As most of you know I have had an (MS) Multiple Sclerosis Relapse and am due to have my treatment ‘Lemtrada Alemtuzumab’ any day now. I have been told I have to start a ‘Listeria Diet’. It does not help when I have been told this a few weeks ago after I signed the consent form, especially as they know that “stress can cause MS relapses” and I am getting more and more stressed and anxious waiting for the start date.

https://www.msif.org/about-ms/symptoms-of-ms/cognition-and-emotional-changes/

My life should not revolve around the NHS pussy footing around.

It is getting beyond a joke waking up every morning to see if I have received the letter or not.

The Professor of Neurology and the MS Team should know better than to make a patient become stressed.

If you do not know what Listeria is here are some facts:

Listeria is a genus of bacteria that acts as an intracellular parasite in mammals. Until 1992, 10 species were known, each containing two subspecies. By 2020, 21 species had been identified. The genus is named in honor of the British pioneer of sterile surgery Joseph Lister.

It’s a harmful bacterium that can be found in refrigerated, ready-to-eat foods (meat, poultry, seafood, and dairy – unpasteurized milk and milk products or foods made with unpasteurized milk), and produce harvested from soil contaminated with L. monocytogenes.

Many animals can carry this bacterium without appearing ill, and thus, it can be found in foods made from animals. L. monocytogenes is unusual because it can grow at refrigerator temperatures where most other foodborne bacteria do not. When eaten, it may cause listeriosis, an illness to which pregnant women and their unborn children are very vulnerable (autoimmune disease) with low immune systems.

Citation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Listeria

My diet:

Can’t eat:

  • Hot dogs, deli meats, and luncheon meats – unless they’re reheated until steaming hot. Greggs, McDonald’s, Subway.
  • Refrigerated Meal Deals, Pre-prepared sandwiches, and salads. Tesco’s Meal Deals, Boots Meal Deals, Sainsbury’s, Morrison, Cafe Food such as Starbucks, Costa-; Cafe Nero, Coffee #1, etc.
  • Soft cheeses like Feta, Brie, and Camembert, “blue-veined cheeses,” or “queso Blanco,” “queso fresco,” or Panela – unless they’re made with pasteurized milk. Make sure the label says, “made with pasteurized milk.”
  • Refrigerated pâtés or meat spreads, lunch meats like cold cuts, chicken liver.
  • Refrigerated smoked seafood – unless it’s in a cooked dish, such as a casserole. (Refrigerated smoked seafood, such as salmon, trout, whitefish, cod, tuna, or mackerel is most often labeled as “nova-style,” “lox,” “kippered,” “smoked,” or “jerky.” These types of fish are found in the refrigerator section or sold at deli counters of grocery stores and delicatessens), Sushi; is sold in grocery shops, cafes, and restaurants.
  • Raw (unpasteurized) milk or foods that contain unpasteurized milk, ice cream, and cheese made from raw milk.
  • Raw or lightly cooked sprouts, including alfalfa, clover, radish, and mung bean sprouts
  • Pre-prepared fruit including cut melon at room temperature, or refrigerated melon that has been cut for more than 7 days (This sucks as I love melon). If you are wondering why there is an emphasis on melons, this is what I found: Most melons are grown on the ground. The ground is dirty, but the rind protects the inside of the melon. The problem is that germs like E-coliListeria, or Salmonella can sometimes hang out on the rind. Some melons have E-coli hovering around the outside of the melon. In most cases, the E-coli germs don’t do too much to the rind of the melon. It’s the cutting of the melon that can cause the problem. https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/melons_prepare_and_store_properly_for_safe_consumption
  • Rare or undercooked beef, poultry, pork, and lamb. (No rare or medium-rare steaks I’m afraid).

It’s okay to eat:

  • Pasta cooked fresh. Can be reheated at 165%F.
  • Casseroles. Can be reheated at 165%F.
  • Freshly Cooked Rice and Curry.
  • Fried Food. (This kills germs but does nothing for your waste line). (KFC is not permitted because the fried food is not sold immediately it leaves the fryer, and sits on trays. The same goes for burgers the salad sits around and cheese is not permitted).
  • Freshly baked or roasted food. (Jacket Potatoes, Roasted Meat).
  • Canned Soup & Beans.
  • Pasteurized milk or foods that contain pasteurized milk.

https://www.lemtrada.com/stories/experiences-articles/food-safety-during-ms-treatment

Not only do you have to watch what you eat you also have to have a germ-free environment and make sure your fridge, work surface areas, and your utensils are clean and sterile.

Time to Chill

  • Your refrigerator should register at 40° F (4° C) or below and the freezer at 0° F (-18° C). Place a refrigerator thermometer in the refrigerator, and check the temperature periodically. During the automatic defrost cycle, the temperature may temporarily register slightly higher than 40° F. This is okay.
  • Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared food, and leftovers within two hours of eating or preparation. Follow the 2-Hour Rule: Discard food that’s left out at room temperature for longer than 2 hours. When temperatures are above 90° F (32° C), discard food after 1 hour.
  • Use ready-to-eat, perishable foods, such as dairy, meat, poultry, seafood, and produce, as soon as possible.

Fridge TIPS

  • Clean your refrigerator regularly.
  • Wipe up spills immediately. (Have antibacterial wipes on hand or antibacterial surface spray.
  • Clean the inside walls and shelves with hot water and a mild liquid dishwashing detergent; then rinse. (I always use fairy antibacterial with a red cross washing up liquid.
  • Once a week, check expiration and “use by” dates; and throw out foods if the date has passed. Follow the recommended storage times for foods.
  • Remember to store raw meat on the bottom shelf and cooked meats on the top/middle.

Food Storage:

Symptoms of listeriosis

In most people, listeriosis has no symptoms or only causes mild symptoms for a few days, such as:

  • a high temperature of 38C or above
  • aches and pains
  • chills
  • feeling or being sick
  • diarrhea
  • death

If you’re pregnant, you may also have a stomach ache or notice your baby moving less than usual.

Babies with listeriosis may also be irritable and feed less than usual.

Risks of listeriosis

Listeriosis is not usually serious for most people.

But some people have a higher risk of serious problems, including:

  • people who are pregnant
  • newborn babies
  • people aged 65 or over
  • people with a condition that weakens their immune system, such as cancer, liver disease, or kidney disease
  • people having treatment that weakens their immune system, such as chemotherapy or steroid tablets
  • people with diabetes who are unable to keep their blood sugar level down, even with treatment (uncontrolled diabetes)

If you get listeriosis while you’re pregnant, there is a risk it could cause miscarriage or stillbirth.

I have made the keywords in bold that apply to people who are having treatment for “multiple sclerosis”.

I have also attached links to the Lemtrada Alemtuzumab, NHS, and FDA sites for further reading.

https://www.lemtrada.com/

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/listeriosis/

https://www.fda.gov/food/foodborne-pathogens/listeria-listeriosis

#multiplesclerosis #ms #mstreatment #listeriadiet #fdalisteriadiet #nhslisteriadiet

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Zena is studying BA Hons Marketing Management at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

Zena may look normal to an untrained eye even though she has an invisible disability. Thanks to a great support network she is able to fit into society and can get additional help, whenever she needs it.

Zena aspires to be a role model for young people with Multiple Sclerosis.

Zena is also 'The Assistant Editor' of Disability UK Disabled Entrepreneur Journal, and Cymru Marketing Journal.

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