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ME/CFS: A disease at war with itself
We can all agree that ME/CFS is a nasty disease, particularly in its severe form, but there are abundant nasty diseases in the world. What is unique and particularly confounding about our disease is that so much controversy surrounds it, and not only surrounds it, but invades it too.
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THE DIET for ME/CFS?

Discussion in 'Addressing Biotoxin, Chemical & Food Sensitivities' started by Cort, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    It Appears that there seems to be something of a consensus about the right kind of diet for ME/CFS.

    Check out Dr. Myhills low allergen, low glycemic index diet Stoneage Diet:

    • Any meats: choose from chicken, beef, lamb, pork, turkey, duck, 'game' meats such as venison, pheasant, goose etc. Bacon and ham. Salami. Liver, kidney and offal are fine too.
    • Eggs - an excellent source of lecithin (eat soft yolks), which reduces blood cholesterol levels.
    • Any fish: salmon, mackerel, cod, haddock (care with smoked fish which often contains dyes). Tinned fish in brine or olive oil is fine. Tinned shrimps, prawns, mussels, cockles etc.
    • Any green vegetables
    • All salads: lettuce, tomato, cucumber, celery, peppers, onion, cress, bamboo shoots etc.
    • French dressing: make your own from olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, mustard.
    • Any low CHO fruit: apple, pear, orange, grapefruit (no sugar!). Berries are excellent. Seeds: sunflower, poppy, sesame.
    • Nuts: peanut, brazil, hazel, cashew, pistachio, walnut etc.; nut butter spreads, tahini (sesame seed spread).
    • Use cold pressed nut and seed oils liberally such as sunflower, olive, sesame, grapeseed, hemp. linseed, rape and so on.
    • Soya products
    • Spices and herbs: chilli, cumin, ginger, coriander, pepper, cloves etc
    • Herbs, salt (ideally Solo - a sodium reduced sea salt), olives, pork scratchings
    • Allowed drinks in the day Bottled or filtered water

    In the evening you can eat all of the above, plus modest amounts of higher GI foods

    • Rice and potato e.g. rice cakes or puffed rice from health food shops.
    • Root vegetables - carrots, parsnip, turnip, celeriac
    • Specific grains: millet, buckwheat, sago, quinoa.
    • Some high carbohydrate fruit: banana, avocado, grapes, melon
    • Dried fruit: sultana, apricot, prune, raisin, fig, date etc
    • Pulses: lentil, butter beans, chick peas, flagolets etc
    • Mixture of nuts, seeds, dried fruits
    • Arrowroot flour: for thickening gravies
    • Diluted fruit juice: Grape juice, pineapple juice, apple juice, tomato juice - best drunk diluted.

    Here's Dr. Natelson's Even More Restrictive Diet


    • No; alcohol, Rice, potatoes, corn, bread, cake, deserts, fruits, carrots, beets, tomatoes, beans
    • Yes: meat, green leafy vegetables, eggs, low-fat dairy, soy products, eight glasses of water a day

      Then there's a kind of generic Leaky Gut Diet
      • Low carbs
      • Increased vegetables
      • Reduced or no fruit
      • High meat intake

      They're all low carb, high vegie, low fruit, high meat diets. Is this THE Basic Diet for ME/CFS?
  2. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Cort,

    Can't speak for anyone else but it sure is the one that works best for me these past 7 years.
  3. Frank

    Frank Senior Member

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    I think Myhills diet has a lot of good to it. But i personally think there to much emphasis on meat,eggs,fish. My references for thinking this is "The china study", Andreas Moritz, Vegetarians, ... We have an impaired digestive system and probably struggle to proces proteins. My take on it is:

    • Limit animal food intake
      Eat small portions
      Eat animal foods that are easier digested
      Eat a lot plant based foods

    Another thing i'm doing is using coconut oil for almost all preparations. This is a predominant medium chained fat that is claimed to be more easily digested (altough it's not accepted as the rule), plus it has some anti-microbial and healing properties. for more info: http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org/
    I'd use olive oil for things like salad and things that are cooked on low temperature (because unsatured fat turns into transfat on high temp)

    Anyway in diet there's a balance to find..

    Frank
  4. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    S5,

    I think the fact that a high protein diet works for some of us, and less protein works for other indicates that there are a number of metabolic types among us.

    This is I think true of everyone, not just CFSers. Some people do well on high carb, others on low carb, and yet others on a balance of the two.

    What works for you may be different for me. The key is to find what works best for us individually.
  5. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    I agree: you start off on a more or less basic foundation that most can agree with: low carbs, low grains, high vegies, low fruit intakethus sufficient protein and then tweak it from there.

    One aspect of Dr. Myhill's diet that I would never agree with is the high fish intake. Eating a lot of fish really effected me - I was having so many weird neurological symptoms that I thought I was doomed. This was also the time my MCS was heading through the roof. As soon as I stopped eating fish the neurological problems (mainly my limbs falling asleep at the top of a hat) started abating.

    I'm really surprised that more of her patients don't have this problem with mercury and fish. I guess I must be something of an outlier in this area.:(
  6. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Cort,

    That must have been really frightening.

    It's a sad thing when the foods we eat because we think they are supposed to be healthy for us betray us in such a huge way.

    Are you not finding this (possibly to a lesser degree) with whole grains as well? Am I remembering this right?

    The so-called healthy fooes that poisons people ... it's shocking.
  7. mojoey

    mojoey Senior Member

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    Cort

    I agree. Dr. Klinghardt said in his DVD about heavy metals that there is no longer such a thing as mercury-free fish. My most trusted doctor told me she doesn't believe fish is a significant source of heavy metals. Maybe that is the case for a healthy person, but there cannot be a quantitative comparison like that made when most ME/CFS patients simply cannot detoxify.

    I myself am on the stone age diet, and find it to work best for me out of everything i've tried. My doctor told me the blood type diet (after studying it and shelling it to patients for 10+ years) is accurate only for type O's, in which case you do well with high protein. But either way, I think there are definitely different metabolic types. i know several chronic lyme patients that can't otherwise tolerate dairy now tolerate whole milk once it is incubated for a certain amount of time as part of Progurt--the probiotic I use. Whereas for me, even when this milk is completely and utterly denatured, I cannot tolerate it and the end product gives me insufferable constipation/bloating.
  8. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    m0joey,

    Which one is the stone age diet? There are so many these days I get them all mixed up. I might be on that one, not sure. :D

    I think there are definitely different metabolic types. Don't know about the blood type thing, as I am type A and do best on the one they say is for Type O.

    Just in my own family, most of my kids are carb freaks who don't eat much meat, and prefer chicken over red meat, husband Al does best on less meat than me and a few carbs. I'm the only real carnivore in the bunch.

    I think we're pretty much a representation of the various types out there. And if any of us wander out of our individual "type", we feel it.
  9. InvertedTree

    InvertedTree Senior Member

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    I'm curious if anyone has heard anything about a raw food diet called the 80-10-10 Diet by Dr. Graham. It's a raw food diet consisting of 80% carbs, 10% protein, and 10% fat.

    My ME/CFS doctor said this diet has put some people into remission.

    I'm doubtful because I thought we needed more protein.
  10. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Terri,

    Good question.

    I think that one reason we keep running into brick walls in the search for the "right" diet, is that there is no one right diet for all of us.

    I am convinced there are different metabolic types, whatever we want to call them probably doesn't matter. I'm not speaking from any particular theory offered up by this researcher or writer, or that one. My experience though has been that while I thrive (in a CFS kind of thriving way :)) on a very high protein and high fat diet, a good friend of mine with FM, for instance, gets more joint and muscle pain from it. She does better with more carbs and less meat. Then you have people like Tony who needs to watch his fructooligosaccharides.

    As far as I can see, the best way to determine for yourself which is the best diet for you, is to try some different diets and see how you feel.
  11. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    If healthy pregnant women are supposed to limit their portions of fish because of possible mercury damage to the fetus why would we think any ME/CFS patient - with all their detox issues - should eat fish regularly? I just heard that dolphins - on top of the food chain - have so much mercury in their tissues that they're basically unsafe to eat (not that I would ever consider eating Flipper.) So long as we have power plants we're going to keep filling up the oceans with mercury.

    I think Frank makes a good point - eating small meals should be an integral part of any ME/CFS diet plan. If you're trying to build your energy then lying around thunked out (is that a phrase?) for a hour or two trying to digest your food - can't help matters. (I'm not saying its easy to do!)

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