Wednesday, 17 August 2011

A post for Vivacia Dreams

If you haven't yet been to I dream of no ME as I am, then click on the link right now. The blog is both moving and inspirational, within minutes of reading you find yourself desperate to find an answer, or something that could possibly help people with ME.

The aim of this post isn't to overshadow our internet buddy's blog. But to let her know that her blog is an amazing achievement and that she shouldn't lose faith, even when things get a bit rubbish. There are people that you've never even met who care about you. That goes for you readers too.

What is Myalgic Encephalopathy?

According to the ME association, it goes by different names; Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome, and Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome, and it encompasses a myriad of symptoms that also occur in hypothyroidism, coeliac disease, lupus, lyme disease and other illnesses. To see the ME association's list of symptoms please click here.

As we've said before; we're not health practitioners,  just people who like to research and help others, so if there is anything in this post that you think might help, have a chat with your qualified health professional to see what is suitable for you.
In our research we found a few things that might help:

Vitamins and probiotics

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 General supplements. It's been suggested that CFS patients may have lower vitamin levels than people who don't have CFS and positive results have been reported from the use of vitamin and mineral supplementation in patients with CFS.

According to one paper candida yeast infection is often reported to be present, and as a result the normal population of "good" colon bacteria is reduced. Candida can be overcome with probiotics and the candida diet (which I am currently on; check out cinnamon tea and mulberries, our sister blog, for candida safe recipes)

B Vitamins

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In a study comprising of 60 participants with CFS, 50% had low folic acid levels (click here for the ref) and this study found that People with CFS have reduced functional vitamin B status, particularly pyridoxine, vitamin B6.

Folic acid is found in cereals, black eyed peas, spinach, sunflower seeds, okra, pineapple, leafy green vegetables. Click here for a more comprehensive list of folic acid rich foods.
A list of B6 rich foods can be found here 


It has been suggested that patients with CFS have low red blood cell magnesium concentrations. Studies have shown that magnesium supplements led to improvements in measures of energy, pain, emotional reactions, general health and lab measures but not in sleep, physical mobility or social isolation.

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Magnesium can be found in dark chocolate, leafy green vegetables, milk, spinach, peas and black eyed peas, click here for a comprehensive list of magnesium rich foods 

Exercise therapy to reduce fatigue
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This meta-review of 5 studies found that fatigue and physical functioning were improved in CFS patients who received exercise therapy.

Graded Exercise Therapy (GET) was found to make significant improvements in measures of fatigue and physical function in three studies. Two also showed improvement in overall health and one in physiological measurements and symptoms. One of the studies compared different interventions to encourage graded exercise, and found benefits of GET when compared to standardised medical care for all outcomes (i.e. fatigue, pain, sleep, cognitive functioning, anxiety, depression)

Long chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Essential Fatty Acids

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This study  suggests that ME may be associated with persistent viral infection. Which is likely to impair the bodies ability to breakdown long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. They suggest that treatment with virgin cold-pressed non-raffinated evening primrose oil would supply the body with  Gamma Linolenic acid (an anti-inflammatory that can help autoimmune diseases) and other important fats, helping the body to make arachidonic acid a polyunsaturated omega 6, antioxidants and other goodies!
(If you're interested this study discusses clinical advantages of cold-pressed non-raffinated evening primrose oil, if you can't access the article try popping to a public library or university
library - they should have a subscription).

2 studies looked at the effect of supplementing Essential Fatty Acids and they showed an improvement in patient perception of symptoms, depression and a greater shift towards normal levels of cell fatty acid concentration.

Foods high in EFA's: Oily fish, flaxseed oil, grapeseed oil, hemp seeds, walnuts, brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, avocadoes, sesame seeds, pine nuts, pistachios, olives, olive oil, borage oil, evening primrose oil, pecans, almonds, peanuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts.  

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

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CBT has been found to be beneficial to sufferers of CFS, for helping to maintain a positive outlook.  

Massage therapy
image borrowed from this post @ that discusses how to select a massage therapist

Massage therapy has been found to help with fatigue, pain, sleep, depression and a decrease in cortisol levels in the treatment group when compared with a control group.


In one study osteopathy was found to help the treatment group with fatigue, back pain, sleep, anxiety and cognitive function when compared with a control group.
(click here for the ref for osteopathy, cbt and massage therapy studies).


  1. thank you for this, i was so surprised and touched! im so behind on everything, sorry i didnt see it sooner!
    ive bookmarked the page to have a look into further, though most of the things ive tried. maybe ill do a couple of posts on some of the things :)
    people with ME need as much help as they can get, so doing this is so VERY much appreciated xxxx

  2. You're so very welcome!! And we are so pleased that you liked it!!! big internet hugs!