Tip of the Day

According to Dr. David Klonoff, “A well-balanced diet is part of the treatment for all chronic illnesses. Although Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is not primarily a dietary disorder, like any debilitating illness, it may lead to a disinterest in self-care and then to unhealthy dietary practices. Any patient interested in a very healthy diet can meet with a dietician or find books to read at the local library or bookstore.

There are several points about diet for CFS that I, as an endocrinologist, feel strongly about. For one, many patients with CFS also suffer from meal-induced hypoglycemia. They may feel weak, shaky, and sweaty a few hours after a meal. The symptoms tend to be provoked by large meals containing sweets and are relieved by eating. These hypoglycemic patients should avoid sweets and eat frequent small meals containing large amounts of starches and proteins.

Also, many patients develop hypoglycemic symptoms from drinking caffeine. A study demonstrated that when a person drinks diet soda with caffeine, compared to without caffeine, hypoglycemic symptoms will occur at higher blood sugar levels. If the blood sugar levels in a patient is frequently on the borderline of being too low, then caffeine intake will render that person hypoglycemic. Thus, if you are prone to hypoglycemic symptoms, avoid caffeine.”

(Source: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A complete guide to symptoms, treatments, and solving the practical problems of CFS. By Gregg Charles Fisher, with contributions by Paul Cheney, M.D., Ph.D., Nelson Gantz, M.D., David Klonoff, M.D., and James Oleske, M.D.)

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