Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Your Diet

As the name suggests, fatigue is the hallmark sign of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). It usually occurs suddenly, although some people develop it gradually, and lasts for 6 months or more. It often follows what appears to be a cold or flu-like condition. The fatigue is so severe that it can impair your ability to work. Resting often does not help alleviate the symptoms. The fatigue will develop after even mild physical exertion or after partaking in an activity that requires mental acuity, such as working on a computer. Other symptoms observed are waking up unrefreshed, memory or concentration problems, worsening symptoms when standing up, aching joints and muscles, nausea, a sore throat, and headaches. Depression can also accompany CFS.

The exact cause of CFS is unknown. It may be associated with specific types of infections such as Epstein-Barr or Lyme disease. It may also be an autoimmune disease, causing the immune system that usually protects the body to instead attack its cells. Other possible causes include long-term low blood pressure and abnormal cell metabolism.

There is no cure for chronic fatigue syndrome, but treatment is individualized and usually targets specific symptoms. There are many things you can do to minimize symptoms, including controlling your diet.

How Your Diet Can Help

Along with the above-mentioned symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome, many people suffer from problems with their gastrointestinal system. Heartburn, gas, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, and cramps are all problems that may be experienced with CFS. In addition, many people with CFS have other health conditions, complicating what foods can be tolerated. It is important for you to pay attention to your body and figure out what is right for you. A well-balanced and wholesome diet is recommended for everyone, but your specific needs may differ if you have CFS.

People who have chronic fatigue syndrome often have problems with cell metabolism, malabsorption, food sensitivities, bladder sensitivities, and blood sugar regulation problems. CFS may hamper your ability to eat or digest large meals, so small and frequent meals may work better. Some people with CFS can only tolerate a vegan diet, while others may need meat with every meal. It is important for you to listen to your body. Pay attention to how your body reacts to different foods—even keep a food diary. If you experience nausea, insomnia, headaches, anxiety, gas, diarrhea, or constipation after eating certain foods, avoid them in the future. With time, you’ll learn what your body can tolerate.

Things to Avoid

Creating the diet that’s right for you will take time, but there are specific foods that people with CFS should avoid, such as:

  • Stimulants like those found in tea, coffee, chocolate, and some supplements should be avoided. People with CFS usually have overactive adrenals, and stimulants will often cause more fatigue.
  • Alcohol is particularly discouraged for people with CFS. Alcohol depresses the central nervous system, is toxic to the liver, interferes with metabolism, and causes your arteries and veins to dilate. These are all things that can make your condition worse.
  • Sweeteners are also something to be avoided. This includes sugar, corn syrup, sucrose, sucralose, and other artificial sweeteners. People with CFS often have problems with low blood sugar. These substances can cause a rapid increase in blood sugar, followed by a quick decline. They can also lead to more inflammation in the body.
  • Animal Fats are another food source that can worsen CFS. If you have chronic fatigue syndrome, you may already have an impaired liver and gallbladder, which are necessary for the metabolism of fats. As such, consuming animal fats may result in unwanted symptoms.
  • Food Additives may make your food more appetizing, but they add no nutritional value and will do you more harm than good. Many additives contain petrochemicals, which often cause sensitivity reactions. If you have a sensitivity to any additives, you may experience inflammation, itching, pain, insomnia, depression, hyperactivity, and headaches. In particular, you should avoid artificial colorings and MSG.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treatment in Weatherford, TX

Dr. Catherine Oseni is an expert in integrative and functional medicine. She has the knowledge, experience, and tools you need to achieve your healthiest life. She can advise you on how you can change your diet to improve your symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome and will develop a plan designed specifically for you.

Call the AlphaCare Wellness Center at (817) 550-6332 or request an appointment now to get the expert advice of Dr. Catherine Oseni and begin your journey to a healthier you.




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