Navigating adolescent CFS

Nutrition and CFIDS August 13, 2011

Filed under: CFS Resources,CFS Symptoms,CFS Treatments — parentingcfs @ 12:17 pm

As you may remember, right from the beginning, nausea has been a major symptom for our girl.

This illness has such an impact on almost every system in the body and the digestive system is no exception.

This latest big crash, after our Uluru trip, has seen the nausea return with a vengeance and start interfering with our girl’s sleep (delays her getting to sleep) and food habits again. So I thought I’d share some of the the things that work for us.

My gorgeous naturopath friend, Caitlin, alerted us early on to many of the  nutritional issues we would need to address to help our girl be as well as possible. The one we’ve been able to implement most easily is porridge oats with LSA for breakfast. Our girl can stomach that most of the time and it truly seems to give her boost. Most of the other points Caitlin mentioned are also discussed in this post.

Recently, a friend from school sent me through some notes put together by Melanie Reid, a South Australian dietician who has kindly let me link them to the blog. You can download the powerpoint here.

In summary, Melanie covers the main issues I’ve become aware of, including the ones I’m particularly interested in; glucose levels, food sensitivities and supplements. I’ve previously read that many CFIDS sufferers become intolerant of various foods because of the impact of the illness on digestion. With our girl I’m particularly aware, sadly, of fructose intolerance (apples, pears, onions, leeks, honey, mangoes amongst others) and wheat related issues.

Our girl is 167cms and only 44 kilos, a lovely giraffe like her dad, and I have been finding it really hard to limit her food choices as I’m just so glad when she finds something she feels like. Luckily her body seems to be sending her very clear messages..and she listens to them mostly… although a few sugary products still creep in here and there! Again – there has to be some treats so long as she thinks it’s worth the impact on her symptoms.

Early on she discovered eating straight eggs makes her feel iller afterwards and after a period of craving them and mourning their loss, they have just been dropped completely – although still tolerated in baking etc. She used to love apples but obviously the fructose is a problem as those have been dropped now too. I noticed after we had wheat pasta for the first time in a while the other night she had a major stomach ache. So we go gently on, adapting where it seems to work. And trying not to run out of food types to eat!

As far as supplementing goes there seems to be a consensus that magnesium and omega 3(fish)oils are helpful. Melanie mentions this as well. Our girl used to have no problem taking tablets but the multivitamin supplements are beyond her these days. At the moment the only thing she can manage is the fish oil and I’m just grateful she can manage that.  I haven’t given up the quest for a more manageable multivitamin tablet but tracking one down is still one of the many things on my list of ‘things that might help and should be tried!’

Finally, an interesting note is that for the last few weeks our girl has been finding raw green capsicum helpful before bed to deal with the nausea! Not sure what that’s about but my dear naturopath friend Caitlin, tells me it’s to do with the enzymes helping her digestion (Did I get that right Caitlin?!)Last night she self -medicated with 3 raw mushrooms, some capsicum and 6 cherry tomatoes and had no nausea at all! Fascinating. We shall see how tonight goes. Hopefully she’ll be pulling out of the post Uluru crash soon and the nausea will abate a bit anyway…..

This is a massive topic and I will revisit it in posts to come. In the meantime I’d love to hear your thoughts.


4 Responses to “Nutrition and CFIDS”

  1. Anne Says:

    Hi Annie,

    We have struggled with taking big vitamin tablets too. I was crushing them and making a paste which was possible to take but not pleasant and sometimes seemed to cause nausea. Recently I have been using a fluid – Floradix Epresat Multivatamin Tonic which is easy to take but it does have some fructose in it I think so may not suit. Are you getting the Magnesium powder – it is easy to take.
    Hope this weeks a better one,


    • Annie Says:

      Thanks Anne

      Didn’t know about the magnesium powder, will track it down, also the floradix and see how it goes.
      Is F still feeling a little better? Did he make it to school? H’s snuffly – and I’ve discovered all her friends are constantly at rehearsals so not much incentive to go!

      Thanks so much for the info. Really great.

  2. Anne Says:

    If you want to track down the magnesium and vitamin tonic – I get the mag powder at the Organic Fruit shop in High Street – Ultra Muscleze by Bioceuticals – everyone in the family takes it as it is great for muscle recovery from exercise and it is often recommended for people with Coeliac disease. The vitamin tonic comes from Organic Gertrude in Station St. So sorry to hear that reading is not so much fun, it is a good time to rest away from school with kids sick and the rehearsals on. F has had the best ten days for as long as I can remember so fingers crossed.

    Best wishes,

  3. Annie Says:

    That’s just so great about F. All my fingers and toes are crossed for him.

    Thanks so much for the info about where to get the stuff. Will track it down tomorrow. About to start H on melatonin..except forgot to give it to her in time tonight…ooops bad mother…did I overhear you say F had a course recently?

    H made it down briefly for rehearsal today…provided I stayed in the school… so went to library and covered books. H saw F leaving in the car as we arrived but he didn’t see us. Funny…between them they’re covering almost half a school load maybe??!!

    Talk soon

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