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A slight case of ME/CFS – four years on

I’ve just finished reading my last update, written just over a year ago.  From the ME/CFS perspective, I guess that things are pretty much on a plateau now.  For example, my walking range hasn’t improved much over this last year and I still have to be very careful about what I eat, as my food intolerances can punish me if I am lax in this department.  The first half of 2011 was constrained by my knee injury, surgery to repair the cartilage (or more accurately cut out the wrecked bits).  Knee arthroscopy is now a routine operation, but even so it took about 6 months to recover strength and flexibility in my knee.  No doubt this impacted my general mobility and exercise levels.  I am still sometimes troubled by knee-pain when sitting or in bed.

So one decision that I did make was to set myself the target of reducing my body weight to what it was when I was 30 years of age.  Like most people moving into late middle-age, my weight has been slowly and steadily creeping up over the years; nothing sudden, just the odd pound or so each year.  Achieving this target involved a conscious dietary change.  Given that I already avoid nearly all processed foods and the wheat family, you might think that there is little more that I could do. However, in essence I have materially eliminated carbohydrates and potatoes from my diet, and increased the amount of vegetables and fruit to compensate.   Within six months, I’d lost maybe 25lb, and I’ve lost a few more since.  This is largely what Dr Myhill calls a stone age diet, and it’s very similar to one that Prof Terry Wahls described in her very thought provoking TEDTalk: Minding Your Mitochondria.  An interesting side-effect of moving onto this diet is that my bowels have really settled down, and I now seem to have no sign of “irritable bowel” symptoms.

It has still been a long slow road to recovery, but I regard myself as lucky because none of the ME/CFS sufferers that I know have made anywhere near the improvments that I have, and my life is a world-away from the year that I spend exhausted and bedridden four years ago.