Many foods have been touted as helpful for people with multiple sclerosis (MS). Do they work?
"There are strong reasons to think that diet could affect MS symptoms and even help treat it," says neurologist Ellen Mowry, MD, of Johns Hopkins University.
But although a healthy diet is always a good idea, there is no proof that any diet or food, on its own, treats MS.
If you want to try changing your diet to see if it helps your MS, do your homework. Make sure you've got good information from a reliable...
You begin having a symptom that you have not had before or
you notice a significant change in symptoms that are already present.
Milder MS-type symptoms can be caused by many
other conditions or may occur now and then in healthy people. For example, lots of
people have minor numbness in their fingers or a mild dizzy spell once in
a while. Stiffness and muscle weakness can result from being more active than
A wait-and-see approach (watchful waiting) is appropriate for these types of
everyday aches and pains, so long as they do not continue.
symptoms occur more often or don't go away, talk to your doctor.
For people with MS
Talk to your doctor about
what to expect from the disease and from treatment. MS is an unpredictable
disease, but you probably can get some idea of what is "normal" and what
symptoms or problems are reasons for concern.
Some people who have MS
want active, regular support from their doctors. Others want to manage their
condition on their own as much as possible. Wherever you are in this range,
find out which signs or symptoms mean that you need to see your doctor. And
seek help when you need it.
Who to see
Health professionals who may be involved in evaluating
symptoms of MS and treating the condition include:
Family doctors or
internists. Consult your doctor when symptoms first
start. He or she will refer you to a neurologist if needed. If you have
MS, your family doctor or internist can treat your general health problems even
if you see a neurologist for MS treatment.
neurologist can decide whether your symptoms are caused by MS. He or she can also help you
decide what may be the best treatment for your condition.
Many university medical centers and large hospitals have
MS clinics or centers staffed by neurologists and other health professionals
who specialize in diagnosing and treating MS. They may be able to provide the
most thorough evaluation.