Sunday, 26 October 2014

Sugar and ME/CFS symptoms

Silence on the blog is generally a sign of one of two things:
1)  Feeling so bad that I don't have the energy or wherewith all to type
2)  Things going so well I don't feel the need or am too busy catching up with other things.
I'm pleased to report that in this instance it is a case of the second - feeling pretty good and busy doing other things : )
I've been having a pretty good time energy wise over recent months.  The fact that I wear a fitbit means that this is just not anecdotal or spurious self reporting, I actually have the figures to prove it.  I very rarely look at my fitbit stats on the Fitbit website, normally just noting my daily totals mentally at the end of a day and reading my weekly stats sheet when it comes through by e-mail on a Monday morning.  Last week however I did take a look at the website where it is possible to see your historic figures represented graphically.  It was quite striking that in June of this year my step count took a definite "blip" upwards, where they have managed to stay since.
This positive blip is very welcome as it follows on from a long period of feeling that I was going backwards that seemed to last from  the end of last summer (2013) through to this Spring.  It's easy when you are in the midst of such a "down" period on the roller coaster to think that it's not going to change again and you are fighting a losing battle.  Who knows what makes the change from backwards to forwards, not me for sure.  I have just carried on trying to do the right things and hoping they would make the difference.  Two specific things spring to mind about this latest phase though.  May/June was a time when I was taking laxatives for a while.  They made me feel awful, I felt like they were completely stripping my body of any goodness, but I do wonder if they were taking some badness with them too!  When I stopped taking them and my body was getting back to normal, that was when I felt a boost in my physical well being.  Maybe it was just the contrast with how bad I'd felt whilst taking them, but it definitely felt better.  It does make me think about the theory that our gut has bad bacteria in it and the digestion process isn't working properly more info about this theory.  Maybe the laxatives helped strip out the bad bacteria and start again with a clean slate as it were.  That's what it felt like.
The other thing that may have had a difference is the fact that I have been on a low sugar diet since earlier this year and I wonder if that is now starting to have some effect.  I really think that the low sugar diet has made a difference to my hormones.  My menopausal hot flushes have stopped since I reduced my sugar intake.  I am trying to keep my sugar intake as low as possible and that includes natural sugars from fruit.  So I am replacing my previous fruit intake with more vegetables and savoury snacks.  The daily recommended intake of sugar for women is 50 grammes.  If you're not keeping a check on it, it's easy to exceed 50gms.  If I'm eating anything that comes wrapped or in a packet, I'm looking for it to have 5 grammes or less of sugar per 100 grammes, that's pretty low.  I'm not being over the top about it, today we had a big family Sunday lunch with the grandparents and I baked a desert for everyone and had a piece myself, but this is the exception these days and not the norm.  In fact one of the interesting things about doing this is noticing just how quickly your tastes change.  I now find many things I used to eat just far too sweet for me these days.

So these are my two theories as to what may have given me my recent boost, it's probably a combination of both.  In my next blog post I'm going to detail what I've been doing with all my extra energy : )

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