1. What does M.E mean?
M.E. stands for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. Encephalomyelitis means inflammation of the brain. Myalgic means muscle pain. There is no scientific evidence that shows that there is inflammation of the brain and so the NHS and GPs refer to this condition as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The diagnosis gives the sufferer no information at all on what they are dealing with. There is no therapy, medication or treatment in place to help. If you are suffering with this disease, the diagnosis can make you feel much worse, as you may be left to a life of exhaustion and pain.
2. Symptoms of CFS/ME
The symptoms vary from person to person but include a long list:
tiredness, exhaustion over the slightest thing, unable to formulate speech or think of words, foggy thinking, muscle aches and pains that make you feel if you move you will break, cramps and spasms, gut pain, frequent uncomfortable visits to the bathroom, headaches, migraines, sensitivity to strong lights, rashes, sensitive skin, poor hair condition, poor breathing and forgetting to breath, poor sleep and often wide awake during the night.
3. The cause of CFS/ME
While research is ongoing to discover the cause – science can only test one aspect at one time. The cause, therefore, will be hidden among the many symptoms because CFS/ME is a multi-systemic illness. Multi-systemic means many organs and systems are involved.
Genes can also be blamed but if a faulty gene – what caused it? If hereditary – why did the gene express itself?
Other causes can also be blamed one being stress. This sounds like a get-out by the medical profession, but it isn’t. It is serious. The stress reaction is triggered by thoughts and memories of past traumas. This causes many systems in the body to be on alert and if on alert for a long length of time, it could very well be the cause of CFS/ME. A neurotransmitter called Endocannabinoids reduce or stop troubling thoughts. Endocannabinoids are made in the brain when animal fats and proteins are in good supply in the diet.
4. The Stress Reaction
The stress reaction is the Fight or Flight Reaction. A thought from a trauma whether big or small, triggers the amygdala in the brain to release hormones to the hypothalamus. Hormones, the body’s messengers, trigger the release of cortisol from the adrenal glands. Cortisol causes muscles to tighten, breathing to become more rapid to bring in more oxygen and the heart to beat faster to send more blood to the muscles. The body is now actioned to stand and fight or run for its life. The reaction from the thought to the release of cortisol happens in a milli-second.
The stress reaction needs nutrients for its activation – cholesterol and minerals especially calcium, zinc and magnesium. If the nutrients for the stress reaction to occur are not found in the foods consumed, they are taken from the gut. More nutrients are required to switch off the reaction and calm down.
Some people remain in a stressed situation after the trauma has passed, finding it difficult to switch off. This depletes the adrenal glands – the ones that release cortisol. The adrenal glands become depleted because of the continued reaction to stress and the lack of nutrients to keep them healthy – animal fats and minerals.
When the gut is compromised not only does it suffer with colic, spasms and other diseases but food is poorly digested and poorly absorbed. The poor gut health can cause food intolerance and certain foods will have to be excluded to help the gut recover.
This all creates a state of exhaustion which if left unchecked can produce the symptoms of CFS/ME.
5. Animal Fats
The next surprising fact for curing CFS/ME is fat. Animal fat. Butter, cream, lard, milk and eggs. The brain must have the DHA and DHA is only found in animal fats. Animal fat also helps make hormones. Hormones cause the body to get up and go or to relax. The various lipids in fats including cholesterol are essential for every single cell. The nerves need lipids for the sheath which surrounds each nerve fibre. The body to be healthy and produce hormones must have animal fats.
6. The Water of Life
We are told to drink water either being told we are not drinking enough, or in some cases drinking too much. Drinking too little or drinking too much can be dangerous to health.
Water is H2O plus its solutes. Solutes can be mineral salts but also toxins that dissolve in water. H2O on its own is not healthy and can kill.
H2O is a unique and incredible substance that attracts particles (calcium salts and magnesium salts along with sodium salts, potassium salts and chloride salts) as it flows over rocks. This H2O is now water, a life giving substance we cannot live without.
When dehydrated it is the minerals that are lacking. H2O carries the minerals to every cell in the body and carries toxins out of the body – H2O cannot do this on its own – minerals help the deposition of minerals into cells and attracting toxins out of the cell.
In dehydration, both minerals and water are necessary. Water to carry the minerals to the cells that have been depleted by sweating. Which is why in some countries, people are found begging, not for water in the heat, but for salts. Sodium in salts attracts water to itself and is therefore hydrating.
The human body needs minerals not only from good quality water but also from green leafy vegetables and animal products.
7. Sunrise, sunset …
Our hormonal system is triggered by light and dark. When the light outside is dawning, hormones are triggered in our brain to release melatonin which helps us to wake up. When the light is dimming and the sun setting, hormones stop the release of melatonin and we begin to feel sleepy.
If this reaction is ignored by sleeping in or going to bed very late, we find ourselves suffering with headaches and sluggishness.
The sun rising and setting has a direct effect on our rising and sleeping patterns.
Therefore to improve sleep and health, go to bed as soon as you feel sleepy and get up as soon as you wake up. You will find that your bedtime becomes 21:00 pm and your waking up time about 05:30 am. You will find you are more energetic and bright and merry during the day.
The fuel for the brain and the nerves to operate is glucose. Glucose is the energy supply for the brain, nerves and muscles. Glucose is made in the body when carbohydrates and sugars are consumed. The best form of glucose is a natural raw unpasteurised honey from bees who are allowed to feed off their own honey. Mix half a teaspoon of raw unpasteurised honey with a teaspoon of organic grass fed butter for in instant boost for the brain and nerves.
9. Good Food
You would not put diesel in a petrol engine car or vice versa. You would not pour cocoa cola into the fuel tank if you have run out of fuel, saying to yourself ‘Oh it won’t hurt for a short while.’
Yet we do this to our bodies every single day. We shove items into our mouths that are toxic to the body and expect the body to survive and keep going.
The body must have good food. Quality nutrients to help the cells heal, to get rid of toxins and to supply energy. Digestion is poor in the CFS/ME condition so create foods that are easy on digestion: bone broths, fish, eggs, slow cooked casseroles, bolognese sauce with rice (not pasta).
10 Good Movement
For those with CFS/ME the very last thing they can do is exercise. Yet it is the dreadful, heinous GET programme (exercise therapy) that is offered by the NHS to those with CFS/ME.
Exercise requires nutrients and recovery after exercise requires nutrients. Athletes to be good at what they do embark on total lifestyle programme of good healthy eating and rest in between training and performance. Strenuous exercise will lead to exhaustion and collapse, if you are a) not well and b) not consuming good quality nutrients.
The body needs good quality nutrients to burn for the fuel required for the exercise. More good quality foods to recover after exercise. So for those with CFS/ME exercise is a no-no.
However movement is essential. In the first instance of recovering from CFS/ME a daily and gentle STRETCH routine needs to be incorporated. I designed a Stretch routine for my own recovery after this debilitating illness. I did the routine lying down in a warm and comfortable space. The routine moved every joint and restored every muscle to its correct working length.
To recap 10 facts to cure CFS/ME
Avoid all substances that are not natural foods. Additives are not natural and must be avoided. Natural foods are home grown, organic and without pesticides or additives.
Avoid all those foods that cause your gut to be upset. Grains if tolerated (unlikely with this condition) should be fermented. Although rice is a grain, it is the one grain that can be tolerated with this condition. Brown rice would need to be fermented first otherwise consume organic white basmati rice.
You may need to supplement the nutrients you must have that are in foods you are unable to tolerate. Select a good quality supplement company. I use Nature’s Best for my calcium, magnesium and mineral requirements.
Try not to worry about the name of your diagnosis, it can make you feel worse. The positive aspect is that you do have a condition, you are not being lazy and you do need to rest. Your body is worn out and needs time to heal by consumption of good foods.
Find ways to overcome your worries. One way is to write your worries down, this helps to get them out of your head. Seeing them written down, you may be able to rationalise them more and therefore reduce the stress reaction.
Find a stretch routine to do in your own home that only takes 10 minutes or so and while once a day helps, you may take a while to build up to that.
Be kind to yourself.