Diet for Myasthenia Gravis

Since muscle weakness can affect chewing and swallowing, following a special diet for Myasthenia Gravis is extremely important. If you are experiencing symptoms such as gagging, drooling and problems with chewing and swallowing - consult with a trained dietician so that you can regulate your diet and prevent malnutrition.

Some diet suggestions for people with myasthenia gravis are:

  • Eat several smaller meals throughout the day instead of three large one as eating large amounts of food at a time can cause fatigue.
  • Very hot food can aggravate MG and make it even more difficult to swallow. Eat warm food or sip a cold drink in between meals that are piping hot.
  • Cook meat very well so that it is easier to chew and swallow. Alternatively eat meat that is ground down into a mince or cut into small pieces to make it easier to digest. Avoid fatty and tough pieces of meat at all costs.
  • If fresh fruit and vegetables are a problem to consume, have them in the form of juices or soups instead. This ensures that you are getting the necessary nutrients and not forgoing your fruit and vegetable intake.
  • Avoid food which is too dry or crumbles easily. These can get stuck in the windpipe and cause choking. Moisten foods with sauces or gravies to prevent this from happening.
  • Avoid spicy goods and alcohol. Foods such as tonic water or lemons that contain quinine can aggravate MG symptoms and should be avoided as well.
  • In case symptoms are so severe that swallowing becomes dangerous, your doctor may recommend tube feeding until the situation is under control.
  • Certain foods can trigger inflammation and activate the harmful immune system response and should be completely cut out of your diet if you have MG. These include foods that are high in polyunsaturated and trans-fats, foods made with white flour and refined sugar, dairy products, and animal proteins.
  • There are also foods that ease inflammation such as olive oil, omega 3 fatty acids found in fatty fish and flax seeds, and antioxidant rich fresh fruit and vegetables. All these foods prevent further damage to the cells, boost your immunity and are natural remedies for myasthenia gravis.  
  • Fatigue is a common symptom of myasthenia gravis and can be countered by eating foods rich in potassium such as bananas, lean meats, fish, and low-fat dairy products.