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A question for sufferers of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

(37 Posts)
TigerFeet Wed 30-Jul-08 11:46:22

I am slightly nervous about posting this because I'm sure I sound like a complete nutter. However post I shall because this has been at the back of my mind for some time and I'm not sure how to address it.

Can I ask about symptoms of ME/CFS? I am an utter hypochondriac so I may well be overanalysing this... but...

I struggle with exercise because it makes me so goddam tired. I did 10 mins yesterday on my stepper and today I am exhausted. Despite a good night's sleep I can barely keep my eyes open today. I have tried three or four times over the last couple of years to increase my activity levels but always have the same exhaustion afterwards. I have kept the exercise up for a couple of months or longer but it never got any easier. It's supposed to get easier isn't it? I thought exercising was supposed to raise energy levels hmm. I have always given up the exercise because the exhaustion has driven my depression. If I don't exercise, I don't get so very tired, and the depression is far easier to manage.

However, I am overweight. Obese. Would that make a difference do you think? Perhaps the exhaustion is a side effect of a fat person moving more than usual.

I am forever convincing myself that my health problems are all in my mind (IBS in particular, also generalised shoulder pain and lower back pain and nerve problems in my left leg). Am I just convincing myself I might have some kind of mild CFS, am I just desperately looking for a label?

I know I can google for symptoms grin but I would prefer to ask someone who has lived with CFS so as to get an idea of how debilitating it is and whether I am overegging things.

TIA

shinyshoes Wed 30-Jul-08 11:50:31

I thought I had ME convinced of it actually, I had exactly the same symptoms as you the doctor runa blood test and its come back I have an under active thyroid gland, i'm now on meds

Have you been tested for this?

TigerFeet Wed 30-Jul-08 11:52:24

Well I have, but not recently, not for a year or so

But thyroid function was fine last time.

Worth another test do you think?

bundle Wed 30-Jul-08 11:55:56

doctors investigate what they call Tired All The Time (TATT) with blood tests etc - and some come back with a diagnosis like shinyshoes.

My first impression after reading your post was that your weight will have a lot to do with it - you will feel any kind of exertion if you are unfit and weigh more. And your other conditions like IBS and chronic pain add to the TATT story.

the good news is that exercise has been shown to be as effective as drugs in some trials for treating depression. But I do think you need to pace yourself. Could your GP recommend someone who could help you? My mum was a cardiac outpatient last year and signed up for supervised classes and now does a lot of walking. It's done a great deal for her health smile

shinyshoes Wed 30-Jul-08 11:57:12

Perhaps, mine came on all of a sudden, no warning nothing despite having blood test whilst pregnant etc.

Might be worth mentioning to see if the G.P thinks its worth re-testing, are you going to go to the G.P'S surgery about this condition that you have?

I don't think self-diagnosis is worth doing, I do think G.P.'s advice needs to be taken

bundle Wed 30-Jul-08 11:58:59

gp can also test for anaemia, diabetes etc

TigerFeet Wed 30-Jul-08 12:02:23

Bundle - I did supervised gym classes last year, as prescribed by my GP. I started very slowly, walking on a treadmill and light weight work. Straight afterwards I felt great but the next day... bloody hell I could barely keep my eyes open.

Shiny I do agree that self diagnosis is at best silly, I suppose I am just looking for a pointer as to whether I need to speak to my GP or if it's something I can manage myself without wasting the GP's time.

TigerFeet Wed 30-Jul-08 12:05:24

Oh sorry, should have said, my GP said at the time that the tiredness was a result of my AD's. I am no longer on AD's, my depression is under control and I feel well mentally.

The tiredness isn't general. I do a desk job and if I go to work then have a slow evening in front of the telly I feel fine the next day. The tiredness only kicks in if I have been more active.

saltire Wed 30-Jul-08 12:07:31

Well I ahve Fibromyalgia, which has cgronic fatigue as one of the symptoms.
I don't just get it after exercise though, it can be there all the time. I know people with ME who have the fatigue all the time as well. it could be your weight thats causing the tiredness after exercise - but your weight could be caused by throid problems.

I do however get IBS during a flare up, and chronic pain about 90% of the time, so it may be worth going to your GP and discussing it with him/her

AbricotsSecs Wed 30-Jul-08 12:08:39

Message withdrawn

Cappuccino Wed 30-Jul-08 12:11:48

tiger have responded on sheikh's thread smile

Jux Wed 30-Jul-08 12:13:20

Go to the doctor and tell him/her ALL the symptoms you have mentioned in the OP and any more you have, no matter how silly they seem.

TigerFeet Wed 30-Jul-08 12:13:34

Thanks saltire

Weight deffo not caused by thyroid problems.

I eat well, lots of fruit and veg, lots of lean protein, lots of pasta, rice etc. Emphasis on lots blush. I have cut right back on alcohol and foods laden with saturated fat and additives. Portion sizes seem to be my downfall atm alongside not eating breakfast.

And I don't move enough because of the inevitable next-day-knackeredness.

I think I need to stop being silly.

TigerFeet Wed 30-Jul-08 12:16:10

Oh, more replies

Gluten free? Perhaps worth a try. My GP said I should try eliminating various things from my diet, a couple of weeks at a time, to see if it helped the IBS. Hadn't got as far as gluten yet.

Jux, GP is sick of the sight of me atm I reckon.

bundle Wed 30-Jul-08 12:16:15

i think pacing is the key maybe it started too high for you?

witchandchips Wed 30-Jul-08 12:16:56

could you also be trying to do all or nothing? A step machine is knackering for some-one thats not fit. Could you simply try to walk for 5mins extra a day and see how that goes. If its fine then edge it up to 10mins and so on.

saltire Wed 30-Jul-08 12:19:31

I eliminated gluten for about 4 months, but it made no difference. I also stopped taking anything with Aspartame in it, but again it made no difference. that's not to say it won't help you of course.
Pacing is a term my GP uses a lot, but trying to pace oneself isn't always easy

bundle Wed 30-Jul-08 12:20:58

please don't eliminate gluten or anything else before talking to GP

Marina Wed 30-Jul-08 12:23:18

Even aspartame bundy wink?
TigerFeet, I agree with others that walking is a good way to raise your basic fitness to the level where a stepper is not going to knacker the hell out of you.

TigerFeet Wed 30-Jul-08 12:25:13

I suppose it is very difficult to gauge the starting level isn't it? I am very to realise that I have let myself go so far that the most exercise I should be doing is a five minute brisk walk but I shall try and be bright and realise that I am lucky to be able to do even that. I am by no means debilitated by fatigue although I have been in the past due to AD side effects.

I have discussed elimination with the GP due to IBS - he suggested 2 weeks high fibre diet, 2 weeks low fibre diet, 2 weeks dairy free, 2 weeks gluten free to see if any of the diet variations helped. It's all fairly recent so hadn't got past fiddling with my fibre levels.

Cappuccino Wed 30-Jul-08 12:25:17

Tiger I have an elimination diet prepared for me by a friend, a nutritionist, if you want

email me cappuccino dot mum at googlemail dot com

but I agree, best talking to your GP first before trying anything

Cappuccino Wed 30-Jul-08 12:25:51

Tiger do look at that book and DVD on the weight loss thread

bundle Wed 30-Jul-08 12:27:07

aspartame is the devil's work marina wink

tiger feet, have you read up about fibre? there are lots of diff types (not just high/low) and some types of IBS (there are diff kinds) respond to higher/lower levels of those diff kinds of fibre. had a book on this but gave it to the lovely motherinferior...smile

TigerFeet Wed 30-Jul-08 12:32:31

shit. aspartame.

I am a diet coke addict

Elimination starts there then perhaps? Sigh.

Capp I will deffo look at the yoga book & DVD, thanks /. I did try pilates but found it incredibly hard. I am the world's least co-ordinated person. I had ballet lessons for 7 years as a child in order to fix this... it didn't work grin I will email you when I get home, I can't access my webmail at work. If only they knew how much time I spend on here... they'd block MN and let me into Hotmail for sure grin

Bundle that is interesting about the fibre... I will look into that. What was the book called?

TigerFeet Wed 30-Jul-08 12:38:52

AIBU to start a Diet Coke Addicts support thread? grin

Seriously, I am properly addicted. I have had two cans this morning.

No farking wonder I feel like shit all the time hmm

<<lightbulb>>

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