When I was a kid, I overheard two elderly relatives talking in the kitchen. “There aren’t enough hours in the day for that girl”, said one of them. And I remember vividly how jealous I was that the comment was not referring to me. I felt like I had boundless energy, ideas and contributions – and of course I wanted to be everyone’s centre of attention. I wanted to be that girl, the one people talked about for being so busy, so full of life, so productive. And when I grew up, for a little while, I guess I was.
But for the last 2 years it has felt very much like there are far too many hours in each day, the slog to survive each fatigued, nauseous and painful moment too much to bear a lot of the time. Suffering with severe digestive problems and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I’ve progressed at a very, very slow pace from bed ridden to minimal activity, to more activity with almost constant delayed fatigue, to a slow strengthening, to where I am now – still daily fatigued and need to sleep in the afternoon to get through the evening, but mentally and physically motivated and as of 3 days ago, able to walk up and down my local shopping street again – it’s been 6 months since I’ve been able to walk anywhere!
How did I get here? And what turned the tides? A combination of the following factors have taken me from very badly fatigued, to recovering my energy with almost daily improvements. In short, the factors fall under the headings of Pacing, Diet, Supplementation, Gut Healing and Improving Digestion.
If you suspect or know that you have a damaged gut lining i.e. Leaky Gut Syndrome, ‘IBS’, allergies, dysbiosis or Inflammatory Bowel Disease, then treating this is the number one priority – when I finally discovered how to treat it properly myself through the SCD diet, supplementation and gut healing protocols, I was instantly rewarded with a daily increase in energy and stamina (check out the SCD Lifestyle website for a crash course in digestive health info and all the tools you will need to start treatment – it has, through the expertise of the two Health Engineers that run the website, literally saved my life…)
Some Tried and Tested Factors in Recovering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Pacing activities: I can feel myself reviving when I pace my activities and take the time to rest and recover.
- Grain-Free Diet: I have tried every diet out there. The only one that has worked for me is the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) – the ‘tweeked’ version as designed by SCD Lifestyle. When I eat grains I feel completely exhausted, headachy, weak, shaky, foggy, demotivated, depressed, listless and nauseous. Within 4 days of transitioning onto the SCD diet (basically, no sugar, grains, legumes, or dairy milk) I felt like a black cloud had lifted, and it was only then that I truly recognised how very ill I had been for an entire year – it was shocking. And I think it saved my life.
- Magnesium and B12 injections: I can not recommend these highly enough. Within a few days of starting these injections I felt my stamina change and steadily increase since.
- Vitamin B Complex: Necessary for energy production. I felt a real boost when I started them (I take Solgar B 50 complex)
- L-Glutamine Protocol, in conjunction with Zinc L-Carnosine: Healing my damaged gut lining (and aiding digestion) has definitely been the BIGGEST contributor to my increase in energy. On completion of the initial L-Glutamine Protocol dosing, my energy increased almost daily 🙂
- Anti-Inflammatory foods and supplements: Inflammation, whatever the route cause and wherever it occurs in the body, will cause fatigue and other nasty pains. Try Kapparest, turmeric, ginger, liquorice, Omega 3s, high dose Fish and Cod Liver Oil to put the fire out.
- Digestive Enzymes & Betaine with Pepsin: Both miracles for me! I had no idea how bad my digestion was until I started taking a high dose of Betaine. It has changed everything for me in the last few weeks. The SCD Lifestyle website is an incredible resource for those struggling with digestive problems. They have detailed here how to introduce it correctly. I use Lamberts Betaine tabs (or Now Foods Betaine). I can not recommend looking into the use of these supplements, under medical supervision, highly enough!
- Detoxing: Chronic Fatigue can really make every inch of your body ache and sting, but a good detoxing Epsom Salts bath and some dry skin brushing often go a long way to reducing the pain and helping the body to cleanse itself. Check out my post on it here.
These are some of the definite factors that I’ve felt benefits from. I’m sure that no one of them would work in isolation, and everyone is different, but through 18 months of constant searching, trying new supplements, treatments or diets, I have found these to be very beneficial.
What are you doing to combat Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? Has anything in particular worked for you? We’d love to hear your experiences!