ME & Vegetarian diet

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Charlotte-Sometimes, Aug 31, 2003.

  1. Charlotte-Sometimes

    Charlotte-Sometimes New Member


    My friend has sufferered from ME since she was 16 (shes now 26). She has also been strictly vegetarian since just before she got sick. She doesn't eat a balanced vegetarian diet - very little protein foods and leguimes etc. In fact, she has an appalling diet - lots of sugary foods, processed foods, salty foods, starchy foods, convienience foods, drinks hardly any water etc etc. She has a few supplements coQ10, B12, and a multivit/mineral

    I take my own nutrition quite seriously (im not vegetarian and I don't have ME) and an aware of the influence my food intake has on my everyday life and functuning.

    Im getting frustrated with her because she is not proactive with her illness in terms of her nutrition. I sound like a broken record saying "eat more protein", "eat foods with essential fatty acid" "eat more wholefoods" "eat less sugary crap" etc etc.

    Can anyone supply me with information/resources on dietry recommendations for ME suffers that I can pass on to her in the hope she will begin to engage in healthy eating.

    Thank You
  2. cureforpain

    cureforpain New Member

    I know you are concerned for your friend's welfare and hopefully people will have lots of good sources of info for you about diet and nutrition.

    But I kind of cringe when I hear that you are getting frustrated with her and telling her how to manage her health. This is really up to her and I fear that if you persist, it may drive a wedge in your friendship.

    So far, there haven't been any clinical studies that I know of that show significant improvement in ME/CFS symptoms from dietary changes. In fact, I recently read a study that revealed that a specific carefully finetuned vitamin supplement program made little difference at all. Anybody else know of any studies?

    There are tons of sources on good nutrition and overall health, including the prevention of diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease, etc. For instance, many nutritionists identify the "Asian Diet Pyramid" as the best for overall health and longevity.

    Some doctors, like Andrew Weil, recommend a low-protein diet, because protein is a dirty-burning fuel and can promote inflammation.

    Other doctors recommend a high-protein diet, and it sounds like many of the people on this message board have gotten great benefits from the Atkins Diet.

    But in the end, how people eat is really their own business. Perhaps the underlying problem is that you are worried that your friend has started to feel hopeless and/or helpless about her illness: that nothing makes any difference so why bother trying... This is a common stage that people go through when dealing with a chronic illness with very little treatment options. In that case, my advice is to ask her if she is feeling discouraged and be there to listen nonjudgmentally.