I had read time and time again that getting your diet right had helped many people suffering from CFS. And it kind of makes sense its the food and drink we put in our bodies that gives us sustenance and energy, so if you get the balance right there its bound to make a bit of a difference.
Nutrition etc isn’t an area that I had a lot of expertise in so I decided to see a nutritionist. It is important to find one that knows about CFS/ME otherwise I don’t there isn’t an awful lot of point.
I found the website below particularly helpful, it explains a bit about CFS and nutrition but most importantly it enables you to find a nutritionist in your area that has a specialism in the area:
When I found a nutritionist I thought looked good, I gave her a call and explained that I had been diagnosed with CFS and automatically she started talking about ideas she had, and was quite knowledgeable which was great. It wasn’t cheap for mine it was £70 for a initial consolation and £45 for follow ups (Which I have every 2-3 months).
Before the first appointment I had to fill out a long medical history form and she asked for me to get a print out from my GP of all my blood test results so she could analyse these before our first appointment.
I got soooo much information during the first meeting ,but she said that I would receive all the information in a report (which I did), which was brill as I suffer from a load of brain fog and typical CFS forgetfulness. The two most important things I got out of it were:
1. Example meal plans & Nutritional information
A sheet that had put loads of foods in their nutritional categories, a few different type of sample meal plans.
The key points which are pretty basis:
- Plate should have 1/4 Protein 1/4 Carbs 1/2 Veggies
- Avoid processed foods
- Have protein with every meal inc snacks.
- Breakfast is soooo important, so important I made a separate post about it (Link)
As well as giving me some great websites full of recipes:
2. Identifying that I had a food a food allergy/ intolerance
During my first appointment she deduced because of a variety of my symptoms (not just my CFS ones) and my blood results, that :
“Indicate inappropriate food reactions and your history of hay fever and allergy’s may put you at a greater risk of being able to develop food sensitivities and allergies. These symptoms can be signs of many imbalances, however the overall picture with the information I have about you so far indicates that it is your immune system that is central to your symptoms and we need to find out if there is anything triggering your immune system and using up your nutrients, resources and energy.”
Exert from my initial report
One thing she did recommend was that I had some allergy tests done, there were several options I could do for this which varied in prices:
- Comprehensive gluten re activity test (£306) and cross re activity test (£218) as the gold standard for gluten sensitivity £524.
- Test levels of inflammation from eating gluten and gluten associated foods. This test isn’t as specific/black and white -£109.
- Elimination diets – This is a free option technically, but you would need to pay for more nutritionist appointments and also would take a long time.
I went for option 1, whilst it was expensive luckily I has a bit saved up and I wanted to be told what I should & shouldn’t do. It was very specific and quick, instead of having to faff around with specific diets which are all a bit of trial and error, I just wanted results and that is exactly what I got. Where as the GP had tested for one specific strain of gluten these tested a lot more. Plus the reports are really easy to understand: Normal means nothings wrong, Yellow is your at risk of becoming allergic/ a bit intolerant & red being you are allergic. See below for pictures of what the results look like:
The tests for me showed that I had an allergy to several of the gluten proteins in test one, and thus Rye, Barley, Spelt & Wheat in test two. So a gluten free life for me. Luckily I was fine for all others :).