should I eat?

  • Fruit & vegetables
  • Wholegrains
  • Nuts & seeds
  • Fish & seafood
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Step 2: Sunlight & Vitamin D

sunshine and MS
Overview

Why is vitamin D so important?

Many people don’t get enough sun exposure and thus aren’t getting adequate levels of vitamin D. There is growing evidence to suggest that vitamin D is important in both preventing MS and improving your health outcomes if you have MS. 

types of vitamin D
Different types

What are the types of vitamin D?

There are several types of vitamin D, however only vitamin D3 is helpful in MS. Research shows that vitamin D3 is as effective in changing the immune response as many of the drugs used to treat MS, and it doesn’t cause any severe side effects.

dose of vitamin D
Supplementation

How much vitamin D should I take?

We recommend taking 5,000 - 10,000 IU vitamin D3 daily, however exactly how much you should be taking will depend on how much sunshine you typically get. This depends on the season, where you live and how much time you spend outdoors.

time in the sun
Time in the sun

How much sun should I get?

Regularly spending time outdoors is important in managing your vitamin D levels. Aim to spend 10-15 minutes in the sun, two or three times a week. The exact amount of time you need will depend on the season, time of day and UV index at that time.

Step 3: Exercise

Why is exercise important?

Studies have shown that exercise improves physical and mental well being in people with MS. Regular movement improves flexibility, strength and fitness, prevents injury and correct physical problems caused by MS. Exercise also reduces stress and symptoms of depression.

What are my options?

Choosing a form of exercise will depend on a number of factors, including your ability and preferences. It is recommended to aim for 30 minutes of vigorous activity, five days a week, however any regular physical activity is better than none.  

Exercises for all levels

Step 4: Meditation

Why is meditation important?

Managing stress is an important part of living with MS and meditation can help you. Chronic stress and the inflammatory response it causes in the body can worsen the symptoms and progression of MS. A surge in scientific research over the last decade has shown that meditation may also help with symptoms of depression and pain, and boost compassion and happiness. Evidence also shows that the more you meditate, the greater the benefit. We recommend aiming for at least 30 minutes a day.

Step 5: Medication

Do I need medication?

Choices around medication are highly personal. Whether you choose to take medication or not, following the other steps of the OMS Recovery Program will reduce your symptoms and prevent further progression.

Exploring your medication options

MS medications can cause a range of side effects so it is important that you do your research, know your options and are able to make an informed decision. You may also need to try several medications before finding one that works for you.

Step 6: Prevention in Family Members

Are you related to someone with MS?

If you have a parent, sibling or child with MS, you are at an increased risk of developing it yourself. While you can’t modify your genes, there are lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your overall risk.

Step 7: Change your life, for life

Read the OMS book

All the research supporting the OMS 7-Step Recovery Program is detailed in the book Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis by Professor George Jelinek.

Attend an OMS event

Come along to one of our events to learn more about the Recovery Program and to meet new people in a supportive, welcoming environment. 

Connect with others

Find support and friendship from others who are overcoming MS by joining an OMS Circle.

Find Inspiration

Watch inspirational stories from OMSers like you who are on a journey to improve their health.