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Food for Thought Doctor. Saturday November 19, 2016

At the age of 31 some 25 years ago I had a minor breakdown and had to refrain from working for at least 3 months. Until recently I would not accept that time and why it happened.

I was diagnosed with ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) which comes under Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome. May have been in my system for a while, especially after a severe chill of the kidneys where I nearly didn't make it, this was a something that had remained in my body for a while and came to the forefront when my work became more stressful which I couldn't handle at the time. Yes I broke down and stopped working.

Living with this issue for many years has been dark at times and I despair when I have to rest just because my legs and body say enough today. What makes this worse is that I am known for my high energy and positive attitude to life so when I get hit with fatigue, I drop badly and no one really knows except those close to me.

However I have taken action over the last year and talked to an excellent Doctor at my surgery who studied ME and decided I should have a full health check including analysing everything I do including the food I eat. Through all this they discovered two ulcers and a hiatus hernia and prescribed medicines to combat this, typical additional problem at my age but didn't worry me. The Ulcers have now since healed and I manage the hernia in line with the food I am allowed. They couldn't find anything else to describe the fatigue in the legs.

However, as my diet changed considerably to help the hernia there has been a remarkable difference in my energy levels. It seems my aches and pains seem to be less and my legs do not suffer like before. In fact I have taken up squash again and loving this each week. I have begun to play lawn bowls again which is a more gentle sport but one I love and reasonably good at.

As I write this I feel happy to realise that for the first time in ages I am managing my fatigue and although my legs are feeling weak today I had the strength and energy to overcome the feeling and decided to walk to the shops and have a nice cup of tea with my step daughter.

Even better, my mood from eating more healthily has allowed me to get life in order and do the things I appreciate and love. My children are everything and am feeling younger than my age. I accept my body may have some challenges at times but with a positive mental attitude and a healthy diet, my life has just got better.

Maybe we all need that one person who believes in what we tell them such as my Doctor. I thank her for the rest of my life.

Frank from the Quayside
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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g Sat, Nov 19th 2016 @ 1:27am

Frank please explain what this secret diet is ?

the room above the garage Sat, Nov 19th 2016 @ 6:18am

Hello Frank, thank you for writing. Words on a page have such influence and I found your words soothing and comforting. What an interesting story, and brilliant to have a great GP. (I avoid ours, the negativity...) Delighted you have improved with those changes, I'm largely gluten free which has improved my life considerably. Great read and thank you! Love ratg x.

Sally Sat, Nov 19th 2016 @ 7:07am

A fantastic GP is worth their weight in gold: some years ago now, a very caring GP advised me to always have Sanctuary and Boundaries in my life. Super advice, which I remember at times of stress. Those two words remind me to take stock, & see if I am giving myself space/ not being invaded by the needs of others , (as I crumbled under the strain on two occasions ...)
Frank, like g, I am curious to know about the special diet. Did it eliminate certain foods you were found to be allergic to, for instance?
I have thought of seeing a dietician and nutritionist in the past, but never got there...
thank you for writing for us. It was very interesting. ME is still a little recognised illness/ condition I believe, and I wonder how much research has been done ,and advances made into it , in the last few decades?
Good luck Frank. Go well.

Leah Sat, Nov 19th 2016 @ 7:47am

thanks for an uplifting and fascinating blog. I am found you found a caring doctor.

Orangeblossom Sat, Nov 19th 2016 @ 7:52am

Thanks Frank. A great, informative & compelling blog. I appreciate it lots as well as the other comments.

DAVE Sat, Nov 19th 2016 @ 8:21am

I am able to endorse everything in your blog.

My diet is part of the order in every facet of my life.

In Jan 2014 specialist in urology dept of Bournemouth Hispital put me on some LETHAL drugs for Crohn's disease...After 3 days I rang specialist and said, "I've been very ill for three days and have come of this drug". She said, "Oh I was going to tell you to come off it, so don't worry we're going to put your on another drug", I said, "Oh no you're not you've had your chance and failed, it's now my turn". She said, "What are you going to do", I need you to take my blood between now and when I see you next", that'll be in March as your next apt is in April.

In March this specialist in a bit of a flurry, said, What do you want the good or bad news,. The bad news is, that we're only a TINY bit worried, nothing that won't right itself, but your liver has a bit of damage, "Oh I said you mean the damaged you caused with those tablets you gave me, ?" The phone went DEAD, I said don't worry I am not going to make a claim, she replied, we yes it was the tablets !

What's the good news, "We cannot understand WHY your white cell defence mechanism has dropped from 17.5 to 6 and your Crohn's from 650 to 50, what should it be I said"...15, "Then you have a lot of work to do haven't you ?" I said !

What have you been up too, I said I've been on a diet, which diet is that she said, "My own diet" one that is not boring.... I'm off all SUGAR, ON LACTOSE FREE milk, and CUT OUT WHEAT, biscuits, bread,cakes and associated foods that contain wheat.

I clear the bowel and bladder every morning and get on the scales every morning, this tells me on a daily basis what I've 'PIGGED OUT' on, so I am able to monitor each day a balanced diet.

I have mentioned this before in a recent blog, in not so much detail....
I have like you NEVER felt so well in 52 Years.
But more importantly my MENTAL Bipolar has 'gone' at least for the past 5 years....I know my BMI (body mass Index), and my weight has been STATIC for 3 Years come Jan 2017.

The correct DIET is VITAL to both MENTAL & PHYSICAL SUGAR is the main LETHAL component, WATCH ALL PACKETS !
I've printed out and given out this diet sheet of mine, and you'de be amazed how many people are feeling WELLthan ever before ! !

Good Luck, God Bless you FFTQ,

Debs Sat, Nov 19th 2016 @ 8:48am

Great blog Frank and I couldn't agree more! Diet is VITAL!! A week ago I finally (after dipping in and out for years) gave up sugar, gluten and dairy. In just a few days I've started to feel so much better and clearer than I have for years. Maybe ever.

An incredible book to read and use as a starting point is Kelly Brogan, A Mind of Your Own. Or you can follow Kelly's blog online. She's a total inspiration and has set me on the right track for sure.

Thank you for sharing with such openness and vulnerability, very inspiring xxx

Another Sally Sat, Nov 19th 2016 @ 8:51am

Hello Frank, I too have been looking at my diet in an attempt to get well. This week though I think I must have done something wrong as I was really bad yesterday. I have eliminated gluten, though it is hard sometimes, but there is still something that keeps my mood depressed. I have not been able to put my finger on it. Am avoiding sugar, alcohol, sweet fruits, but now it is colder I crave carbs and comfort food. Am tired of trying to get it right. Extremely tired of worrying about family and pets but don't know how to step back and look after myself. Just tired.

the room above the garage Sat, Nov 19th 2016 @ 11:27pm

I think you can can expect to feel worse when you start to clean up your diet. It's a detox of a kind. Also consider a high quality probiotic to reignite good bacteria in the gut which hay have been wiped out from poor diet/antibiotics etc. Think of it as more of a longer term switch over. I'm a bit passionate about nutrition but it takes time. Great move though! Xx

Hopeful One Sat, Nov 19th 2016 @ 8:54am

Hi FFTQ- thank you for sharing your experiences with ME and your recovery with a change in your diet following tests requested requested by your doctor. One feels it was your positive attitude throughout your illness that also helped.

Today's laugh is short.

"Mr Murphy " said the judge dealing with his divorce case" I have decided to give your wife £775 a week in settlement" " That's very kind of you your honour. " said Mr Murphy " I might decide to throw in a few quid every now and then"

Sally Sat, Nov 19th 2016 @ 9:09am

Love the joke, Hopeful One! ????

Sally Sat, Nov 19th 2016 @ 9:11am

The question marks were originally a smiley face! What happened?

LP Sat, Nov 19th 2016 @ 9:12am

Smileys dont work on here Sally! I type mine :) xx

Sally Sat, Nov 19th 2016 @ 9:28am

Yeah, I should've realised...thanks, LP

LP Sat, Nov 19th 2016 @ 9:11am

Hi Frank,
I'm happy for you that you have finally found what makes a difference.
This is something that I struggle with, I like good healthy food but am not yet as organised as I'd like to be! So it's all a bit erratic and my will power can be practically non existent when faced with certain things!
I feel good when I am able make the time to walk. I need to adjust work-life balance, especially with the shorter days.
Thanks for the reminder to focus on the basics Frank. Good wishes to you and all. LP xx

The Gardener Sat, Nov 19th 2016 @ 9:46am

Hello Frank - glad you have 'opened the door' on ME. Our doctor in UK (male) had ME after severe whiplash and back injury in a minor accident. Our priest's wife, an opera singer, got ME and could not sing for a year after the shock of surprising a burglar in the house. I am talking about 30 + years ago. Before that it had been classified as virtually 'women's hysteria', because it was first noticed (and named?) in a women's hospital, and not given credence for the debilitating and long-term affect it can have. I echo others in stressing how important the GP is in looking at underlying causes, not treating the visible symptoms only, and always, always looking at diet. LP, I love 'nutrition' in all its aspects, and people's needs at stages of their lives. This morning we had mango,banana and grapes with Yogurt and honey added for Mr G - then 'eggy bread' using a superb dark brown bread produced by our local baker. Dinner will be protein (preference for fish) and loads of veg - lunch is rather a movable feast - I will not 'break the day' by cooking, unless a feast day. Mr G, at 86, eats copious amounts of biscuits and cakes, and lots of milk - he's never put on weight.

Jul Sat, Nov 19th 2016 @ 10:12am

I am so happy for you Frank from the Quay that you have found a Dr who will at last help you. I have been searching for many years and have almost given up. I actually find Moodscope the best help ever. Go well. Jul xxx

Tutti Frutti Sat, Nov 19th 2016 @ 1:27pm

Frank Great that your GP was helpful and that you are feeling so well on the new diet. Thanks for writing for us. Love TF x

Nicco Sat, Nov 26th 2016 @ 5:21pm

Hello Frank - Thank you so much for your blog. I have suffered from M.E. for the last 40 odd years (from age 14 - though they didn't know what it was back then). I, too, have found cutting out wheat based products and foods with gluten in them, and dairy products, to be of huge benefit. My late mother, who suffered with dreadful depression and panic attacks, found huge benefits from it also. I don't think we can ever underestimate the effects that certain foods can have upon us. I had to sort my diet out by a process of elimination (no pun intended!) and it took a while, but I'm so glad I've found at least something that helps. I also suffer with fibromyalgia (which I think I've had for many years, despite only being diagnosed 2yrs ago), and find that my legs are the worst affected. I used to be so active, have always danced, and was doing ballet until my big relapse in 1997 when I couldn't get out of bed for 3yrs, after which I started to look at diet. I have other problems, the worst being Scheuerman's Disease in my spine, which doesn't help my mobility either, but at least I know the diet brings some relief from the exhaustion, nausea and depression which used to be pretty much constant. I prioritise these days and find 'pacing' techniques helpful too. Thank you again for your blog. Best Wishes to you, Nicco.

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