How to cut MS symptoms by 50 percent

If you’ve ever doubted the difference a healthy diet and lifestyle can make in multiple sclerosis, I have good news…

One of the biggest scientific studies published to-date on MS and lifestyle, shows eating and living healthy can take a bite out of the disease.

Now, there are plenty of people who have already proven this in their own lives. People have used Paleo diets, plant-based diets and others to put their MS into remission. Like Dr. Terry Wahls, who tamed her secondary progressive MS using a paleo-inspired diet.

But there hasn’t been much research on how much a healthy lifestyle helps people with multiple sclerosis. Until now…

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What diet and lifestyle do for MS

A study from researchers at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine found that healthy eaters fare far better in the fight against MS.

The study included self-reported nutrition and health data from 6,989 people with various types of MS. Those who ate the healthiest were 20 percent less likely to have severe disability. They were also 20 percent less likely to have severe depression.

Researchers gathered information beyond diet too, like weight, physical activity level and smoking status. They found that these factors can also slash the severity of the disease. In fact, the results of healthy living were pretty amazing…

People with MS who ate healthy, exercised, maintained a healthy weight and didn’t smoke were 50 percent less likely to be depressed, 30 percent less likely to have severe fatigue and 40 percent less likely to have pain than people who didn’t lead a healthy lifestyle.

Last but not least, researchers looked at several healthy diets that are promoted as helpful for people with MS (including Dr. Terry Wahls’ diet and the paleo diet), and they found that people who followed these diets at some point in the past or present were less likely to have severe disability.

So healthy living really can make a difference in your MS. You may already know that from your own experience. But if you don’t, now is the time to put the results of this study to the test in your own life…

The best diet for MS

What’s a healthy diet for someone with MS? Well, in the study, researchers measured the healthiness of each person’s diet based on a few simple dietary habits:

  • Eating more fruits and vegetables
  • Eating more whole grains and legumes
  • Eating less red meat and processed meat
  • Eating less sugar from desserts and sweetened beverages

Sounds simple enough, right? In fact, these guidelines sound a lot like the Mediterranean diet, so that may be a diet you want to try.

Of course, you could also go the Paleo route or try Dr. Terry Wahls’ diet. Choose whatever healthy diet sounds most appealing and sustainable to you. That way, you can make it more than a diet, you can make it a lifestyle…a lifestyle that may very well save your quality of life.


  1. Can diet help reduce disability, symptoms of multiple sclerosis? — MedicalXpress. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine,, and