Any CFSers really feel better after losing weight?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Cinderbug, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. Cinderbug

    Cinderbug New Member

    I gained 40 pound when I got sick 3 1/2 years ago.

    Now all I hear is that I would feel much better if I lost weight. Doctors and family alike act like it is my weight that is making me feel so bad. I cannot walk very far at all without crashing and feeling terrable.

    I know, though, that I felt this way BEFORE my weight gain. For that reason I doubt my health will improve much Though I truely hope it does.

    I started my diet two weeks ago and have lost 7 pounds and will continue to lose until I am at a healthier weight.

    Has anyone actully had the intense fatigue and post exhertional malaise go away or improve after weight loss?


  2. ladybugmandy

    ladybugmandy Member

    cindy...your doctors are idiots. you need to see a CFS specialist and start proper treatment. please do not do any vigorous exercise!

  3. MIssAutumn

    MIssAutumn New Member

    I did feel better when I started losing weight but that's because I went on a low carb eating plan and a high carb sugar diet is the worse thing anyone with FM can do. I realized how bad I felt hours after eating ice cream, my favorite. And the phony sweeteners are just as bad even Splenda, if not worse!
    The average wight gain for FM suffers is 36 lbs. And it is hard to lose, like Olivia said, do baby steps and don't over do and Don't get frustrated, it is hard to lose because of the lack of cell energy we suffer from but it can be done.

    So in a way those people are right but for the wrong reasons! Losing weight will not make the symptoms go away just ease them some. I've had this for over 40 years but went into the biggy flare 6 years ago. Try different things and see what works for you, the low carb diet, though, has been proven to relieve symptoms if not get rid of some.

    Good luck!!!

  4. gb66

    gb66 Well-Known Member

    I gained 40 pounds the first year after I became ill with CF/FM. I was told the same thing regarding my knee pain which is a combination of arthritis and FM. I have gradually lost about 25 pounds over the years and my knee pain has greatly improved.

    I haven't noticed any difference in the CFS or in the fibro pain. They continue to get a little worse as the years go by, but aging has something to do with it also. I have had this for 30 years (and counting !!).

    I do feel better in one way though, I don't get out of breath as easily. I weighed 116 before I got sick, 106 after it hit, and went up to 146 the first year. Then, I continued to gain and got up to 175. Now I stay at about 150 or so. I am 5' 4" tall. What a difference. Before this illness I never went over 125 max. and thought I was "fat" then. Oh for the good old days !.Forgot to mention that I lost weight by following the FDA diet pyramid. It's about portion control mostly. GB66
    [This Message was Edited on 04/26/2009]
    [This Message was Edited on 04/26/2009]
  5. heapsreal

    heapsreal New Member

    I think intense aerobic training is no good for cfs, believe it or not i think weight training is a better alternative, it is easier to control the intensity and easier to recover from. I weight train and make sure i dont get out of breath, sometimes doing 1 repatition at a time with a good break like a mintue or 2 before doing another repetition, eg 1-2 push ups rest for a minute or 2 then do another 1-2 pushups, not recommending push ups but just an example. its easier if you have some equipment at home then you can train when you want for as short a time as you want too.

    If you feel sick when you start, i would end it there and try again tomorrow. You only need 2 work outs a week to improve your strength and tone and you should feel a good tired when finished not wiped out, thats a sign its to intense, so is the breathing heavy when exercising with cfs.

    good luck with the weight loss, cut the carbs, it helps suppress the appetitte.
  6. luckyman

    luckyman New Member

    I find it interesting that people with FMS gain an average of 36 pounds. I know that we are less active, and our metebolism must slow down so that even when we are at rest we burn fewer calories than a normal person at rest. Do you have a reference to this figure? If so will you please find a link and post it. This is just one of many abnormalities that can be measured. I'm thinking of compiling a list and would appreciate your help. Thanks.
  7. bigmama2

    bigmama2 New Member

    hi cindy

    i have cfs- was fairly severe too. i used to be thin and fit. i have gained massive weight (over 100 lbs) due to food addiction and also the massive inactivity of cfs. in my case- my weight does not affect my cfs. my weight gain negatively effects my general health, and my looks, and my dating life etc, but not my cfs.

    i felt exhausted when my cfs started - when i was thin and fit. due to cfs i had to stop so many active activities. then the weight piled on. and on. and yes i have heard a million times- the problem is my weight. people think if you are fat that fatness is the causes of any or all of your health problems. so i tell them- "what, if you are fat you are immune from getting any illnesses, like aids, MS, etc. if an obese person with aids loses weight does their aids magicly disappear??? "

    anywho-- i am still very fat, but due to cfs treatments (adrenal, valtrex, supps, rest,) i am getting so much better. so that proves that my severe fatigue/illness was not due to my fatness!!!

    also my brother has cfs- and gained a lot of weight. he later lost 40 lbs, and it has not helped his cfs at all.

    of course losing weight will greatly help ones general overall health, but dont expect much improvement of your cfs.
    [This Message was Edited on 04/26/2009]
  8. gb66

    gb66 Well-Known Member

    I was more active after I got CFS than before because I had been staying home prior to the onset on the illness for years raising the kids. They were in their teens at the time and didn't keep me that busy, physically.

    After I got CFS/FM I was in college part time and worked for awhile. Much more active. I still gained 40 pounds the first year and had never been overweight in my life, usually under weight. I know, in my case, it was the illness that caused the weight gain. I wish I knew why. GB66
  9. sascha

    sascha Member

    it felt like a triumph; a victory. but, no, it didn't eliminate cfids symptoms.

    then i gained 20 pounds back (of the 35 i lost). i know from lots of experience i just feel better about myself when i have the weight factor under control. i feel better about wearing clothes, seeing people, going out, etc. and it does help me to some extent walking, going up stairs, getting in and out of cars.

    because of my almost complete inability to move and exert myself, i'm trying another route (i'm determined to slowly get ten pounds of the 20 i gained back off)--i'm having two main meals a day, and a couple of small snacks. it's kind of fun. and for those two meals, i stay within my guidelines of no wheat, sugar, chocolate (well, i've had a few lapses on the chocolate front), but i just eat comfortably and have a nice unworried conscience at those meals. i don't count calories or feel guilty or worry about portion sizes. and i'm losing! clothes fitting better. seems, oddly, to make sense for me to follow this plan for now.

    psychologically it helps me to feel i have this one area of my life under control when so much of life seems uncontrollable- and it is under my control- for now anyway- we'll see how it goes. good luck! sascha
  10. richvank

    richvank New Member

    Hi, all.

    For what it's worth, in the Glutathione Depletion--Methylation Cycle Block hypothesis, weight gain is an effect of CFS, rather than the cause. Losing weight can bring some advantages, as people have already posted, in terms of one's self-image, being able to move more easily, less load on the heart, and other things, but it won't cure CFS. The process of losing weight, especially if it's done rapidly, can even make a person with CFS feel worse, because of the mobilization of lipid-soluble toxins to the blood stream in the presence of a detox system that is not working well because of the methylation cycle block and glutathione depletion.

    In the GD-MCB hypothesis, weight gain occurs when the PWC consumes carbohydrates and/or fats at a rate higher than the rate at which they can be oxidized for fuel. This rate of oxidation is limited in the PWC, because there is a partial block in the Krebs cycle at the enzyme aconitase, as a result of elevations in the concentrations of reactive oxygen species. The latter occurs because of depletion of glutathione, which is the basis of the body's antioxidant enzyme system.

    Carbohydrates and fats must enter the Krebs cycle at acetyl CoA, which is upstream of this partial block. That's why PWCs can't oxidize them very well. When carbs can't be "burned" in the Krebs cycle, the resulting pyruvate and lactate are sent to the liver and converted back to glucose by the process of gluconeogenesis. This raises the blood glucose level, and the pancreas responds by putting out more insulin. When the insulin level rises high enough, the glucose is converted to fats and stored in the fat cells, which produces the weight gain. The fats coming directly from the diet that cannot be burned are also stored in the fat cells.

    The inability of the Krebs cycle to accept fats at a normal rate is also the explanation for the stubbornness of the weight gain in CFS. In order to bring the weight down, the excess fat has to be oxidized, and the Krebs cycles can't do that at a normal rate because of the partial block. So all those people who blame PWCs for not losing weight are viewing it from the point of view of a person whose Krebs cycles are working normally. They have no idea what it's like trying to lose weight when the fire has gone out in your "fat furnaces"!

    Protein in the diet of a PWC is a different story. Proteins are broken down into amino acids, and most of the amino acids can readily be converted from one to another (if there is enough vitamin B6) and can be fed into the Krebs cycle downstream of the partial block. Therefore, PWCs can burn protein for fuel without gaining weight, and this also explains why many report having more energy and feeling better on a high-protein diet.

    However, the long-term solution is to lift the methylation cycle partial block, which in turn will allow glutathione to come back up to normal and will then lower the concentrations of the reactive oxygen species and will lift the partial block in the Krebs cycle. Then the person will be able to burn carbs and fats normally again, and the weight can be more easily brought back under control.

    If this sounds like a "happy ever after" story, that's what it is intended to be, but it's not a fairy tale. It's for real. If you want to know about the test for the methylation cycle block and glutathione depletion, and the low-cost, over-the-counter treatment for it, look for some of my recent posts. I'm not selling anything, and am not financially involved with either the test or the treatment.

    Best regards,


    [This Message was Edited on 04/27/2009]
  11. Cinderbug

    Cinderbug New Member

    Thanks to everybody for helping me with this. I really appreciate how others feel after they lose weight.

    I cannot walk out sid more than maybe 30 feet to get to the car. I had to give up even driving 3 years ago due to lack of concentration.

    I know this severe exhaustion is so much more than weight, but like many of you mentioned, at least I will look better and have better self esteem while sitting in my house!

    I am writing down every calorie I eat. I am on a 1200 calorie diet. Even VERY light exercise makes me feel so drained so this will have to be done with diet only.

    Rich, I do also monitor my fat grams as well. Thanks for explaining that concept.

    I feel less alone in this endeavor now and I will let you know when I am lighter . I know this prolem is so much more than weight, but like you all said, the weight doesn't help.

    Thanks for your replies!