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does anyone feel better when they dont eat?


Senior Member
London, UK
Yes, I feel better if I don't eat (though when I eventually eat I crash so it's an energy loan that has to be paid back).

A few months ago, in order to level my blood sugar I started eating a bit more meat, especially for breakfast, and ended up eating bacon. It took a few weeks to realise how poisonous it was to me. In the months since, I've also realised that meat in general (and animal fats more broadly) seem quite harmful, though to a lesser degree than bacon for whatever reason.

So in Dec I pretty much stopped eating meat, and my meals now are based around vegetables, lentils, eggs, beans, soya, and fish, with very limited (almost no) dairy (I don't eat many carbs). This diet has certainly not fixed the ME/CFS, I don't think any diet can based on my experience, but it has certainly moved me a notch up the scale. I used to be 4-5/10, but now 5-6/10. I find my energy levels are a little better, but my head is also noticeably clearer. ME/CFS is telling me to eat very simple food, and less food generally than I used to eat.

I do not know why this diet helps. My best guess, and it is a guess, is that digesting meat produces more oxidants than eating a simpler, plant-based diet, but I expect it could also be because animal products cause immune responses, or that digesting animal products just uses more energy. The nice thing about the new diet is it's simpler - if I'm not able to cook, I can throw a tin of mixed beans in the blender, maybe warm it up, but just drink it. Quite a lot of my meals are blended protein and veg combos now, e.g. lentil, bean and root veg. I normally through a fair amount of salt in to nudge my blood pressure to a more normal level.

I'd love to know why food is causing such problems, as I expect I'd be able to refine the diet more.


Senior Member
Victoria, Australia
As I have Gastroparesis I definitely feel better if I don’t eat. For the past 2 and a bit years I’ve been on basically a liquid/pureed diet, along with the prokinetic medication Domperidone.

Even with this management I sometimes feel like I experience such an awful sinking feeling (in my stomach/gut or somewhere in my core hard to define) which corresponds almost exactly with a general downturn or slump in how I feel generally.

At least with this medication I don’t have 24/7 nausea now nor intermittent vomiting.


Senior Member
Yes very familiar knackers - and resort to a day's fast fom time to time as normal peristaltic action sems to disappear. Domperidone did aid (though changing food intolerances did not ease except by diet).
Sometimes, short-term, yes. Long-term, I feel better from eating loads. I'm really skinny, and everyone is amazed by how much I eat, so I think I must have some messed up metabolism.


Senior Member
Knackers, depends what time of the day you mean, possibly you mean the entire day?

I've found that I can only eat certain foods at certain times of the day and assume that this may have something to do with my low AM cortisol.

I eat a late breakfast when I wake up. Cannot tolerate a large or cooked breakfast or I'll just throw the whole lot up. Has to be simple carbs.

Lunch is the tricky one. Regardless of what I eat for lunch I don't get any energy from it. In fact the exergy that goes into preparing a lunch leaves me worse after after eating it.

I'm fine with food after about 5pm. Can eat a mixed diet then (but allowing for allergies, intolerances and food poisoning/infections etc)

If you find that the food just sits in your stomach and you have slow digestion then Betaine HLC may help. Let us know what symptoms that you have otherwise.


Senior Member
Sounds like you're responding well to ketosis. Ketosis is protective of the brain.

You should try to figure out what it is about the meal you break your fast with that causes you to feel not so good. For me, one issue was the high protein content of eggs, another seems to be excess Omega-3 and less Omega-6.
Unlike olliec I figured out that eating bacon with breakfast provides me with a large dose of Omega-6 and actually makes me feel better.
It could also be carbs (Insulin Resistance?) or some specific allergy.

I have an issue where ingesting protein results in a drastic increase in ammonia, so I take ammonia detoxing supplements which seems to work.
And it's worth remembering (or knowing) that short-term fasting not only gives your digestive and immune system a bit of a break but it may also boost your immunity. The latter is complicated though. If you have unknown food sensitivities you are also having a break from those.

I find that eating my last meal around 6 hours before bedtime gives me a MUCH better night's sleep. That equates to a daily fast of around 14 hours until I break the fast with break-fast. It took a day or two to get used to but isn't really a big deal, and the benefits can be immense.
Sofa, UK
Yes, this does sound vey familiar to me. I've been going without food for a day or two at a time quite regularly recently (not as a planned strategy but due to circumstances I won't go into now). I've very clearly observed that my energy levels, symptoms and general feeling of well-being are better when I haven't been eating, and that when I do eat again, I feel very tired and some symptoms return. I have a very restricted diet anyway, and all kinds of foods consistently cause me problems. There are some who believe that the health of the gut is fundamental to CFS; I do think it's a major factor for many or most of us, though I doubt it's the whole story.

In general, I can think of two main ideas as to what is going on here. One would be that it takes us a lot of energy to digest food, and that inefficiencies in our digestion and other deficiencies make the digestion of food a very 'expensive' operation for us. The other idea would be something like 'leaky gut' theories - the idea that products of digestion are leaking out from our gut and causing harmful effects in other parts of the body.

My advice would be to experiment carefully with elimination diets, to watch out for effects around 24-48 hours after eating something, to find somebody who will give you decent food sensitivity tests that confirm your findings (as Allergy UK did for me) and thus to focus your diet on the foods that give you the least trouble.
Yepyep - ditto here. We feel better when we eat less or if we haven't eaten for hours. Also better when we've avoided any processed foods. If I eat something I can become so drousy that I have great difficulty with even reading. It sucks. It never gets better. It only ever gets worse for me this condition, I want to be able to eat loads of chocolate and drink lots of coke like I used to in the early days of this condition. When will there be a fucking cure before I die!!


Senior Member
Im hearing you me is. Im so over this shit. I just wish we knew what was going on. Im sick of researching different treatment options. one thing works for some people but not others. you dont know if your coming or going. I just know I want some damn energy so I can do things.


senior member
Concord, NH
Im hearing you me is. Im so over this shit. I just wish we knew what was going on. Im sick of researching different treatment options. one thing works for some people but not others. you dont know if your coming or going. I just know I want some damn energy so I can do things.

Knackers, 130 post and you now have access to the library. FYI



almost there...
Laurentians, Quebec
Hey Knackers. I'm wondering how long after eating you feel worse. The reason I ask is I believe there's a cytokine mini-storm that's triggered by the act of eating (regardless what) which perpetuates the disease. It occurs for me within ten minutes of first swallowing and leads to fasciculations and electrical sensitivity among other things. Cort spoke of this reaction in his interview with Dr Logan, and I've detailed it to some extent in my TPN thread where I link to three CFS sufferers who all fasted, received intravenous nutrition, and recovered. Check it out if you like:



Senior Member
Sth Australia
or know what this means or what to do about it?

Yeah, I used to feel better some when I wasnt eatting at all. I felt better starving myself then eatting at all, when I eat, my energy like drains to which I then was blaming on using more energy for digestion. This turned out not to be the case.

Firstly I slowly over years became aware I had food intollerences eg dairy at times was giving me headaches, peanuts..stomache pain etc etc. Hence food was making me sick due to that.

Secondly..I recently found out I had hyperinsulinemia... when I eat carbohydrates, my insulin goes too high, it often too dont go down well once up and will still be high at times the next day over 12 hrs later. The hyperinsulinemia in my case was giving me more sore throats, making me wake up extremely exhausted, causing GERD and was messing with my moods and also making me at times feel depressed (these symptoms are now completely gone or much improved as long as I stay on an extremely low carb diet).

If you have hyperinsulinemia happening it will give you all kinds of symptoms and make the CFS/ME worst. I currently see a CFS specialist Dr Alan Gale (immunologist/allergist) http://www.agale.com.au/PANDORA.htm who has cured ones previously diagnosed with CFS as it turned out all their symptoms were from the hyperinsulinemia.

Think about your diet... carbs are usually in every meal a person eats, hence if you have insulin issue.. topped off too more if you have MCS as well (I think that then makes up react even worst to the high insulin). Insulin is a poison and too much basically poisons a person esp if that person is sensitive to this poison. I basically near avoid all carbs all now. Carbs are in breads, cereals, potatoes, root veg, fruits (fructose is a carb.. tomatoes are fruit), sugar, dairy (lactose). I live now mostly off of meats and some veg along with only 1 small piece of fruit per day and a slice of bread and need to have meat three times a day (helps balance insulin issues).

I suggest to go and get your insulin tested. or I guess you could experiment for several days or a week by avoiding all carb foods and seeing how you go on just meat (not processed) and things like lettuce, cucumber, capsicum etc and whether you start to loose some symptoms doing that.


ahimsa_pdx on twitter
Another possibility is Orthostatic Intolerance (NMH or POTS)

There are so many possibilities for feeling worse after eating and several have already been posted. I haven't seen anyone mention Orthostatic Intolerance (NMH or POTS) on this thread yet. Here's an extract from a document from Johns Hopkins (see http://www.cfids.org/webinar/cfsinfo2010.pdf for the full document):

Symptoms of NMH and POTS usually are triggered in the following settings:

* with quiet upright posture (such as standing in line, standing in a shower, or even sitting at a desk for long periods)

* after being in a warm environment (such as in hot summer weather, a hot crowded room, a hot shower or bath)

* immediately after exercise

* after emotionally stressful events (seeing blood or gory scenes, being scared or anxious)

* in some people, after eating, when blood flow shifts to the intestines during digestion

* if fluid and salt intake are inadequate

Note that these folks are focused on Orthostatic Intolerance, not ME/CFS. As the document points out, not all folks with ME/CFS have this problem.

It has now been established that there is a substantial overlap between syndromes of orthostatic intolerance on the one hand, and either chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or fibromyalgia (FM) on the other. It needs to be emphasized that not all those with NMH or POTS have CFS or FM, and not all with CFS or FM have NMH or POTS.

But it's worth looking into this as a possibility. In my case, I don't seem to have any food allergies or intolerances. It's the amount of food in my stomach that seems to matter, not the type of food.
In other words, larger amounts of food cause more splanchnic pooling than small amounts. (splanchnic is such a fun word to say! :D) My solution is to rest with my feet up for at least an hour after eating. And when I need to be upright for any period of time then I don't eat at all beforehand, or I eat very little. It's much better to feel hungry than to have NMH/POTS symptoms.

Hope this is helpful!


Hello good buddies, Athene is back!

I also feel much better the less I eat.

There is one user here who advocates long fasts, she does them for 6 days at a time and says she feels great on them. She knows a lot about what food avoidance does to the body. I cannot remember her name I am afraid (my brain fell out of my left ear a few weeks ago and rolled away...).

All foods contain toxins as well as nutrients. I wonder if we feel better without food simply because we are reducing the toxin burden? Living off our own fat means instead of food means we are using an energy source that has already had most of its toxins removed.
I did once spend a week living exclusively on an elemental formula that contains no toxic elements, only nutriuents (intended for people with liver disease). I felt really good on it.


Senior Member
Hi Athene,

I am glad you are back. Always loved your posts. Any update on your treatment?