Gluten-free Diet

A board to discuss various diet-centered approaches to treating or controlling Multiple Sclerosis, e.g., the Swank Diet

Gluten-free Diet

Postby Kevin » Sat Aug 16, 2008 10:23 am

Hello all-

So many articles I have read have mentioned that the elimination of Wheat and Gluten in your diet can help slow down the effect of MS for futute exasterbations.

What have the rest of you heard? Is there a real MS diet that has been proven to work?

Thank you in advance for your replies.

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Postby cheerleader » Sat Aug 16, 2008 1:31 pm

Hey Kevin-
My husband's done really well on the Swank diet, and he also steers clear of wheat and gluten, too. No more white foods. He feels better and has more energy than when he goes off this regimen....he noticed this during the holidays last year when he had lots of sweets, and felt really bad. Many folks with MS also have celiac disease and food allergies. Might be worth your while to take some allergy tests.

Check out the Swank diets and the Best Bet diet, search on these boards and google them...these are the eating plans most recommended by people with MS....and they are the experts!

Good luck to you as you learn more about how to take control of MS-
Husband dx RRMS 3/07
dx dual jugular vein stenosis (CCSVI) 4/09
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Postby jimmylegs » Sat Aug 16, 2008 2:10 pm

hi kevin i don't follow a particular diet even though some of the ideas might be beneficial. "proven to work" is probably not quite written in stone anywhere!
my mom gets some relief from plain old arthritis pain by avoiding white flour and sugar - could help anyone.
overall, i have tended to avoid any ms suggestions that rule out particular foods, although i was off bread for a while (i think that led to some of my other subsequent problems however).
i was a ruler-out of foods for many years prior to dx, and overall have decided the road to repair is not down that same road. i decided that even though the immune system's potential inflammatory response to some foods was possibly problematic, that it would be more on track to correct an out-of-whack immune response than to reject foods altogether.
that said, i'm not one to chow down on junk food either. i'm a fan of minimal processing/alteration.
all in all, i think it's a matter of finding personal balance. and i'm not averse to some of the regimens out there - i used the klenner protocol (somewhat modified) to excellent effect in 2006. that's more about supplements than diet, but whatever. you might find something out there that works just as well for you. cheer's suggestions are a great start.
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Postby daverestonvirginia » Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:37 pm

There is a diet called the Best Bet Diet (BBD) which you can find more information about at the web site direct-ms. I have been on the BBD for over two years and I believe it is helping me. The BBD is gluten and dairy free. I know at first glance that sounds pretty restricting, but it can be done and it actually is not that hard.
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Postby Wonderfulworld » Sun Aug 24, 2008 11:50 am

I have been on a gluten-free diet for the last 5 years. I found out I was a coeliac - I have had MS 10 years.
It is easy to get a blood test from your GP to see if you are a coeliac.
In the last 5 years my MS has greatly improved but I started Copaxone at the same time, and stuck to taking some regular supplements, so it's hard to say what thing is working exactly.
I feel a lot better off the gluten, I wish I'd known years ago I was a coeliac. IT's estimated to be 1 in 100 people!
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Postby lyndacarol » Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:39 pm

Today's episode of The Dr. Oz Show covered the idea that a gluten-free diet is not necessarily a weight-loss diet: ... u-fat-pt-1

I was especially intrigued by the guest Dr. Mark Hyman's description (about 3:40 in the video) that gluten, a protein, increases inflammation, which causes insulin resistance. When that happens, the body must produce more insulin to get the blood sugar (glucose) into the cells.

If I assume that excess insulin is involved with MS, could this explain the observation that many with MS have celiac disease (gluten intolerance) and see improvements when following a gluten-free diet? Perhaps this explains why a gluten-free diet (reducing inflammation) or a no-carb diet (reducing sugar) seems to help – depending on which causes the great amount of insulin to be produced; green tea is anti-inflammatory – perhaps that is the mechanism for green tea's seeming effect to improve symptoms. Anything that increases inflammation (including gluten) or causes insulin resistance or triggers the body to produce more insulin (sugar, corticosteroids, glucosamine, etc.) would worsen MS symptoms.

Conversely, anything that decreases inflammation or reverses insulin resistance should decrease the amount of insulin and improve MS symptoms.

Seems logical to me.
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Postby jimmylegs » Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:15 am

FYI gluten free diet raises serum zinc levels in both celiac patients (dramatically) and healthy controls (less dramatically because their zinc levels are higher to start with). i was zinc deficient when i reacted most painfully to bread. now i take zinc supplements and can eat bread if i want to. though it is not a daily thing by any means....
odd sx? no dx? check w/ dietitian
99% don't meet these. meds/lifestyle can affect levels
status can be low in ms & other cond'ns
'but my results are normal'. typical panels don't test all
deficits occur in 'normal' range
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Re: Gluten-free Diet

Postby lyndacarol » Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:55 am

An episode of The Dr. Oz Show last week featured Dr. Neal Barnard this time speaking on gluten: ... enemy-pt-1
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Gluten testing protocol and disease cascades.

Postby CaveMan » Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:46 pm

The doc is acurrent (2012) outline for the test protocol for gluten sensitivity, but the preamble outlines the pathways that exist for the cascade from gluten sensitivity through tissue damage into organ specific autoimmunity with or without Coeliac Disease.
Every year I see the Gluten/Wheat net growing wider and wider, not to be ignored me thinks. ... Array3.pdf
I am just an interested individual trying to crack the autoimmune nut.
Partner has Graves Disease, 5 years, showing good test results, looking forward to potential remission in the near future.
3 friends have MS, 1 just recently diagnosed, severity 7/10.
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Re: Gluten-free Diet

Postby ElliotB » Sat Apr 05, 2014 3:26 am

One of the first things I did even prior to my 'official diagnosis', when I highly suspected I had MS, was change my diet - a drastic change. After a lot of research over the last year, I feel that diet is a major component of MS, in both turning it 'on' and controlling it (this is my personal opinion).

Except for what I consider 'safe' foods, such as most fruits and vegetables, I eliminated just about everything I was eating prior to my symptoms flaring up and have gone gluten free as well.

I currently eat a very narrow selection of foods, and follow what I consider a modified Swank diet combined with a slightly modified Paleo diet. When it comes to meats/fish, I eat only grass fed meats and wild caught fishes. My diet is rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory foods, high in Omega 3 fats and extremely low saturated fats. It seems to be working for me.

Most 'MS' diets seem to share the concept of low saturated fat and I believe to go gluten free, and I think this is a good starting point. Dr. Swank's diet study clearly showed the importance of low saturated fats in a diet for someone with MS. Eliminating gluten is easy. Reducing/eliminating saturated fats takes a bit of work and a lot of dicipline!

You probably need to experiment to see what works for you.
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