Eating disorders and MS

“In response to a comment yesterday; I am not aware of MS being associated with eating disorders. There are isolated case reports of MSers presenting with excessive eating as a result of lesion affecting the hypothalamus or an area of the brain that is involved in the control of apetite. When researching this topic I found this study that highlights a general problem with MSers; i.e. poor nutrition.”

Timmerman GM, Stuifbergin AK. Eating patterns in women with multiple sclerosis. J Neurosci Nurs. 1999 Jun;31(3):152-8.

Background: For MSers, good nutrition has the potential to enhance quality of life and reduce the risk of lifestyle diseases and secondary conditions. 

Objective: The purpose of this study was to describe nutritional intake of women with MS and to determine what factors influenced their intake. 

Methods and results: Based on 3-day food diary data, participants had an inadequate intake (< 10% lower than recommended) of carbohydrates, dietary fibre  vitamin E, calcium and zinc. In contrast, they consumed saturated fat, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, folate and iron at higher levels than recommended. Age was significantly related to nutritional intake with older women consuming fewer calories, total fat and saturated fat. 

Conclusion: Despite evidence supporting the importance of following recommended nutritional guidelines, nutritional intake for participants in this study was not optimum in many important areas. This study supports the need for interventions to promote good nutrition among MSers.

“This is a US study so critics will say it an Ameican problem. I am not sure poor nutrition is limited to the US. If you think you have a poor diet raise the issue with your nurse or GP they can give you advice or refer you to a nutritionist.” 

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