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Chronic Fatigue & Dieting?

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Old 01-07-2007, 01:28 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Lincoln, NE, USA
Posts: 1
rascalkc HB User
Chronic Fatigue & Dieting?

Just curious to see if anyone else has a similar experience. I haven't been diagnosed with CFS yet (no health insurance) but I've been doing lots of research since I got sick in September and so far, it's the closest match to my symptoms. I've had a couple of short 'remissions' in the past four months, but lately I've been considerably worse. When it first hit me (and it literally felt like that) in September, I was on a fairly strict calorie diet and exercising up to an hour and a half a day. I'm a 30 year old woman, I stay home with my 3 kids and homeschool. I started cutting stuff out when I got sick (caffeine, etc) and loosened up the diet and quit exercising (I had no choice, really!). I've since gained 10 pounds. This week I started dieting again, and have tried to get in a little bit of exercise (mostly stationery bike) although it ruins the rest of my day. And I feel so much worse! I've been in bed pretty much the last week, and all my symptoms are worse. We're supposed to start school again tomorrow (the fall was sort of sporadic, due to my illness) and I'm afraid of how much I'm going to be able to do. Has anyone else noticed that cutting calories increased their symptoms? Is it just the extended fatigue due to exercising even a little bit?

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Old 01-15-2007, 11:52 AM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Dorset
Posts: 3
Re: Chronic Fatigue & Dieting?

I've been dieting since September 2006 and have not noticed any effects on my symptoms. I have only lost 1kg a week and I do not do any exercise (this severly effects my symptoms). The diet I have been doing is the GI/GL diet. I eat 3 meals a day and 2 snacks. All the food I eat is healthy and I eat veg and oily fish which is sposed to help CFS. HTH

Old 01-16-2007, 10:04 AM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 406
music12 HB User
Re: Chronic Fatigue & Dieting?

If you do have CFS, which is a disorder and not just feeling tired all the time, then dieting and exercise may be counterproductive.

Exercise intolerance is a symptom of CFS. This means that it can bring on a "flare" - a worsening of your symptoms. I certainly would not try to exercise when you are already not feeling well, especially if you do have CFS. This is not like other illnesses where exercise is promoted because it helps the condition.

I would also be careful with dieting. If you are not getting enough calories you may be contributing to your fatigue ... and other symptoms. Eating healthy, however, is another matter. If you can forego sugar, caeffine and white foods you will be aiding in your healing process. I found that eating low carb was especially helpful.

All the best,


Old 01-17-2007, 05:21 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Posts: 126
shelovescliche HB User
Re: Chronic Fatigue & Dieting?

You should find a way to get diagnosed before you ask questions about your CFS symptoms.

People who do have CFS, post-exertional malaise is common, and often the symptom that stops many of CFS sufferers from exercising like any normal person.

You said that you were on a strict calorie diet, and exercising an hour and a half a day when your symptoms first started--exercising off more calories than you eat starves your body. It DOES make you tired.

I'd suggest you stop the diet for a while,ease up on the exercising, and see what happens.

If it IS CFS that you have, the dieting and exercising is what's keeping you sick. There are so called limits for people with CFS. If you get diagnosed, you should listen to yours.

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