Diet and NMO

A healthy balanced diet is recommended for everyone with NMO in order to maintain a healthy weight and to provide all of the nutrients that are essential to health and well-being.

Weight gain is a common side-effect of steroid treatment and can be managed by following a healthy diet

General health
If you are chronically tired or depressed your appetite may be affected.  These factors combined with reduced taste sensation make it easy to loose interest in food and food preparation which potentially leads to snacking on high fat/high salt/sugary quick fixes.

Social
Living on your own and eating well is challenging due to the social aspects of preparing and eating food.  Why not invite a friend, neigbour or family member around to eat with you once or twice a week. Get them to bring something and share the cost and experience.  Find a social club you can eat at occasionally.  Use healthy pre made meals from the supermarket.  Cook up extra amounts and freeze portions so you dont have to cook everyday. Think about other ideas that will help you to eat well and put the pleasure back into eating. 

Financial
If your income is reduced there could be a temptation to cut down on the food you buy.  Be carfeul not to cut out healthy staple foods which are usually the cheapest.  Buy small amounts of persihables to avoid waste.  Avoid stocking up on foods of poor nutritional quality such as sweet biscuits, cakes, crisps soft drinks and confectionary.  They tend to use up your food budget, are concentrated in calories and are of poor sources of vitamins, minerals and antioxidents. 

Top tip*
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Genrally, dont skip meals. 

Summary
Eating good quality food and drinking sufficient fluids will help to maintain a healthy weight reduce the risk of developing lifestyle diseases assist in the management of heart disease and diabetes, keep the skin healthy which in turn prevents ulcers, encourage bladder and bowel function and fights infections.  Food also plays an important social role and is a very pleasurable aspect of life.

If you have any tips that have helped you, it may help others please let us know on nmo.advice@thewaltoncentre.nhs.uk

Belle
It is vital to have a good diet to ensure that your body is getting all it needs. Having to much fat or unhealthy foods can make your body feel sluggish and make things worse. Eating healthy might take a bit of getting used to but the benefits are amazing and you will feel so much better for doing so and your immune system will get stronger if you eat well meaning fatigue and illness will become less frequent.