Curious About MS and Allergies?

5 Interesting Facts as Spring Approaches

Allergies may contribute to MS disease activity. An allergic reaction occurs when the body’s immune system attacks a foreign substance that typically doesn’t pose a threat (an allergen). A food allergy occurs when the body’s immune system sees a certain food as harmful.

  1. Not All Allergies Are Created Equal One study, published in 1953, found distinct types of allergies are associated with different levels of disease severity. Results suggest food allergies are associated with severe MS symptoms. Data links sensitivity to molds and fungi to moderate MS symptoms and reaction to pollens and medications to mild symptoms.
  2. Gluten and Dairy-Free? A 2014 study concluded eating wheat or dairy products may increase disease activity in people with MS.
  3. Food Allergies and Flares Go Hand in Hand There is evidence the number of MS relapses is higher in people with MS who also have food allergies. These individuals are also more than twice as likely to have disease activity on MRI scans than those with no known allergies.
  4. Have seasonal or drug allergies? Good news! Research suggests environmental and medication allergies do not affect MS disease.
  5. How does it happen? The fact that food allergies are associated with the most significant MS disease activity supports the theory that there may be a link between bacteria in the gut (the microbiome) and immune system activity in neurological diseases.