SPMS and Diet: What Foods Can Help?

SPMS and Diet: What Foods Can Help?

Many treatments for multiple sclerosis (MS) are targeted at reducing inflammation, thereby slowing progression of the autoimmune disease. An anti-inflammatory diet also may slow disease progression, as well as enhance the positive effects of anti-inflammatory medications.

In MS, the immune system mistakenly attacks the protein coat that surrounds nerve fibers. That coating protects the nerves and facilitates the propagation of nervous signals.

Secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) is the second stage of MS, which follows relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).

Appropriate exercise and healthy eating habits are important for all people with MS.

What is an anti-inflammatory diet?

An anti-inflammatory diet is a plan for healthy eating that does not contain foods that are high in saturated fats, refined carbohydrates — found in white bread — sugary desserts, soda, and red meat.

Foods that are part of an anti-inflammatory diet include tomatoes, olive oil, green leafy vegetables, nuts such as almonds and walnuts, fatty fish — including salmon, tuna, and sardines — and fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges.

How can an anti-inflammatory diet help me?

It has been proposed that an anti-inflammatory diet may be able to help slow disease progression in autoimmune disorders. Clinical trials are underway to test this hypothesis in patients with different types of MS.

Although several studies have been conducted, it is difficult for many reasons to draw broad conclusions as to the benefits of diet. For example, many studies have not included good controls and have relied on patient-reported information.

What has been shown, however, is that diets with inflammatory potential may be involved in the physiological processes associated with neurodegenerative diseases.

How should I start an anti-inflammatory diet?

Before making any big changes, it’s always a good idea to talk to your physician and a registered dietitian. They can help you figure out foods to include and avoid, while making sure you are getting the nutrition and vitamins you need.


Last updated: Oct. 21, 2019


Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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  1. Rob Teer says:

    I was diagnosed in September of 2013 upon waking up one morning COMPLETELY BLIND! It took far longer than anything I would’ve hoped, but my vision did return. I just completed my 80th infusion of Tysabri 2 weeks ago, and have had NO SETBACKS or RELAPSES since 2013. Many may find this a difficult thing to imagine, but I’ve been eating the SAME EXACT THINGS EVERY DAY for over 4 years now. Yes, THE SAME THING EVERY SINGLE DAY. I also eat only 1 time each day, that being dinner, sometime between 6 and 9pm every evening. I cut up spinach mixed with arugula, throw on cheese, white meat chicken (cut up), mixed nuts (almonds, cashews, pistachios, peanuts, walnuts, etc.) and EVERY SINGLE “FRUIT” I happen to have at the time. A few I like to maintain as staples are “CUTIE’S” and/or “HALO’S”(small Mandarin oranges), Granny Smith apples, freshly sliced pineapple, red seedless grapes (red grapes for the resveratrol), and whatever else I find on sale in the grocery store. I top it all off with Ken’s Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette dressing, and that’s my routine. I also drink about 2 tablespoons of PURE, EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL and roughly a shot glass of Apple Cider Vinegar (containing the “MOTHER”), and about 2 to 3 teaspoons of RAW, UNFILTERED HONEY (one of nature’s best anti-inflammatories). I haven’t been “HUNGRY” in over 7 years, basically since my diagnosis. And even if I am hungry, I don’t KNOW what I want! But then, even if I do know WHAT I want, after the first few bites, it’s almost as if I have to literally FORCE-FEED or MAKE MYSELF EAT. Sticking to my routine has turned out to be far more beneficial than I’d ever have imagined. I’ve had NO RELAPSES since being diagnosed in 2013. I’ve also successfully dropped from a TOTAL of “29” different pills/medications daily, down to roughly 3 to 7 pills, depending on how I’m feeling. I’m 6’2″ tall, and have maintained a weight between 180 to 190 lbs. consistently since 2015. Maintaining a constant and consistent diet has also taken the “GUESSWORK” out of the daily question of “WHAT AM I GONNA EAT FIR DINNER”, which is wonderful for me, but still must be asked and answered regarding my wife and 2 boys (ages 6 and 4). They remain pretty consistent as well. 2 little boys = PIZZA or BREAKFAST (eggs, bacon, etc.), which isn’t exactly the BEST or most HEALTHY things to be eating, but c’mon, we’re only kids ONCE! I figure why not let them ENJOY IT while they can. However, they’re also watching what, when, and how their Daddy eats as well, and just that has brought positive aspects regarding their diets. They always seem to find a way of getting into the multitude of fruits I keep on hand at all times. And I’ve been told that even though they may not be eating as HEALTHY as I do on a daily basis, as they get older they’ll be MORE LIKELY to revert back to the things that they have simply “SEEN” being eaten by me, so that’s another positive aspect to the WHOLE ideal. So I myself can PERSONALLY VOUCH for the benefits of maintaining an anti-inflammatory, healthy diet. It’s worked for “ME”! Therefore, if it ain’t BROKE, don’t FIX IT!

  2. Logan says:

    My first ms symptoms were in 2015,numbness took over nearly my entire body. Unfortunately i was not diagnosed until 2018 after another severe relapse. I immediately Started the ‘overcoming multiple sclerosis diet’ a mainly plant based diet with the exception of egg whites and fish. I have been feeling great, still relapse free.

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