Posted 10/27/2005 6:31 PM (GMT -7)
Yes, me !
But it's not that simple or clear cut, as you might expect.
I fell ill in 1988 after what was diagnosed as viral pneumonia, and having "recovered" started having periods of severe fatigue and depression, plus what I thought were anxiety related intestinal problems. Eventually after several years I was very underweight, running to the loo a lot, and extremely fatigued. To walk 400m to the PostOffice and back, I needed a day to recover. A shopping trip had me in bed for three days. The fatigue could strike almost instantaneously. The one thing I found that definitely triggered it was cornflakes - I would wake up ravenous, have Cornflakes with cows milk (I had a craving for cold cows milk), and very shortly thereafter, conk out as if someone had dosed me with Valium. I banished dairy products form my life, but it did me no good.
In the end I met someone at the bus stop that gave me details of what foods contained gluten, and I was able to try a GF diet. Within about a week, my energy levels had doubled, and my stomach problems had eased off dramatically.
However...the fatigue had not gone away entirely, it was merely decreased in both severity and frequency. The stomach problems continued sporadically and eventually I was diagnosed as having Crohn's Disease.
The CD and the attendant/ensuing fatigue have been managed virtually ever since by diet alone, with the exception of one 18 month period where the docs gave me just about
every steroid they could think of until one worked. ( I was ill non-stop during this time.
Adjusting the dosage every three months is not good medical care.)
So far, so good: except that after every bout of fatigue/CD my recovery was always to a lower level of wellbeing, until for more than three months this summer I found myself too tired to go food shopping, and unable to eat any solids other than eggs or rice anyway. Whatever disease proccess was going on had finally fought it's way through my dietary rear guard action. (
Pardon the Crohnie's pun !)
At long last I saw a nutritional therapist for the sort of consultation that I had been wanting to have for years. Her suggestion was that I had leaky gut syndrome, which had caused the gut wall to become permeable to all sorts of food molecules that were then passing into the bloodstream - hence the tiredness after eating - plus I had a bacterial overgrowth in my gut due to a past infection; the whole process had probably been started off by too much sugar and wheatflour in my diet causing my immune system to malfunction leading to eventual failure of the pancreas to regulate it's production of insulin or digestive enzymes, which leads to adrenal problems and in the end liver problems. She recommended an organic only diet, supplemented by Aloe Vera juice, digestive enzymes, amino acids, probiotics, Lecithin granules, and Essential Fatty Acids high in Omega 3 oils.
As soon as I started on organic food only, I discovered that I was able to eat such foods without bother, bearing out her idea that it was often not the foods I was reacting to, but the pesticide residues etc in them. However she cautioned that until my gut damage is repaired I should still steer clear of foods I had a known intolerance to - ie gluten - and so far, I haven't tried them.
Am I back to being fit for work ? No, not yet; but it's early days, I haven't been on the diet for even two months, and I haven't even ordered half the supplements. Am I eating well and without ill effects again ? Yes, it was magical what an effect the organic diet had on me. The only gut problems I've had have been when I ate food that were non-organic.
Do I expect to become healthier on this regime ? You bet, the consultation I was given was accurate, informative, predictive and coherent in a way that none of the mainstream consultations I've been given ever were. By halfway through the process, she had predicted what the rest of my medical history would be, without even knowing it. That, and subsequent events, has impressed me.
But everyone is different, as was made clear to me then. You may have had a different pathogenic trigger, resulting in diffferent immunological damage, and different food sensitivities.
What is undoubtedly true is that CFS sufferers typically improve radically by eating more healthily, cutting out sugar etc.