I Have Fibromyalgia/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but it Doesn't Have Me!
I have struggled with chronic daily migraine headaches since I was a young child. Along with the migraines came a numbness, a tingling in my face/ arms/ legs, and sometimes, auras (visual disturbances.) Sugar cravings, sudden anxiety, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, night sweats, day sweats, flushing, feeling shaky and weak, dizziness, nausea, constipation, nasal congestion, ringing in the ears, irritability, and that sudden drop in energy; a faintness, (like I am going to faint,) when I need to eat; are all symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia. And, when I NEED TO EAT, it is RIGHT NOW! (I am sure many of you can relate!)
I never knew (until I discovered Dr. St. Amand and his Diet for Hypoglycemia, which is very similar to the Paleo Diet) that the symptoms that I felt were actually a stand-alone condition called “Reactive Hypoglycemia” and that they overlapped with my symptoms of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, and that they could actually be controlled by diet.
Although, I had been previously tested for hypoglycemia in high school, through a five-hour glucose tolerance blood test (GTT). (Some of you may also have had this test done, with similar negative results.)
My results always came back negative but left me feeling unwell for days. I had always suspected that there was a food-link, other than the forbidden list of well-known migraine trigger foods, with my migraine headaches, but I never realized the vast scope of it.
Sure, I avoided all of the migraine headache trigger foods, but what I was missing was the “LARGER FOOD-LINK-CONNECTION."
My migraines had worsened with age, and by the time I was thirty-two years old, they had completely flattened and debilitated me.
I now know that a more accurate description of my condition is called carbohydrate intolerance and I am not alone. Over forty percent of those of us with fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue syndrome are also carbohydrate intolerant, to some extent, but we don’t realize it. This overlapping condition, can wreak all sorts of havoc with our bodies.
I know it sounds silly, doesn’t it? How could we be carbohydrate intolerant when so much of our present day diet is made up of so many grains?
What I have learned about myself is that my body has an inability to use certain carbohydrate loads effectively without adverse consequences. The only way that I can prevent myself to not have any of the symptoms listed above, is by following a strict low-carbohydrate diet that does not include any form of sugar or complex carbohydrates (except in low-carb veggies.)
At this point, you may be wondering what I eat.
Here is the Diet for Hypoglycemia that I follow from www.fibromyalgiatreatment.com the authors of What Your Doctor May Not Tell You about Fibromyalgia and What Your Doctor May Not Tell You about Fibromyalgia Fatigue.
This diet, or as I like to call it, "New Eating Lifestyle," along with the Guaifenesin have helped me regain my life.
Of course, I have done the work, and there is more to this story than just taking the Guaifenesin. So, please, don't just start taking the Gauifeneisn! There's a strict protocol that must be followed.
If you initially feel sicker when you begin this new lifestyle of eating, that means that your body truly DOES NEED this diet. I felt better after the first week and I was shocked. The first few days were hell and I wanted sugar all of the time! This is how I knew that my body needed this diet.
Many of my fibromyalgia symptoms were improved some even gone by five days! The trick is not to deviate from the diet. As soon as you do, your sugar cravings will come back with a vengence and so will your all of your most nagging fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue symptoms.
Diets For Hypoglycemia
by R. Paul St. Amand, M.D.
Both these diets work to correct hypoglycemic (blood sugar) symptoms. Choose the strict diet to lose weight or the liberal diet to maintain weight.
You must do the appropriate diet AS WRITTEN for two months, without cheating. At that point, if you are on the liberal diet you can start to experiment with forbidden foods to see what you can tolerate.
Each hypoglycemic's tolerance for listed foods will vary. Judge your tolerance level by how you feel and adjust your intake of foods accordingly.
The Strict Diet:
Choose any foods from the following list:
MEAT and FISH
All meats except cold cuts that contain sugars or dextrose; All fowl and game; All fish and shellfish.
Eggs; Any natural cheese (bleu, roquefort, cheddar, cream, gouda, swiss, etc;) Cream (heavy and sour;) Cottage and Ricotta (1/2 cup limit per day;) Butter; Margarine.
Fresh coconut; Avocado (limit 1/2 per day;) Cantaloupe (limit 1/4 per day;) Strawberries (limit 6-8 per day;) Lime or Lemon juice for flavoring (limit 2 tsp. per day.)
Asparagus; Bean Sprouts; Broccoli; Brussels sprouts; Cabbage (limit 1 cup per day); Cauliflower; Celery Root (celeriac;) Celery; Chard; Chicory; Chinese cabbage (limit 2 cups per day;) Chives; Cucumber; Daikon (long, white radish;) Eggplant; Endive; Escarole; Fennel Bulb; Greens (Mustard, Beet, Collard etc;) Jicama; Kale; Leeks; Lettuce (any type;) Mushrooms; Okra; Olives; Parsley; Peppers (green, red, yellow, etc;) Pickles (dill, sour, limit one per day;) Pimiento; Radicchio; Radish; Rhubarb; Sauerkraut; Scallions (green onions;) Spinach; Squash (yellow or summer only;) String beans (green or yellow;) Snow peas; Soy Beans, Tomatoes (not sauce or paste); Water Chestnuts; Watercress; Zucchini.
NUTS (limit 12 per day)
Almond; Brazil; Butternut; Filbert; Hazel; Hickory; Macadamia; Pecan; Pistachio; Sunflower seeds (small handful); Walnut.
Sugar-free Jell-O with NutraSweet; Custard (made with cream and artificial sweetener.)
Club soda; Decaffeinated coffee; Decaffeinated tea; Caffeine-free diet sodas.
CONDIMENTS and SPICES
All herbs and spices including seeds (fresh or dried); All imitation flavorings; Horseradish; Sugar-free sauces such as Hollandaise, Mayonnaise, Mustard, Ketchup; Sugar-free salad dressings; Oil and Vinegar (all types;) Worcestershire sauce.
All fats; Caviar; Tofu.
FOODS TO STRICTLY AVOID:
Alcohol (most hypoglycemics can tolerate one drink after two months on the diet - use discretion as individual tolerance levels vary;) Baked beans; Refried beans; Black-eyed peas (cow peas); Bananas; Lima beans; Potatoes; Corn; Dried fruits & Fruit juices; Barley; Rice; Pasta (all types;) Flour and Corn Tortillas; Tamales; Sweets of any kind; Products which contain Dextrose, Glucose, Hexitol, Lactose, Maltose, Sucrose, Honey, Fructose, Corn Syrup, Food Starch, Caffeine.
The Liberal Diet:
You may add the following foods to the strict diet:
(limit: one piece of fruit every four hours. No fruit juices.)
Apples; Apricots; Blackberries (1/2 cup limit;) Blueberries (1/2 cup limit;) Boysenberries; Casaba melon (1 wedge limit;) Grapefruit; Honeydew melon (1 wedge limit;) Lemons; Limes; Nectarines; Oranges; Papaya; Peaches; Pears; Plums; Raspberries; Strawberries; Tangerines; Tomato juice; Tomato sauce or paste; V8 Juice.
VEGETABLES-remove limit from strict side
Artichokes; Beets; Carrots; Onions; Peas; Pumpkin; Winter squash; Hubbard squash; Turnips; Rutabagas, Spaghetti squash.
Cashews; Peanuts; Soy Nuts.
Whole, Non-fat, Low-fat milk and buttermilk, unsweetened yogurt.
Sugarless diet puddings (1/2 cup a day limit)
Three slices a day of sugar-free white, whole wheat, sourdough or light rye. No more than two slices at one time.
Corn tortillas (2 only per day;) Carob powder; Flour (gluten or soy only;) Gravy made with gluten or soy flour only;) Popped popcorn (one cup only;) Sugar-free cereals (puffed rice, shredded wheat, oatmeal etc;) Wheat germ.
If cholesterol is a problem, avoid cold cuts (except turkey,) cheese, cream, solid margarine, hollandaise sauce, and macadamia nuts. Use egg whites or Egg Beaters instead of whole eggs. Use liquid margarine only. Nuts should be dry roasted only. Trim all visible fat from meats and remove skin from poultry. Use canola or olive oil.
This diet is not meant to be used as to make a medical diagnosis. Please consult your own physician before making any changes to your current diet, medications or treatment. Prior to commencing any diet R. Paul St. Amand M.D. recommends a basic work-up that includes a thyroid test, blood count, blood glucose screening and testing for any conditions that may mimic blood sugar abnormalities.
© 2019 Chantal K. Hoey-Sanders. All rights reserved.