For those living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome diet is important.
The word ‘diet’ can bring up images of deprivation, or of something temporary.
It may help to think of the word ‘diet’ as simply referring to your normal
way of eating.
Everyone has a diet. Some people's diet is coke and chips every day. It's not a diet I would recommend!
There is no official treatment for CFS/ME at this time. So it makes sense to have a diet which helps your body to be as healthy as possible.
For example, as you probably all know 5 portions of vegetables a day are recommended as a minimum.
If you have little movement and energy to prepare meals the changes you make to have a healthy Chronic Fatigue Syndrome diet may be limited. Be gentle on yourself if you can’t do all you would like to do.
In this CFS article I look at the basis for 3 Chronic Fatigue Syndrome diets that you might want to consider.
I look at...
In another health article I consider...
My knowledge of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome diet is purely from my own
Diet is an important subject but not one that excites me. So please take this CFS article as a starting point for further research.
Food sensitivity is different from food allergy.
Sometimes the food you crave the most can be the food to which you are allergic or have a sensitivity.
Eczema can be caused by food allergy or sensitivity. Click through for advice on how to stop itching.
The advice given to discover a food sensitivity and recover is to undertake a rotation diet. See below.
As part of a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome diet during the more severe years, I was on a permanent rotation diet.
Anyone with a compromised immune system is at risk of developing food
rotation diet is therefore advisable.
In my case, once I was no longer healthy enough to make myself a meal or walk to the kitchen, I had snacks by the bed. I was at a level where even these were difficult to reach and eat due to the muscle fatigue in my arms and hands.
I ate the snacks if a caregiver did not turn up. Typically when there were days in a row when this happened, I became sensitive to the food and was no longer able to eat it.
My regular diet was set up to stop me developing food sensitivities by ensuring that I did not have any one food for two days in a row.
A rotation diet is one where the foods are eaten in rotation and not continuously.
A typical British diet, for example, might include milk and bread every day. With a rotation diet such repetition is avoided.
I won’t dig it out at the moment, but if anyone reading this
is living with severe CFS/ME and would like a copy of the rotation diet I
followed for many years, you can contact me.
My Chronic Fatigue Syndrome diet was checked by 2 dieticians on separate occasions and passed as being healthy. I was however advised that I needed more calcium (I was not eating dairy products).
I warn you though that the CFS diet I had was very boring and designed for caregivers
It involved eating the same meal three times a day.
The time allocated for carers was short and there wasn't time to organise cooking different things.
My communication was minimal so I couldn't ask for something different to be cooked.
If you drink a lot of canned drinks, fizzy drinks or sodas consider aspartame poisoning as a cause of some or all of your CFS/ME symptoms.
Symptoms of aspartame poisoning can include the following:
Cut down on or eliminate fizzy drinks or sodas.
Replace your sweetener with Stevia which is a natural sweetener. The natural Stevia is best if you can get it - green instead of white.
If you are sensitive or allergic to aspartame, you may feel worse intitially if you give up your soda drinks, due to withdrawal symptoms. It may take several weeks to see the health benefits.
Candida is a yeast-like fungus found on human skin. It can live on the mouth and in the intestine. (For women, it is also found in the vagina).
What is Candidiasis?
The term Candidiasis indicates that Candida Albicans has overgrown and the balance of helpful to harmful micro-organisms has shifted. Symptoms result.
Symptoms of CFS overlap with those of Candida. For example brain fog is a symptom of both. Some people with CFS/ME find benefit from being on a candida diet.
A candida diet is especially worth trying if your symptoms include bloating and
The candida diet is one I followed almost through accident throughout the years of more severe CFS/ME.
The demands of a candida diet overlap with those of a diet for hypoglycemia combined with avoidance of common allergens such as wheat and dairy.
recommended candida diet is as follows:
Please find a candida website to give you more details of candida symptoms and diet.
Another consideration for a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome diet is that if you are not able to exercise normally you use up less calories. You therefore need to put less calories in your body. The last thing you want if you're feeling tired all the time is to be carrying around more weight.
Having said that, people living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome seem
to have two contradictory responses to calorie intake.
Some people – like myself when I had more severe CFS – need to eat a great deal and lose weight even though they are lying still in a bed.
Others find that they eat very little and yet their weight gain is dramatic.
Adapt your CFS diet to work out what is right for you.
A protein drink can help some people to lose weight by allowing them to keep the calorie intake the same at each of the protein drink 'meals'.
By adding in calories to each drink, you can also use a protein drink to help you to gain weight.
When considering your Chronic Fatigue Syndrome diet you are going to need to assess the following
One of the key symptoms of CFS/ME is post exertional fatigue. There is no point trying to have a perfect diet if it requires you to become exhausted in order to prepare it and eat it.
You may want to eat wonderful organic vegetables. But if they arrive covered in mud that requires extra washing, you may not be well enough to prepare them.
You may want to eat fresh vegetables, but find that frozen vegetables can be delivered to your house, last longer and are there when you need them.
If you have little movement and energy to prepare meals you might have to compromise on the healthy Chronic Fatigue Syndrome diet you would like to have. Be gentle on yourself if you can’t do all you would like to do.
I take a protein drink as a meal replacement for breakfast as a quick way of preparing one of the meals. You might want to do the same.
Since my significant dramatic improvement in 2008, I haven't continued to get better and better. Perhaps one reason is that my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome diet is now far less strict. But it is oh so much more enjoyable!
I also gave up a social security benefit which meant I could no longer afford to take so many supplements. I have had periods of giving up magnesium and Vit B.
It is a dilemma how much to pay for CFS vitamins and minerals when the benefit of taking them isn't always clear.
It is SO important to consider a low blood sugar diet (hypoglycemia diet) for CFS.
Read here about the benefits of plant derived minerals over the usual rock derived minerals. These have helped me so much.