Multiple sclerosis and your diet

Multiple sclerosis and your diet

Multiple Sclerosis Centre

Multiple sclerosis and your diet

Like everyone else, people with multiple sclerosis (MS) benefit from a healthy diet. Eating nutritionally balanced meals helps your body work to its full potential, which is particularly important for people living with long-term, unpredictable conditions like MS.

Benefits of a well-balanced diet

The effects of MS vary from person to person and can change from one day to the next. MS fatigue, steroid therapy and depression can all lead to unwanted weight gain. You can improve your quality of life and sense of well-being by focusing on aspects of health that can be controlled and changed – such as diet. A well-balance diet, combined with appropriate exercise, has the following benefits for the person with MS:

  • Controls weight
  • Decreases fatigue
  • Maintains regular bowel and bladder function
  • Minimises the risk of skin problems
  • Keeps bones healthy and strong
  • Maintains healthy teeth and gums
  • Strengthens the heart
  • Improves muscle strength and range of motion
  • Increases flexibility.

What makes up a healthy well-balanced diet?

A healthy diet contains a balance of the major food groups:

  • Proteins – for growth and tissue repair
  • Carbohydrates and sugars – for energy
  • Fats – to absorb certain vitamins and for essential fatty acids
  • Fibre – for healthy digestion
  • Vitamins and minerals – for numerous processes in the body, including tissue repair, bone strength and the absorption of other nutrients
  • Fluids – for optimum working of the body.

Maintenance of general good health is very important for persons with MS. A well-balanced and carefully planned diet will help you to achieve this goal. MS specialists recommend that people with MS follow the same low-fat, high-fibre diet that is recommended for the general population. Some MS researchers firmly believe that people with MS would greatly benefit from a low-fat vegetarian diet.


A good exercise programme in combination with a healthy diet can help to develop the maximum potential of muscle, bone and respiration, thereby avoiding secondary complications. Regular aerobic exercise may offer some benefits if you have mild to moderate MS. Benefits include improved strength, muscle tone, balance, coordination and help to fight depression. Swimming is a good option for people who are bothered by heat. Activities such as yoga, tai chi, massage, meditation or deep breathing may help to relieve stress and improve your sense of wel-being.

Our Employee Wellbeing Programme (EWP) is available 24 hours a day if you want to know more about multiple sclerosis and your diet. Call us on the EWP number or email us at
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