Eat Well, Live Well - an Online Nutrition Tool for People Living with Mutliple Sclerosis
Living well is a common concern for people diagnosed with MS, with many people looking to dietary solutions to manage their MS.
Multiple Sclerosis Limited (MSL) provides a range of services including education programs, one of which is Live Well with MS.
Live Well with MScovers lifestyle issues presented by MSL Consultants. It complements the medical management of MS & offers individuals the opportunity to meet & connect with others while accessing current evidence based research & approved health strategies for living well with MS. Consultants deliver an integrative holistic message to empower individuals to take responsibility for their health and lifestyle outcomes.
The program uses the acronym of ESSENTIALS for living well with MS;
Exercise or physical activity
Timely medication & symptom management
Intimacy & sexuality
Accessing emotional & physical support
Learning about MS
Spirituality or finding meaning
It is the high interest in the area of Nutrition that MSL identified as requiring further development.
The aim of this project was to reduce misunderstandings that develop around nutrition and MS by compiling an online nutrition resource to provide information to people with the disease and their carers about effective evidenced based nutrition support and strategies to enhance nutritional status and quality of life.
A Newman’s Own Foundation grant has enabled the development of this tool.
MSL engaged a qualified nutritionist who understands the dietary needs of people with multiple sclerosis, to work with MSL Consultants to develop the Eat Well, Live Well online tool to enhance the suite of wellness programs already available to people with MS.
It is our aim that this resource will be accessed by 3,500+ people with MS who will, learn about well-balanced nutrition plans, be provided with tips to manage individual dietary needs, links to resources to maintain good health and increase their nutrition literacy, which will ultimately assist them to ”live well” and “live life” with a chronic, disabling disease.
The end product is an online tool embedded in the ms.org.au website which creates an individualised nutrition plan based on age, gender, symptoms and lifestyle factors that the individual has entered into the tool.
The individualised nutrition plan provides:
- awareness of a healthy diet and how to eat well to minimize MS symptoms
- dietary changes to manage MS bladder / bowel symptoms
- dietary changes to manage fatigue, depression and swallowing issues
- encouragement and education to maintain a healthy weight range
- awareness of other non-ms contributary factors such as iron levels, menopause
- links to other resources & services for further advice & assistance beyond the scope of the tool
The new web based tool is due to be launched on November 5, 2015