Join Date: May 2009
Location: Calgary AB Canada
Re: Nuts and fatigue
Sounds like you are travelling a somewhat similar path to the one I'm on. Yes, sugar is an inflammatory food, and I have essentially removed it from my diet.
You asked: "But does this mean that this is now something else...not just chronic fatigue?" I can't answer that, but can say that based on my experience, one medical condition can lead to others, or at least lead to the diagnosis or realization of others. Here's a bit of my history you might find interesting.
I was diagnosed with CFS and FM more than 20 years ago (confirmed by two GP's and several medical specialists). For many years, investigating solutions was pretty much a full-time job. Nothing led to significant improvement with respect to energy/endurance for either mental or physical activity. But fortunately, as long as I stuck to the "slow, simple, serene" lifestyle required by the CFS, my pain was relatively well controlled. At least it was . . . until a sudden and severe attack of arthritis that involved virtually every major joint in my body, and later my hands and feet. I was diagnosed with OA, and very likely early-stage RA.
Terrified at the prospect of being prescribed one of the powerful medications for RA, I decided to investigate more natural options. I visited a naturopath, who recommended a few suggestions to detoxify my body -- dry skin brushing, ending my showers with cold water, and colonics. I was totally skeptical about the colonics, but decided it wouldn't do any harm (except, perhaps, empty my bank account). Nevertheless, three things happened after my first treatment. First, within hours my hands and feet (which had been feeling extremely stiff and congested) became loose and supple. Second, I lost the absolutely foul gas I had experienced for years, particularly after eating refined grain products and sugar. Third, for the first time in 20 years, I got up only once during the night to urinate (as opposed to the 4 - 6 times I was doing nightly). To me, this was miraculous, and there was no way the placebo effect could have been responsible, since I'd had no positive expectations whatsoever.
This led me to suspect digestive issues were part of my problem. I put myself on the detox diet described in Natasha Turner's "The Hormone Diet" book. I was surprised to experience bloating and gas when adding back gluten-containing grains (even those I considered healthy such as sprouted grain bread). So, I decided to avoid gluten altogether and was surprised by several improvements. First, I gradually lost the pasty white complexion I'd had since my diagnosis of CFS. Second, I lost my puffy neck and bloating around my mid-section. Third, I no longer woke up every morning with screaming headaches that required Tylenol 1's to relieve. After several months, I added gluten back -- just to see what would happen. My symptoms returned. Since then, I have realized I react similarly (although more mildly) to all grain products. So, I'm gradually moving towards a grain-free diet such as that described in the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. It is challenging.
In the meantime, blood tests showed that my hormonal levels were those of a woman in her 80's (I'm mid 50's). I've been on low-dose bio-identical hormone therapy for several months, and my hormone levels are gradually going up. The positive improvements from this are improved sleep and brain/memory function, but only if I stick to my "slow, simple, serene" lifestyle. Christmas in our household has been reduced to the bare minimum required to mark the season. Nevertheless, it does require a bit more effort than my typical daily routine. This year, with all the positive changes I've made I was expecting to have better endurance. I was surprised and disappointed to find myself wearing down the same as in previous years. By the time Christmas Day arrived, I was exhausted (could barely use my arms, and couldn't speak fluidly or coherently answer the simplest questions).
For a while, I was hoping the arthritis diagnosis and all my interventions associated with it would prove I don't have CFS. I was also hoping that the positive benefits (for my hands and feet) experienced from the colonics meant I didn't have arthritis. Now I know neither is the case (a few months ago I had to start medication to treat tendon problems in my hands associated with RA). Nevertheless, I'll keep trying to find a solution (and it sounds like you are doing the same).
Best of luck, Tess, in your search for answers. For all those on this health board struggling with medical mysteries (and those with definitive diagnoses), my new year's wish is better health, or at least the strength and support to deal with many challenges. Take care, everyone.