Multiple Sclerosis check in since becoming vegan

Multiple Sclerosis check in since becoming vegan

Let me start by reiterating the reasons WHY I decided to become vegan. I was told by my sister and a friend about a movie Forks Over Knives. The movie is about how most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that can afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting animal based and processed foods. There is also a book by Roy Swank called The Multiple Sclerosis Diet Book. In his book Dr. Swank also believed in a low fat diet as a way of treating multiple sclerosis. His book was first published in 1972. His idea was also a plant-based diet but allowed skim milk, egg whites, fish and white meat chicken or turkey. Oil would only be introduced 10-30grams per day. Today his diet has been revised to the more plant-based vegan diet. Most things you read about multiple sclerosis doesn’t directly correlate to diet but there are some strange factors of MS you can’t ignore:

  • the further you move from the equator the more common the disease.
  • multiple sclerosis and heart disease occurs more commonly where large amounts of animals are consumed
  • multiple sclerosis is more common in people who eat 100 grams of animal fat per day then say in the Orient that consumed 50 grams or less
  • MS is virtually unheard of in some populations including Eskimos, Inuit, Yakuts, Hungarian Romani, Norwegian Lapps, Australian aborigines and New Zealanders…diet, geography both???

I know I would have been better off doing this diet at the start of my disease 19 years ago but I decided it still can’t hurt. Today marks my 6 week point and this is what I’ve found.

  • I’ve had bathroom issues because of my multiple sclerosis and it has caused problems. This diet has definitely helped me stay regular without needing any laxatives other then a glycerin suppository.  That in itself was a HUGE thing for me.
  • I’ve lost about 7 lbs since starting. Took off the weight that I kept fluctuating with for months plus an additional amount.
  • I’ve had energy. I haven’t felt sluggish. I should say any more tired then my multiple sclerosis makes me feel. Not eating meat hasn’t made me feel like I’m lacking energy.
  • I’m definitely less bloated which is a nice feeling.
  • I cook. I make food on Sunday for my week.  I love soup and especially during  the winter. I make a batch freeze half and use it throughout the week. Forks over Knives has a really nice app to you can buy for recipes.
  • I don’t feel like I’m missing anything. I’m a carb person, I’d rather eat barley then chicken any day.
  • I get from their cookie dough and brownie batter that are vegan and make them when I have the “sweet tooth”. I tried a recipe for brownies but it wasn’t good.  I keep experimenting.
  • I have had good MS day but is it the diet, physical therapy, biotin, alpha Lipoic acid, rituxan, all, some combo, I can’t answer that, but I’ll take those good days no questions asked.

In summary I always knew I’d give this a shot for a minimum of 6 months and see how I felt.  6 weeks in, I’m pretty sure I can see me changing this to my way of life.  I had blood work done recently all numbers were in line and my blood work will be repeated again in a month (because of rituxan) but I’ll request all be checked. As long as I’m getting the correct nutrition in, all is good.

17 thoughts on “Multiple Sclerosis check in since becoming vegan

  1. Hi,
    Thank you for sharing your experiences with multiple sclerosis and your diet change. Some people actually gain weight when they get the protein because they eat so many potato chips. You sound happy with your weight loss and you can see staying on this diet indefinitely. I bet this site offer support to people with this disease. Thank you for sharing.
    Maybe you can check out my blog if you need a blogging tip or two. That’s what I write about. For example, I write about free tools and tips that can help bloggers.

  2. Why You Should Think Twice About Vegetarian and Vegan Diets
    on FEBRUARY 20, 2014 by CHRIS KRESSER 1,826 comments
    There are many reasons why people choose to go vegetarian or vegan. Some are compelled by the environmental impact of confinement animal feeding operations (CAFO). Others are guided by ethical concerns or religious reasons. I respect these reasons and appreciate anyone who thinks deeply about the social and spiritual impact of their food choices—even if my own exploration of these questions has led me to a different answer.

    But many choose a vegetarian diet is because they’re under the impression that it’s a healthier choice from a nutritional perspective. It is this last reason that I’d like to address in this article. For the last fifty years, we’ve been told that meat, eggs and animal fats are bad for us, and that we’ll live longer and enjoy superior health if we minimize or avoid them. This idea has been so thoroughly drilled into our head that few people even question it anymore. In fact, if you asked the average person on the street whether a vegetarian or vegan diet is healthier than an omnivorous diet, they’d probably say yes. But is this really true?

    Plant-based diets emphasize vegetables, which are quite nutrient dense, and fruits, which are somewhat nutrient dense. However, they also typically include large amounts of cereal grains (refined and unrefined) and legumes, both of which are low in bioavailable nutrients and high in anti-nutrients such as phytate, and they eschew organ meats, meats, fish and shellfish, which are among the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat. (1)

    Vegan diets, in particular, are almost completely devoid of certain nutrients that are crucial for physiological function. Several studies have shown that both vegetarians and vegans are prone to deficiencies in B12, calcium, iron, zinc, the long-chain fatty acids EPA & DHA, and fat-soluble vitamins like A & D.

    Let’s take a closer look at each of these nutrients on a vegetarian or vegan diet.

    Are plant-based diets missing nutrients required for optimal health? Find out!

    Vitamin B12
    B12 deficiency is especially common in vegetarians and vegans. I’ve covered the prevalence of B12 deficiency in vegetarians and vegans at length in another article. The takeaway is that the most recent studies using more sensitive techniques for detecting B12 deficiency have found that 68% of vegetarians and 83% of vegans are B12 deficient, compared to just 5% of omnivores. (2)

    Vitamin B12 works together with folate in the synthesis of DNA and red blood cells. It’s also involved in the production of the myelin sheath around the nerves, and the conduction of nerve impulses. B12 deficiency can cause numerous problems, including:

    Memory loss
    Neurological and psychiatric problems
    And much more…

    ALSO CHECK THIS OUT! Vegan diet may contribute to M.S.

  3. Thank you for sharing your experience. I’m glad you’re feeling positive effects of your vegan diet. I think that veganism isn’t restrictive, one size fits all, and you have to experiment to find what works for you because you have all these new opportunities ahead of you, meals and flavors you haven’t even thought about. And looks like you are on the right path. I wish you all the best!

    1. Thank you. Yes this is certainly a choice it makes no difference to my MS but it has helped my digestive tract. I actually love eating like this so I have no problem. I try to post recipes I like for everyone to view. It’s fun because I never cook lol.

  4. How is the diet going? I also have MS and have been vegan for 3 months. I feel really good but curious how you feel after a full year.

    1. I did stop after the year. It unfortunately didn’t make a difference for my MS. Even the digestion stopped helping. I still eat vegetarian like just with fish and chicken. No dairy other than my coffee which I did even when I was fully vegan and no red meats. I just can’t stand behind at this point that my diet makes a huge difference I do it more to try to control weight.

  5. Hi guys, I’ve been vegan for 4 years now and haven’t missed meat or any animal products at all. However I’ve got MS and depression(as well as hypothyroidism) and was now reading into the things that help regenerate myelin sheaths, amongst which there’re a lot of animal products. I recall that when I had a concussion 5 years ago, I was prescribed to have beef liver and having it once helped me more than any injections and pills that I was prescribed for brain regeneration. I’m contemplating trying it again for MS, but feel thoroughly disgusted by meat. do you have any suggestions/recommendations for equally effective alternatives (FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE PLEASE, there’s just too many “studies”) Many thanks!

    1. I actually went back to eating some meat within the last two weeks, no joke. I think my body needs a little extra fat. I even looked into the Keto diet which is almost an opposite to how I eat. I eat plant based but I do eat fish now. No dairy no eggs. If you watch the documentary “the magic Pill” it is about a high fat diet because our brain cells are high in fat. I think this is more in line with what you mean. HOWEVER it goes against almost every low-fat thought for MS.

  6. @youtwohearts.
    My sister aged 36 has ms and now she shows signs of slurred speech and forgetfulness. I am thinking of helping her mainly on lines of forks over knives diet, physiotherapist, talk therapy, etc.
    I will appreciate any advice that you think may help.
    Lahore, Pakistan

    1. I was following forks over knives for a very long time. It is great but they do technically not believe diet has anything to do with relapses. However I am a strong believer the stronger the body, the better. I would highly recommend the MS Gym. It is online and geared specifically for MSers. Exercise is just as important as a healthy diet. I would also recommend Overcoming MS. It is also a healthy way of eating that may be a little less restricted

      1. @Youtwohearts.
        Thanks for your input.
        I will look up both these areas….Ms gym and overcoming MS.
        May you and all others with MS, be blessed with perfect health. ?

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