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Undernourished the cause to CFS?

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by SmokinJoeFraz93, Feb 20, 2017.

  1. SmokinJoeFraz93

    SmokinJoeFraz93

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    Hi guys, I have a question and would love people's opinions. I'm a 23 year old male. Back in summer 2014, I was a whopping 17 stone. I lived an unhealthy lifestyle which consisted of no exercise and plenty of walks to the takeaway.

    I decided to totally change my life around and get fit and loose some weight. I started boxing 3 days a week and I was in the gym 2 days a week doing cardio workouts as well as weight training. I was always training hard.

    The weight was falling off very quickly, and I was eating around 3,000 to 3,500 cals of quality food a day. I never consciously starved myself and ate to my hunger cues. (Physical sensation in my stomach)

    Out of nowehere I started to feel fatigued, but I carried on training hard despite the fatigue. But then the rest of the symptoms of CFS care. My entire body was affected. Muscles, joints, congnitive, heart and cardiovascular. Despite feeling all these symptoms, I carried on exercising vigorously although I was slowly declining becoming more unfit by the day.

    So I'm just wondering, could the problem of been I wasn't eating enough? Even though I didn't feel hungry? And obviously carrying on pushing myself when my body was really tired.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Mohawk1995

    Mohawk1995 Senior Member

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    SmokinJoe,

    I am no nutritionist so I cannot say for sure. Based on experience with our son who was a high end athlete prior to onset of ME, it doesn't sound to me like that would be the cause. He was training well, getting good sleep and thriving as a student.

    Perhaps pushing it after you felt the fatigue was a factor, but I think that would be hard to prove so I don't think so. Also, anyone who is training (former collegiate runner myself) would attempt to push through the fatigue if they could.

    Being from the US, I have no idea what the 17 stone reference is but I take it you were not living a pristine healthy life prior to all of the changes :)
     
    SmokinJoeFraz93 likes this.
  3. SmokinJoeFraz93

    SmokinJoeFraz93

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    Thanks for replying. I said I was 17 stone and forgot to mention that I lost around 5 stone.
     
  4. KME

    KME

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    How about consulting a dietician? Unsupervised rapid weight loss while exercising heavily could theoretically cause health problems of various kinds. I personally haven’t come across anyone reporting that they developed CFS after losing a lot of weight, but I have come across some who were ill for a few years after overtraining (limited by the stories I happen to come across). Overtraining by itself is known to cause serious health problems that may be diagnosed by some as CFS, but would be argued by others to be separate from CFS.

    It's also possible that despite eating, as you report, 3000-3500 cal per day, you were not eating in a nutritionally balanced way, e.g. getting the right proportions of carbs to proteins to fats and getting enough vitamins and minerals, for the amount of exercise you were doing and the amount of weight you were losing. So the issue would be malnourishment rather than undernourishment, i.e. getting enough calories but not getting the right nutrients. My understanding is that rapid weight loss can put a huge strain on the body, and can alter electrolyte balance quite radically, hence why you’re usually recommended to do it under the guidance of a doctor/dietician. Whatever the reasons for the situation you find yourself in, it seems like it would be a good idea to ensure that your current diet is nutritionally balanced by seeing a professional dietician.
     
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  5. A.B.

    A.B. Senior Member

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    Overtraining?
     
  6. Mohawk1995

    Mohawk1995 Senior Member

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    Would agree with KME and A.B. in that Overtraining and too sudden of changes could have precipitated the onset, however since we really don't know exactly how ME becomes activated and why it stays activated it would be difficult to blame it on that with certainty.

    Definitely ME (Migraines, Fibro, Chronic Pain, Post Concussive Syndrome also) does not like sudden changes in activity level or stress in general even if it is "good" like significant diet changes or exercise.
     
  7. Lissyleigh

    Lissyleigh

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    I'm sure there are a great many triggers to M.E and malnouishment, especially when it's over time, can be a big one. I grew up on a poor diet due to neglect and feel this may have triggered the virus that overwhelmed my system. That said, plenty of people no doubt experience malnourishment and push themselves hard for whatever reason and don't get m.e, so it seems to be that us M.Eers have very specific genes/weaknesses that allows the disease to take hold. I'm sorry this has happened to you.
     
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  8. SmokinJoeFraz93

    SmokinJoeFraz93

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    Thanks for the replies guys. I just thought I'd ask because it's a coincidence that when I started exercising, that's when my symptoms first appeared. And I was told to train through it and they'll go. But the more I trained the worse it got, and I trained for almost 2 years with symptoms.

    A friend of mine suggested to me that maybe I wasn't eating enough food and there was a large energy deficit.
     
  9. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Senior Member

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    Have you had a dietitian look at your diet? Possibly you aren't eating a well balanced diet for someone working out??
     
  10. Mohawk1995

    Mohawk1995 Senior Member

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    Being a physical therapist who used to train as a distance runner, I've learned the value of rest (sometimes the hard way through injury) and the importance it means in attaining high levels of performance and also in recovery. Not sure the training is what did it, but being given that advice over 2 years doesn't sound like it helped. More is not always better and to ignore warning signs can be very dangerous. Sorry you are now suffering and hope only the best for you and the future of treating this disease!
     
  11. valentinelynx

    valentinelynx Senior Member

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    I've wondered myself—my illness onset occurred during a period in which I'd put myself on a severe "dancer's diet". In the 90's dietary ignorance was perhaps worse than now, and I at least did not realize that a low fat, low calorie, relatively high carb diet was probably unhealthy. With first time dieter's luck, I was able to drop my weight down to the second lowest it has been since my late teens (when I was a swimmer with less than 5% body fat and could eat probably 3-4000 calories a day and not gain weight due to working out 5 hours a day!). I suspect that the low fat, low calorie diet compromised my immune system and helped set me up for the sudden onset of my illness (ME/CFS, bartonella, Lyme...) that day some 24 years ago.
     
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  12. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Biscuit Antagonist

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    Hmm that is interesting. I also lost a lot of weight before getting ill. Mine was gradual onset over 6-12 months after losing the weight. I also managed to reduce my weight to teenage weight over 8 months prior to this via a fasting regime. It's possible that this weight loss and the high levels of adrenaline I was using for 6 months while I covered 2 other jobs was contributory to increasing risk of getting ill?
     
  13. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    It seems to me that it is more likely that you nay have had an underlying predisposition that then came to the fore when you trained hard and pushed through it.

    Most of us don't have poor diets when we become sick, so if a poor diet and overtraining caused your illness its probably not M.E.
     
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  14. SmokinJoeFraz93

    SmokinJoeFraz93

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    Ah I'm sorry to hear what's happened to you. I just found it very coincidental that when I started exercising vigorously I started feeling fatigued and my muscles were tired, but I just pushed through it and made it worse.
     
  15. SmokinJoeFraz93

    SmokinJoeFraz93

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    Thank you for your reply. An underlying predisposition makes sense. I've had an anxiety and stress disorder since aged 15 as well as depression. So I'm totally aware of how stress impacts the endocrine system and other functions of the body. But I'm also aware of how vigorous exercise and lack of food can cause stress to the metabolic function and also endocrine system. But it's very hard to get the right opinion when it comes to food and exercise because of the fattist society we live in. If it's a case of my body being starved and me not knowing it, hopefully I can address that issue.
     
  16. PatJ

    PatJ far and free I gaze

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    1 stone = 14 pounds, so 17 stone = 238 pounds.
     
  17. SmokinJoeFraz93

    SmokinJoeFraz93

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    It could be, but I'm not recovering. And I have ALL the symptoms for the mitochondria dysfunction theory in people with CFS.
     
  18. JES

    JES Senior Member

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    I doubt 3000-3500 calories would produce starvation, that sounds to me as a pretty normal amount for an athlete (unless your training is extreme). The diet that they do on these weight loss programs in TV is typically a lot less even. You do hear that these people "crash" as well sometimes, but they're not developing CFS from it.

    If you truly have a form of CFS, any form of exercise can be detrimental, though it would be important to rule out any other possible condition first. Lots of pro athletes in my country have suffered a similar sudden loss of energy, and it turned out that by treating an underlying mycoplasma infection, most improved and could resume their career.
     
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  19. IThinkImTurningJapanese

    IThinkImTurningJapanese Senior Member

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    ME/CFS is not malnutrition, if you're suffering from poor diet you're in luck. The internet will help you like never before to learn good eating habits.

    Overtraining can cause fatigue, but ME/CFS is far more severe than simply fatigue. Take some time off, you may answer your own question.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017
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  20. IreneF

    IreneF Senior Member

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    Exercise and "pushing through" makes everything worse.
     

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