I wish to preface this series with a statement that there is no cure for Multiple Sclerosis. At the present time there is no medication or treatment which will make MS totally disappear. But as MS patients we can up the ante for good health in using a multi-faceted approach. Food and diet may be used as part of this global approach to increasing overall good health. It is a well known fact that what we eat has a great effect upon our well being. One of the ways one can cope with this disease is to have a healthy diet. But in no way would I ever suggest that any food or diet can ever cure your MS. Healthy foods are just another tool in our arsenal to combat illness.
The following are symptoms or possible side effects of having Multiple Sclerosis and foods which may help to decrease or prevent these ailments.
1. Urinary Tract Infections: There is a good chance that if you have MS, then you will experience some sort of bladder problem in your future. Some may experience urinary retention, increased frequency and urgency, leaking urine and even incontinence. If you have MS and bladder issues, especially trouble with fully emptying your bladder, it is likely that you are also more at risk for a UTI.
When I was first diagnosed and learned of these issues, the first thing I did was to buy some cranberry juice. Urine which is more acidic is less friendly to the bacteria which cause such infections. It is important to drink enough for it to be most effective in preventing infection. According to Miranda Hitti in an article entitled, "More Cranberries, Fewer Urine Infections," it is important to drink 8 oz of cranberry juice a day to gain the most benefit: "Drinking 8 ounces of cranberry juice more than doubled the protection against infection compared with drinking 4 ounces, according to a recent study by Kalpana Gupta, MD, MPH, of Yale University, and colleagues from the University of Washington and Rutgers University."
And did you know...according to Michelle Turcotte who wrote an article called, "Food for Thought: 10 Foods to Increase Your Brain Function" cranberries are also associated with improvements in balance, memory and coordination.
Other foods which may be helpful in preventing or fighting urinary tract infections include: Celery, garlic, live yogurt, papayas, blueberries, and beets. (Source: DK Complete Guide to Healing Foods by Amanda Ursell)
2. Constipation: Along with bladder issues, a person who has MS may also have bowel problems as well. One of my first symptoms of MS was chronic constipation which I wrote about in this essay called, "Everybody Poops."
What foods can help?
- Prunes and figs
- Apples and berries
- Whole wheat breads and pastas
- Lentils and peas
- Carrots, Kale, and Cabbage