He said he believes physical activity leads to “much higher and earlier success than diet” in MS patients, although there’s no confirmed “best exercise.”
As for nutrition, he said vitamins D and B12 are possibly beneficial. But he cautioned against the potential for harm from supplements and added that there’s no proven best diet for MS.
As for finding time to address these issues in clinic, Dr. Bowling recommended mentioning various lifestyle issues over multiple office visits.
“Some of the effort should be switched to the primary care doctor,” he said, “but you can use a strong collection of words to convey to the person with MS that this is serious: ‘It’s not MS, but it’s a serious issue, and you must see your primary care doctor.’ ”
He believes that this approach can have a significant impact, “especially for those aged 20-40, because the doctor they pay the most attention to may be their MS clinician.”
Dr. Bowling said that he receives royalties from a book he authored, “Optimal Health With Multiple Sclerosis.”