Food Sensitivities and Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Good posture while eating is important.
Good posture while eating is important. Kathrin Ziegler/Getty Images

For the past 3 years, my diet has been pretty much gluten-free - I have strictly avoided anything with wheat, barley or rye. In addition, for the past 2 years, I have avoided legumes (beans, soy, and peanuts).

Before eliminating these foods from my diet, I would observe a direct correlation between eating food with these ingredients and the severity of my MS symptoms, especially fatigue, and paresthesia. One incident comes to mind when I had not had anything to eat all day, so I grabbed a handful of peanuts to tide me over until lunch. Within about 5 minutes I was literally on my knees, my head pounding and spinning and my feet feeling like they were on fire.

I'll admit it. I am a little sick of the whole thing. I have started experimenting with some foods - tofu or a little flour. So far, so good. I know that if I eat a cupcake, I will feel terrible, but I am finding a little soy sauce or a little dusting of flour on pan-seared fish is okay.

Again, I can't find anything about this correlation in the medical literature. There are books written about avoiding certain foods if you have MS, especially once you have figured out you have a sensitivity. There are many forum posts and blogs from people saying that they "cured" themselves by avoiding specific foods, or at least completely eliminated symptoms.

I guess it makes sense. MS has an autoimmune component (or at least is thought to) and an overactive immune system is at play with food allergies and sensitivities. I never got myself tested - just cut foods out of my diet and monitored how I felt. I guess that would be the next step if I really wanted to see what my situation is with certain foods.

So, I'm bringing it to you. Is anyone out there sensitive to a particular food that they are aware of? Which symptoms are aggravated by these foods? How did you figure it out? Please tell your story below. It might inspire others to consider food sensitivities as a symptom "trigger."

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