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Less energy while eating more?


Senior Member

I have this very weird thing going on. About a year ago I had massive GI issues - slow motility, SIBO, insane belching (multiple hours a day). Because of this I ate very little and very light, mostly just rice and chicken, and every couple of weeks I had to just eat a very small amount of soup for a few days just because my motility was so slow. I dropped weight quickly during that period and bottomed out at around 58kg (I’m 1.83m/6ft). I looked like a skeleton.

The weird thing is: I had a lot of energy during that time. I was able to increase my steps during the spring, from about 1000 a day to 7000, without ever experiencing real PEM. Later on in the summer I could even ride my bicycle for up to half an hour. I just felt really energetic all around, even though I was still spending an hour a day in bed due to OI.

Now, a year later, in many aspects I have improved. My GI problems are gone and my OI is better, so I don’t have to lie down at all anymore during the day. Due to my GI problems being solved, I eat a lot nowadays, and varied as well. I gained weight, am now 70kg (so I gained 12kg compared to last year). I’m not really fat, 70 is normal for me. Also my belching is mostly gone, which means my ANS is much calmer.

I had a major relapse in October last year (I have one every October) and during winter I have a lot less energy than in the spring and summer so didn’t really try to increase my activities.

The weird thing is, in the past couple of months I have repeatedly tried to increase my activities, by trying very short walks, like around the house or in the street, but every time I get PEM, lactic acid and muscle paint. Last year I had none of that, I could increase my steps so rapidly, never PEM, even though I was eating far too little and basically only chicken and rice. All other factors are the same.

In a way it seems that the more I eat the less energy I have, or the more vulnerable to PEM I am. Is it because the GI process takes a lot of energy and I’m using that more now than a year ago? Does this sound familiar to anyone or does anyone have a clue what the reason for this could be?

The only other thing that could cause this is that I was diagnosed with iron deficiency a few months ago but I have been taking iron supplements every day for 2 months so that should be corrected by now I guess


Psalm 46:1-3
Great Lakes
I'm wondering if it is food sensitivities and/or things that are making more lactic acid bacteria in your stomach. Some people (even a doctor I had once) just think allergy = rashes but food sensitivities can affect every area of the body.

Cow's milk makes me feel angry, yeast puffs up my sinuses and starts me towards a sinus infection and upper respiratory issues, etc.

Yeah, I get itchy skin from them too and skin issues but no rash usually.

In a way it seems that the more I eat the less energy I have, or the more vulnerable to PEM I am. Is it because the GI process takes a lot of energy and I’m using that more now than a year ago?

I was also going to say this could be the other reason why.
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Senior Member
There are quite a few explanations for it. Any change in diet can change the microbiome, gut function, nutrient levels, etc. Add in possible allergies or other food sensitivities from the 'more varied' diet.

The important lesson is that it's possible to reduce your symptoms. Now you have to experiment with your diet to see what factors are responsible. I suggest trying the previous diet that worked, to see whether it will work again (it might not). If it does, then you can add additional foods and see whether any of them make you feel worse. You could also try eating more of the same 'safe diet' to see whether it was the reduced intake that helped.


Senior Member
I have the same issue. Even with the keto diet, I have to check that I don't eat too much solid food and more soups and oils. MACS can also contribute to this, among other things.