Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Adrenal Fatigue.
If you have been to your doctor with either of these complaints, you’ve probably walked away feeling more frustrated and alone than you did before your diagnosis. Or, as in my case, were even told it was “all in your head”. Really?? Cue doubts about my own sanity! (Turns out I actually had Gilbert Syndrome, so I’m not crazy after all).
Whichever diagnosis you’ve been labelled with, they all boil down to similar symptoms – tiredness, fatigue, difficulty waking or getting out of bed, low mood, tearfulness, trouble sleeping and the feeling of being overwhelmed.
Energy is the source of all life, and of all health too. If there is anything blocking our ability to make energy then chronic illness will not be far behind. It’s down to our cells to make energy from the food we eat. Chronic fatigue is the inability to produce this energy effectively.
Childhood viruses, infectious diseases, vaccinations and poor diet choices can all trigger this group of illnesses.
Food sensitivities can be triggered by illness or poor diet choice damaging the gut over time. Certainly three of the most damaging and common dietary influences are sugar, processed gluten/wheat products and dairy. All of these things cause inflammation, disrupt hormone production and damage our immunity – our gut flora.
Food sensitivities also prevent absorption of nutrients which means our cells have nothing useful to make energy out of.
Just to illustrate this with regards to sugar: When you flood the body with sugar from soda, candy, white flours, sweet breakfast cereals and fruit juices you trigger a state of emergency which it is your adrenal gland’s job to respond to.
Having high blood sugar disrupts and potentially damages every cell in you body. This threat triggers an immune and hormonal response. Over time this constant state of emergency fatigues your glands leaving you pretty wiped out and unable to recover.
Adrenal fatigue and chronic fatigue can be very well treated though diet. It takes time, however, and means a consistent lifestyle change. Issues like candida, leaky gut and low digestive enzyme production can all play a part. All this can be healed but it won’t happen over night.
Some damage to the glands may not be able to be fully repaired and will always be triggered by external factors like stress (your adrenal gland is your stress gland after all). But, you can probably enjoy a much better quality of life with episodes becoming much less frequent and your energy levels normalising.
Recovery is about rebuilding your health, not hiding the symptoms. Some medications may offer short term relief, but the underlying cause isn’t being treated – you’re simply buying yourself time whilst you further damage your glands. This will eventually lead to more serious issues.
If you have any questions about a dietary approach to CFS or adrenal fatigue please feel free to message me – always happy to offer advice!