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Joost on his way to the USA for Motor Neuron Disease treatment

by , 28 January 2014

After Joost van der Westhuizen's Motor Neuron Disease diagnosis in 2011, doctors told him he only had a 20% chance of survival for the next two years because he had such an aggressive form of the disease. That was three years ago and he's still receiving treatment. Here's how to be like Joost and fight the disease.

Former rugby star, Joost van der Westhuizen, is on his way to the USA to receive further treatment for Motor Neuron Disease (MND). After his diagnosis in 2011, doctors had little hope of him surviving the next two years. But three years on, he’s still fighting. 
If you’re suffering from the progressive neurodegenerative MND, you know there’s no cure. 
But you can improve your quality of life and fight off the degeneration process by taking in the correct nutrients. 
A study conducted by the National Institute of Health determined that by ensuring you’re sticking to a nutritious diet, you can prevent the rapid weight loss that’s commonly associated with MND. 
Because of this malnutrition, there’s higher risk of infection and muscle degeneration, especially the muscles that help keep you breathing. 
Eating right can improve your quality of life if you suffer from Motor Neuron Disease
You’ll have to be strict with this diet. It’s essential to eat the right foods so your body has the right nutrition to keep fighting. 
A diet rich in fish (rich in essential fatty acids) and colourful fruit and vegetables is a good start. Stay away from dairy, and saturated and vegetable fats. 
· Convenience foods
· Anything with MSG
· Artificial sweeteners 
· Grains – wheat, oats, rye, barley which all contain gluten
· Dairy products, including milk and milk products 
· All foods containing white flour, including cakes and pastries
· Meat
· Saturated fats
· Vegetable fats
· Hydrogenated vegetable oils (trans-fatty acids)
· Eggs
· Alcohol, especially beer
· Coffee and caffeinated drinks
· Salt
· Refined white sugar (a little honey is best if you must have a sweetener)
· Foods with artificial colourings and preservatives
If you need to modify and liquefy foods, you need to do so. The lack of eating in some MND patients is because they feel embarrassed about how they have to eat, or because they eat so slowly. Make an effort to get as much healthy nutritious food into your system so you’re able to improve your quality of life, and keep fighting this debilitating disease. 

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Joost on his way to the USA for Motor Neuron Disease treatment
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