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CFS/vegetarian diet link?

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by lewis7, Jul 6, 2013.

  1. lewis7

    lewis7

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    Hello. This is my first post.
    I have has CFS for six years following an episode of sinusitis and over that time, the severity of the condition has fluctuated to leave me unable to work as a nurse for a period of approximately 10 days three times in a year. However, this year I have experienced the worst episode ever in terms of symptom severity and I have been off work for three straight months (still off at this time). As I have been so ill on this occasion, I have been researching theories re. CFS and the evidence available. I have been particularly interested in the ATP aspect of energy production within the mitochondria and have been concerned that my 17-year vegetarian diet may be restricting my obtaining some of the essential elements which required for ATP production - D-Ribose; Co-enzyme Q10; magnesium; B vitamins; essential amino acids and creatine etc. so I have bought various pills and powders with some improvements noted in terms of energy levels and recovery times. As a result of this, I have been spending so much money on dietary supplements to ensure that I have these in my diet that I am beginning to wonder whether I should give up being a vegetarian!

    I would like to know whether there are other fellow sufferers who feel their vegetarian/vegan diet may have played a role in sustaining their illness and symptoms and, crucially, whether they noticed an improvement when (and if) they reverted to an omnivorous diet. Thank you.
     
  2. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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  3. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    lewis7
    Vegetarian and especially vegan diets can be badly deficient in B12, which normally only comes from meat. It's possible that your symptoms are due to B12 and/or related insufficiencies alone, or that those insufficiencies left you vulnerable to developing ME/CFS, or that being vegetarian has nothing to do with you developing ME/CFS.

    A few patients seem to do better without meat, but I think the majority feel a lot better getting meat on a regular basis. Mitochondrial dysfunction seems likely to be a central part of ME/CFS, and if the normal ways of producing ATP (energy) aren't operating properly (glycolysis/gluconeogenesis), protein is the back-up method of generating ATP. And if there's insufficient protein in your diet, your muscles can get broken down to create ATP.

    At the very least, it might be a good idea to try 1) high dose B12 supplementation and/or 2) eating a bit of meat a couple times per day.
     

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