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I have more energy when I don't eat?

Discussion in 'Post-Exertional Malaise, Fatigue, and Crashes' started by horcrux, Sep 7, 2014.

  1. horcrux

    horcrux

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    Hello, please bare with me! I am undiagnosed, so please don't jump down my throat with reasons I don't fit the criteria (my lymph nodes are sore, after all!)

    Phew, now that that's out of the way,

    I've come to realize that the less I eat the better I feel, I have more energy, I think more clearly, and I BREATHE more easily. I don't have any allergies or intolerances to food groups. Is this common for anyone else?

    Clearly, I can't just NOT eat, but I'm curious if there are any other factors besides the food itself that may lead to fatigue.
     
  2. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

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    Digestion causes your blood supply to focus on the intestinal area to aid in absorption and such. If you're not getting enough blood (and oxygen) to your brain to start with, a large or ever normal meal can make "fatigue" much worse.

    I'd suggest small meals and looking into a diagnosis for some form of orthostatic intolerance.
     
    ahimsa likes this.
  3. Tammy

    Tammy Senior Member

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    allergies and intolerances to food groups aren't always that obvious................you could still have them and not know.. Perhaps not eating a lot could be less of a burden on the liver?............Just some thoughts............The answer to your question........if there any other factors besides the food itself that may lead to fatigue............could fill a book............sorry........but I don't know what other factors you have going on? Are you able to still be satisfied with what little you are eating..........hope you don't have to starve yourself too much to get the benefit.
     
  4. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    I often feel extra tired after eating, but also extra tired when hungry. Do you mean that you feel sustained improvement from not eating? That does sound a bit odd - as you say, probably not a long-term solution.
     
  5. horcrux

    horcrux

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    Thank for responding. I suppose I could have invisible allergies/intolerances, but never had any problems until I tested positive for EBV about three years ago and suddenly my energy level and health took a nose-dive.

    I will say I am doing much better than I was two years ago, and I hope this is a trend that continues! I've heard several people cite that the 3-5 year mark is what differentiates CFS/MS from CEBV or post-viral fatigue. Or something like that.

    I've always eat healthfully, but it seems what is healthy for "normal" people is different than what is healthy for "us". I eat a low carb diet with most of my carbs coming from raw fruits and veggies (spinach, bell peppers, apple, baked potatoes) protein coming from eggs, fish, and chicken, and fat coming from cheese and yogurt.

    The thing is, the ONLY way these foods seem to affect me is my energy level and my breathing.
     
  6. horcrux

    horcrux

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    I've been eating more dense food, but I don't know if those are more difficult to digest.

    Yes, as long as I stay hydrated, I do feel better (or is it I don't feel *as* bad?) as I do after I eat. It seems like food just sits in my stomach forever.
     
  7. optimist

    optimist Senior Member

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    Do you feel the fatigue coming just after eating, after some hours or perhaps the next day? With me, if I eat something I can't tolerate my fatigue increases a lot and I get brain fog the day after, and it may last sometimes up to five days...
     
  8. optimist

    optimist Senior Member

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    The strange thing is I may even feel better just after eating things I do not tolerate :/
     
  9. DanME

    DanME Senior Member

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    Hi, I agree with Valentijn, this could be a matter of Orthostatic Intolerance. Any food increases your blood supply to the stomach and to the gastrointestinal tract. If you have problems with OI and/or low blood volume, your brain and muscle perfusion decrease even further and could cause symptoms.

    Have you looked into OI and POTS? Have you got typical OI symptoms like a worsening of symptoms, when you stand or sit for a longer time and easing of symptoms, when you lie down? Like dizziness, blurry vision, nausea, concentration problems, an unusual rise in heart rate, palpitations and so on?
     
    ahimsa likes this.
  10. horcrux

    horcrux

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    @DanielBR I have some nausea, concentration problems, rise in heart rate, AND palpitations, but sitting/lying down does not seem to help, it may in fact make it worse. I don't know if it could be some ANS/SNS issue or what it could be.

    Additionally, I have higher blood volume, 98 fl, which is still in the normal range. Is it common for people with POTS/OT to have low blood volume?
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2014
  11. DanME

    DanME Senior Member

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    There are different types of OI and dysautonomia (not only POTS), typically symptoms will get worse, if you stand (even sometimes sit) for a long time.
    But often the OI is subtle and not fully developed. My OI symptoms got worse the last couple of years, but I realised I had them long before then, only in a milder version.

    You can read and inform yourself about OI problems here at PhoenixRising at the treatment section.

    Yes, some doctors speculate about low blood volume in OI patients. The tricky part is to test it. Normal blood tests don't recognise it. You cannot see it, because the amount of red blood cells and the serum probably balance each other out. Your blood tests look just normal, but you may have still 500ml less than usual.

    I think with 98fl you refer to your MCV, which means how large your red blood cells are. MCV is not about blood volume.
     
  12. horcrux

    horcrux

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    Yes, that's what I was referring too. I don't have much data to work with! How do you test for blood volume, then? I took a look at the dysautonomia info and it does seem very applicable to my experience.
     
  13. DanME

    DanME Senior Member

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    The problem is, chronic low blood volume is a relatively new idea to medicine and proper testing is only available at some research centres.

    You can read about how it's done here...

    http://www.cortjohnson.org/blog/2014/07/27/measure-blood-volume-chronic-fatigue-syndrome/

    But the real point is, if you may have some form of OI or not. You can counter OI symptoms sometimes with drinking larger amounts of water during the day, increasing salt intake, eating smaller and low carb meals, avoiding standing for longer times, support stockings etc.

    And you could try to find an OI specialist for a proper diagnosis and for some drug treatment.

    I for myself found out, that non alcoholic isotonic beer helps me a lot. Isotonic drinks increase your volume fast and efficiently. It is only a short relief, but nevertheless sometimes helpful.

    I don't want to say, you have OI. But looking into the topic is worth it. Some studies estimate 90% of CFS patients have also OI problems.
     
  14. halcyon

    halcyon Senior Member

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    It has been found that orexin, one of the more potent stimulatory neurotransmitters, is inhibited by higher blood glucose levels, among other things. Higher orexin levels are associated with increased wakefulness and energy expenditure. Interestingly, orexin is also inhibited by leptin which was recently found to be elevated in people with ME/CFS.

    If you haven't already, you may try eating meals with less carbs to see if it makes a difference.

    Also, how do you know for sure that you don't have any food allergies/intolerances? When I became ill, I all of a sudden developed sensitivities to foods that I never had a problem with before. This may have been provoked by a couple courses of antibiotics but I'll never know for sure. I'm looking into food allergy testing, but it seems to be yet another topic fraught with controversy.
     
  15. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Fasting appears to improve symptoms in a subgroup of patients. Nobody really understands why. Aside from OI, this might be related to gut issues, or changes in metabolism that occur during fasting.
     
  16. horcrux

    horcrux

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    I don't know for sure, I just find it intriguing how I never felt this way before I got sick, so if I do, it has developed over the past few years. I'll see if reducing carbs helps at all. It should give most people quick energy, but not so much for others?
     
  17. DanME

    DanME Senior Member

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    I often wondered, if the positive benefit of fasting is due rising cortisol levels. Fasting is a huge stressor for the body and in order to break down the energy storages, the body releases cortisol. But cortisol also suppresses inflammation and immune cells. Further if you withhold the body of arachnic acid (from meat, eggs, cheese, milk etc.), it can't produce certain pro inflammatory cytokines. In RA a short period of fasting (2 to 3 days) seems to ease symptoms. As well as to stop eating meat and eggs.
     
    alex3619 likes this.
  18. horcrux

    horcrux

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    I was always under the assumption that I HAD high cortisol levels, but it was just an assumption. I do not have much inflammation.
     
  19. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    The arachidonic acid (arachidonate) issue is something I have been working on for 21 years now. I have posted on this oodles of times, including recently (somewhere). Simple restriction may not be enough, and may not be really desirable. We often have both excessive use of arachidonic acid and a deficiency, and its an essential substrate. The real issue is we are probably making the wrong eicosanoids, its not just about excess production.

    We do seem to have excess stimulation of cyclooxygenase, which acts on free arachidonic acid. Arachidonic acid is also released when we drink alcohol, and I consider release of arachidonic acid may be our main issue with alcohol, not the other hypotheses I have heard. However we also have desaturase suppression, probably mostly due to decreased glutathione. Most of us probably need more arachidonic acid, and to use it less.

    If I recall correctly, cortisol suppresses release of arachidonic acid but I am so rusty in this area now what I am not sure. NSAIDs suppress the enzymes, usually some part of cyclooxygenase. Fish oil (EPA, not DHA) suppresses arachidonic acid utilization via competitive inhibition, since its also processed by cyclooxygenase.

    Arachidonic acid and cortisol are part of what I meant by metabolic issues. But with gut issues I also include excessive absorption of lipopolysaccharide, which might be a big player in ME as its a superantigen and we often have too much in our blood.
     
    rosie26 and horcrux like this.
  20. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    @alex3619 I also feel better when I do not eat or when I eat a very small meal or smoothie versus solid food. Do you have any information re: this subgroup of patients? Even now that my gut issues and nausea are significantly better (and usually completely gone) I still feel better when I don't eat. I can breathe better and have more energy. I'd love to understand more about this!
     
    horcrux likes this.

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