Choline on the Brain? A Guide to Choline in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
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Hungry all the time

Discussion in 'Gastrointestinal and Urinary' started by leaves, Apr 30, 2010.

  1. Jayne

    Jayne Guest

    In the 12 seconds it's taken me to log-in, I've actually forgotten what I was going to say lol.


    Err... yes, low GI diet has definitely improved my night-time and morning symptoms - I seem to sleep better and tend not to wake with that 'flu feeling (except for when the weather conspires against me) now that I've eliminated most carbs and all root vegetables and fruit. I mostly subsist on wholegrain oats (porridge, oatcakes etc.), some rice, and lots of leafy green vegetables (both in salads and soups), as well as protein with every meal (everything from nuts to red meat) and high quality fats (namely organic virgin coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil).

    For many years I had a major problem digesting any kind of fat (which left me basically on steamed poultry and fish, and absolutely no dairy), and would wake in the early hours being violently sick (if you've never had bile come out your nose, I don't recommend it). My BMI was stuck at about 17.5 and doctors had decided I was attention-seeking - especially as the gastroscopy revealed zilch.

    I now believe this was down to hypoglycaemia.

    Although my fatigue and other symptoms have worsened significantly in the last 12-18 months (due to meds for endometriosis), I have found that taking a high-dose probiotic twice a day, and supplementing with, among other things, L-carnitine and COQ10, I have actually gained almost 12lbs in the last 4 months or so and BMI now = 19.5.

    My appetite is very up and down; there are nights when I go to bed starving hungry, and then there are literally weeks on end when I'm not hungry at all, but I eat the same day in, day out regardless because I know that not eating catches up with me eventually and it takes months to put back the pounds. I do drink ~ 2 litres filtered water each day, plus a cup of green tea a.m. and p.m. but by basically avoiding all sugar (in its many aforementioned guises) I don't suffer from that rollercoaster effect on energy levels anymore, and pain and mood are much improved too.

    Hope this helps -- I can't really remember what the question was?! Argh... yes, it's one of *those* days.
  2. Athene


    Kenny De Meirleir prescribed me "Jarrow Bile acid factors" to help with fat digestion. You don't need a prescription and it's not terribly expensive. Just thought I'd mention it in case you want to try.
  3. tymewarp#9


    Central California
    The Ongoing Battle-

    I too battle the nagging munchies, and have actually felt hungrier AFTER a full meal than before. Most definately it's worse when I'm short of sleep, in fact I think I very often use eating to actually keep myself awake. Sleep deprivation makes my appetite voracious (isn't there a connection btwn sleep-depriv. and pre-diabetes?). Just recently I've been considering trying a nap during that awful afternoon slump (which happens NO MATTER HOW much sleep the night before); I've been so brainwashed into believing that 'nap=lazy' that I've done everything to avoid it (being technically awake, but completely unproductive in a caffeine-soaked fugue, wired/tired). I'm afraid that I won't be able to come out of the nap, or that I'll feel even more disoriented, but gonna experiment anyway. As it is now, I only nap during the worst of the worst crashes.
    Other things I've found somewhat helpful: giant salads, chewing on flax seeds and/or coconut, and/or rolled oats (all of which I love). One of my other staples is tins of sardines; I really depend on this when my energy is obliterated (requires zero preparation/cooking) and pretty inexpensive. I get the kind packed in water. Also, a can of vegetarian chile beans: easy, healthy, filling, & yummy (i don't have much energy to cook, obviously).
    Even so, intense cravings for dairy and wheat are often overwhelming, so I cycle back & forth. Somewhere I read that dairy & wheat can act similar to opiates in some people, and I suspect there may be something to that theory!

    I burst out laughing when, on TV I think it was, someone was sitting in front of their fridge with a stick of butter, dipping it into sugar... BEEN THERE!:eek::tongue::ashamed:
  4. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

    Ashland, Oregon
    Raw Goat Milk Kefir

    Hi All,

    I've not been keeping up with this thread, but did want to quickly mention an interesting experience I'm currently having. I started making and drinking raw goat milk kefir about 10 days ago or so, and immediately noticed some interesting benefits. The one which applies to this thread, is that the often chronic feeling of being hungry has diminished significantly.

    I've experimented with various probiotics in the past, but have never noticed much if any results from taking them. But I do wonder after my kefir experience whether chronic hunger could, in some cases, be associated with bacterial imbalance in the GI tract. I also noticed right away that my sleep quality improved. It seems I've "stumbled" onto something good for myself. Thought I'd pass it along. :Retro smile:

    Warm Regards, Wayne
  5. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    fats and CFS symptoms

    Hi Jody,

    I have been involved in this topic since 1993, originally as a test subject, and later as someone who has insatiable curiosity. Saturated fats have a balance point, even on a law carb diet they can cause problems in excess, even the Atkins proponents had to agree with this eventually. Really low sat intake will induce nasty symptoms, however (eg severe headaches), and can cause problems in the long term. Again, its about balance. High carbs and high sats are, however, exactly as you suggest - dangerous in the long term.

    I totally support the idea of using extra virgin olive oil for a number of reasons that I can discuss if you want, but only if you aren't frying at high temperature, and only if it is locally grown (ie not imported). In general I support monounsaturated and omega-3 oils in CFS, but I am wary of peanut oil for a number of reasons that I might explain later.

    Coconut oil likely to be less toxic than animal fats, but I would be more likely to recommend macadamia nuts or avocados. I recommend eating fresh coconut rather than taking oils, at least it tastes good, but supply at reasonable cost can be an issue. I grew up with a coconut tree in our front yard, and we had so many coconuts we were giving them away - you might like to check around if your climate is warm enough for them to grow.

    Meats contain a good mixture of fats (no surprise there) but excess fat should be avoided, especially in red meat. Too much saturated fat can be a problem, but there is evidence (not conclusive, indicative) that a fat called arachidonic acid (long chain omega-6) that is high in animal fats is a real problem in CFS. It is pro-inflammatory, although it is also an essential fat, and the body has trouble controlling its conversion to pro-inflammatory hormones if there is the least problem with low cortisol or cortisol regulation.

    Generic vegetable oils can cause problems due to omega-6s (because they convert to arachidonic acid) but if they are not cold pressed then they are high in trans fatty acids, which really stuff up cell membranes, hormone signalling and hormone synthesis - a bad combination.

    The right fat mix can temporarily reduce most CFS symptoms, but this cannot be easily or reliably sustained. The wrong fat mix can trigger very severe CFS symptoms. Monounsaturated fats are not converted to hormones that I am aware of, so are hormone neutral.

    A big dose of rendered animal fats (containing the omega-6 arachidonic acid), for example, had me in extreme pain with flu like symptoms. This is not an uncommon response in CFS either. (My local fast food outlet had changed hands, changed recipes, and I was out of groceries.)

    There is also an old unproven hypothesis that carb cravings are often linked to amino acid deficiency, as some amino acids are very sweet. I don't know if this is true, but a little protein will often quell hunger. I do know that in locusts, they will eat until they have enough protein - those on high protein food will eat a little, those eating low protein devour everything. The same is hypothesised to be true in people. but I am not aware that this has been proven. There might be similar links with other nutrients, I really wish there were more studies in this area.

    When I eat a meal with a moderate dose of olive oil and protein early in the day, I tend to not get hungry later. If I don't, there is no telling how bad the cravings can become. Other research shows that small regular meals is usefull, but this is a lot of work for someone who is exhausted, so it depends on how you cope with this approach.


  6. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    Hi Wayne,

    There is an entirely new research direction, with ongoing research in Canada, looking at kefir. Kefir is much more complex than regular probiotics, and there is some research I have not followed up on that suggests that short and medium chain fats in Kefir actually calm the gastrointestinal immune system, its not just the mix of bacteria, yeasts etc that occur in kefir.

    The Canadian research is about Soy Kefir Product (SKP) and while I trust their researchers, I definitely don't trust their marketing. The only study I am aware of shows a consistent and increasing reduction of CFS symptoms over time on this product. I got this mostly from a virtual seminar on second life, but I do have the researcher's email address. I am not sure if the paper has been published yet, however.

    Raw goat milk, on the other hand, might have the same properties found in products like Immunocal. Some ex-Immunocal researchers are working on the SKP in Canada. Raw milk seems to boost glutathione synthesis, an important natural antioxidant, and an entire industry has grown up around this finding.


  7. thegirlwiththedog


    A very late response to this thread. I had hypoglycemia all of my life, and would often get suddenly, wildly, insatiably hungry. It has gone away, in a very odd way: I started taking a multivitamin that made it disappear. I have no idea why, but it's been consistent: if I get lazy about taking the multivitamin, the problem comes back, and if I take it regularly, it disappears. It's something about this particular one, too, because I've taken multis previously that didn't have that effect. The one I take is Vital Nutrients Multi-Nutrients II.
  8. insearchof

    insearchof Senior Member

    Alex....thanks for your post. Very interesting as is your discovery Wayne on the raw goats milk.

    As a raw product, what is the risk associated with nasty bacteria?

    PS. Alex I think you are correct about the role amino acids play. For people who have mitochondrial dysfunction they might also need specific amino acid supplementation.

    Protein diets may not be the answer for people who's bodies cannot break down protein into peptides and then amino which case specific amino acid supplementation may be required.


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