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MS + Alcohol = ?

I've never found any hard evidence alcohol has any effect on MS, although I imagine it isn't ideal considering it generally isn't good for you! However, I do enjoy to drink in moderation. I drink quite regularly but of course, with the MS fog, I am very strict with moderating to as not to add any extra trauma the next day!

I have wondered if anyone notices much difference with or without? I sometimes feel hungover, just from the cognitive fog symptoms anyway, so have tried and tested drinking or not. I woke up today after a period of not drinking and felt almost worse than some days when I've shared a few bottles of wine the night before!

  1. Hi Gemma! This is a great question, and one that I think you'll get differing answers for because alcohol can affect people differently. Here's an article from one of our advocates about her take on alcohol and MS: https://multiplesclerosis.net/living-with-ms/moderate-drinking-saving-life/ I do recommend sharing your concerns with your doctor as well as they will be able to give you the best advice for your specific circumstances. Thanks for reaching out and I hope other members will share their thoughts with you! Best, Shelby, MultipleSclerosis.net Team Member

    1. Hi Gemma! I actually recently submitted an article on this that should be out soon. Alcohol can affect everyone differently, the big concern with MS, is does it interact negatively with any medications you are on? From my own experience, I tend to do a little better during and even after some moderate drinking. My symptoms seem a tad lessened, I walk and talk a bit better, and friends tell me I even seem a bit sharper. That's my personal experience. I tend to end up paying for anything I do, often requiring a day of rest, but in my expensive experience, that will happen regardless of whether I was drinking or not. So if you enjoy a few drinks, don't routinely binge drink to the point of really harming yourself, and it doesn't interact negatively with your meds, then I'd say, by all means, enjoy yourself. I've had more than one neurologist give me to go ahead to enjoy some moderate drinking too (alcohol is an anti-inflammatory, so it's not all negative). There's also something to be said for do something that you enjoy!

      1. Hi Gemma...I too drink routinely and moderately as it lessens my stress level which adds to the nerve pain. Sometimes it is a reward for getting through a "keep pushing" day. Recently, after being diagnosed the doctor could not tell me the type so sent me to a MS doctor. That doctor is reviewing scans, etc. I find the waiting for the doctor phone call can be full of anxious days leading to more pain. So that glass or two of wine at the end of the day is well deserved...for me.

        1. Thought I'd add a link to this here, as it was just published, https://multiplesclerosis.net/living-with-ms/alcohol-consumption/

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