Posts tagged ‘chronic fatigue.’

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November 18, 2009 at 1:12 pm Leave a comment

CHRONIC FATIGUE – NUTRITION

In my blog on chronic fatigue – diet – I talked about the importance of Low GI eating and how cutting out sugars helped. However, all the things I tried put together didn’t give me a turn around to recovery. But there is one thing which did give me a sudden and marked improvement, and that is the addition of glyconutrients to my diet. If you would like to know more about glyconutrients and what they are, I have done a couple of blogs entitled “Sugars that heal? That doesn’t sound right” and “More about glyconutrients”, so I suggest you go have a read of these blogs, as I won’t repeat that information here.

How did I hear about glyconutrients? I was at the point of desperation. I was still working full time, but not really managing to keep up with the house and/or the kids. I had just come to the conclusion that I would have to give up full time work and drop back to part time hours because I knew I wasn’t really coping. I was sharing with a counsellor how hard I was finding life. She knew someone who had recovered from chronic fatigue after taking glyconutrients, and she gave me the contact details. I met with Elizabeth the next day and after hearing her story started taking glyconutrients that night. Elizabeth warned me that my body could initially have a negative reaction as it started to clear itself of toxins and get the immune system working again. She also emphasised that glyconutrients are a food to the body, not a drug. So I was not to expect any “miracle cure” from taking glyconutrients – my body would work through its own healing process in its own time. Since we are all individuals it is hard to predict how someone’s body will respond.

I was delighted to find that my body responded immediately, and positively. The first thing I noticed was that the mental fogginess lifted. You know that feeling you have when you’ve got a cold and your head is all stuffed up – you feel like your head is packed with cotton wool and your brain just won’t function properly.  I had always been an efficient and organised person at work, and I really minded the fact that I could no longer perform well. Within two weeks of starting to take glyconutrients I started to feel more like my old self. At last I could concentrate and remember! What a relief! I didn’t actually get ANY negative reaction from glyconutrients. It was as if my body just loved it and put it immediately to work.

I quickly started to feel less physically tired, but the physical healing has taken place gradually. It was 2004 when I got sick, and my first major milestone in recovery was completing the 53 kilometre “Great Bike Ride” in November 2007. That was something I couldn’t have done BEFORE I got chronic fatigue, but it was my first confirmation that I was really well after having had chronic fatigue, as I could do that amount of exercise without getting the dreadful whammy effect afterwards.

My various achievements since then have included:

* a 567 kilometre “Great Escapade” 9 day bike ride around the south west of Western Australia

* a Mini Triathlon where I came first in my age group (50-55) and 12th overall.

* reducing my time by half an hour when I did the 53 kilometre “Great Bike Ride” in 2008

* coming 8th in my age group in my first ever 4 kilometre fun run.

I can confidently say that I am not only well, but I am better than I have ever been. I am fitter now than I was in my 20s and 30s. I am loving being well and having lots of energy.

I am still taking glyconutrients, along with these other supplements –

  • an antioxidant to protect my body from free radicals;

  • natural plant-based phytosterols to assist with hormonal balance; and

  • a plant sourced multivitamin and mineral supplement that can be easily absorbed by the body.

I highly recommend these products to you.

For more information about these, go to mannapages.com/suzi, click on Browse Products, and choose Optimal Health. Scroll down to the Health Solutions Starter sets to get the basic four products I take to enjoy optimal health.

I invite you to contact me on mobile 0418 189 435 or email suzimorrisblog@gmail.com

May 12, 2009 at 1:32 pm Leave a comment

CHRONIC FATIGUE – EXERCISE MINDSET

Continuing on from my last blog on exercise, one of the biggest battles I had to face with chronic fatigue was not in my physical body, but in my mind. You develop this energy-poverty mindset. Have you heard of the poverty mindset that low income earners can get stuck in? This is the same idea, but the poverty arises from a lack of energy rather than a lack of money. You get to know that you don’t have enough energy. You start to try and hoard it, to conserve it, to retain it in case you need it. It’s a dreadful feeling to hit that physical wall – to totally run out of energy before you’ve run out of day, to have nothing with which you can keep going to do the things you need to do (eg care for the family). So you begin to try and live within the constraints of the small amount of energy you have. You don’t want to do too much in case you over-step the mark. If you do a bit more, you are fearful of what the consequences will be. Will you be so sore the next day that you regret it? If you do too much today, will you be unable to do anything tomorrow? Do you see what I mean?

As I began to recover, I found myself unwilling to stretch myself, to try new things, to achieve more. What helped me greatly was to set a goal and work (very gradually) towards achieving that goal. For example, my first goal in 2007 was to do the Great Bike Ride, a 53 km trip around the Swan River from Perth to Fremantle and back to Perth. I had done a bit of bike riding over the years, but my maximum was about 15 kilometres. To think of riding 53 kilometres was a big thing for me. But I got a riding buddy and I started off at the 15 kilometre mark and increased it gradually week by week until I had ridden 60 kilometres. Unfortunately, the week before the event I got a cold and the doctor advised me not to ride. I was so determined – so much effort had gone into preparing for the ride over a long period of time and I was not going to miss out on the opportunity to achieve what I had set out to do. I did the ride in about 2 hours 33 minutes, which was a good time for me. It did set me back health wise – as the doctor predicted I was sick with the flu for two weeks after that. But what it did for me mentally was worth it. I had never conceived of myself as being able to ride 53 kilometres, but I did it. I then began to wonder – what else is there that I have never thought I would be able to do that might actually be possible for me?

My next goal was the “City to Surf” fun run. I don’t know what possessed me to think of this, as I had never run before in my life and I was over 50, but I started at the end of April and the run was at the end of August 2008. I began by walking and doing 10 steps of running after every 30 walking steps, then increasing the number of running steps until I could do a gentle jog for 10 minutes or so. Then I enrolled in an exercise class which included some cardio work and I very gradually built up. Some physical mechanical problems arose due to my poor running style and lack of good running shoes. I worked with a physiotherapist to address these problems. I was not able to do the 12 k run but I did the 4 k run and came 8th in my age group with a time of 29 minutes.

In 2008 I did the Great Bike Ride again, this time in 2 hours and 3 minutes (I cut 30 minutes off my previous time!). Then I was on a roll. I enrolled in a triathlon training course adding swimming to the mix, and came first in my age group and 12th overall. Swimming was my weak link – I hadn’t swum since I was at primary school over 40 years ago!

Now I feel like I can accomplish anything I want to do. I completed a 567 km bike ride around the very hilly south west in March-April this year and I’m going to try for the 12 km City to Surf fun run in August. What time will I achieve in the Great Bike Ride this year? I’ll let you know!!! Next year I will do another triathlon.

As I have set and achieved each goal it has proved my wellness to me. I am not just back to where I was before I got chronic fatigue – I’m much better than that! I am fitter now than I was in my 20s and 30s. And I now believe that there is much more I can accomplish.

I still find myself tending to hold back just a bit, to be unwilling to go all out, to totally expend my energy in case I hit that wall again. That was such an awful feeling, I never want to go back there. In my training sessions I will start off at an easy pace and maintain that until the final 10 or 15 minutes. Once I know that I have just about made the distance then I am willing to take that risk of going all out for a short while. I hope that as I develop confidence over time I will hold myself back less and less and so I will accomplish more and more. Do you see how my biggest battle is in my mind rather than in my body?

As I mentioned in my previous blog on exercise, a central factor in my being able to make progress with the exercise has been the use of a non-sugar laden energy drink (EMPACT) to extend my stamina while doing workouts, and a post-exercise recovery aid (SPORT). Mentally, this boosted me up and made me more willing to go for it during my exercise sessions because:

1 I believe the EMPACT sports drink give me the stamina to last out a tough session; and

2 I know that the SPORT tablets help me recover afterwards without the dreadful “whammy” effect of dreadfully sore muscles.

For more information about these, go to mannapages.com/suzi, click on Browse Products, and choose Performance Nutrition. Or contact me on mobile 0418 189 435 or email suzimorrisblog@gmail.com.

April 30, 2009 at 11:13 am Leave a comment

CHRONIC FATIGUE – EXERCISE

It’s a double-edged sword when you’ve got chronic fatigue.

You’ve got no energy. You want to be doing things, but you can’t. When you do too much there’s a horrible “whammy” effect – totally drained of energy and a dreadfully sluggish aching body with sore muscles that lasts for days afterwards. There is no such thing as normal recovery time when you have chronic fatigue. It can take nearly a week to recover from even a moderate exercise session.

It doesn’t help to rest. The less you do the less you feel like doing, then the less you are able to do. One of the keys to recovery is to keep trying. My doctor spoke to me about “moderation” and “balance”. He said it just a matter of energy in and energy out. Yeah, right!! All the normal equations just don’t work when you have chronic fatigue. I found it varied on a daily basis. One day I COULD do something, the next day (same diet, same amount of sleep) I just COULD NOT do it! It was so frustrating!

My mantra became – do SOMETHING every day.

Prior to having chronic fatigue I had been working out on a home gym. Once I had chronic fatigue there were some days when all I could do was the stretching session I would normally have done BEFORE I started my workout. If that was all I could do that day, I at least did that. Some days I could do more, and they were good days. You have to reduce your expectations. Your body cannot perform as it once did – you physically hit a wall, and that’s it ….. no more energy.

Don’t wait until you FEEL LIKE working out – you’ll be waiting forever. Your muscles will atrophy, you’ll lose your flexibility and balance and then any movement will be difficult. Do SOMETHING every day. Keep yourself moving and stretching. Keep trying to do more. I often did not feel like working out, I did not enjoy working out, and I didn’t feel great afterwards. But when I didn’t bother to work out – I didn’t feel any better for it. I didn’t have more energy for other things. I didn’t feel positive or powerful or in control. When I didn’t work out I felt more tired and more depressed. I found I was better if I did something rather than nothing.

And by keeping on with it, by doing whatever something you are able to do, and adjusting your diet and nutrition and many other little things you gradually find that you are able to do more…… and more. You feel stronger and better, and gradually you get well.

One thing I MUST mention, as it has been a central factor in my being able to make progress with the exercise, is the use of a non-sugar laden energy drink (EMPACT) to extend my stamina while doing workouts, and a post-exercise recovery aid (SPORT). For more information about these, go to mannapages.com/suzi, click on Browse Products, and choose Performance Nutrition. Or contact me on mobile 0418 189 435 or email suzimorrisblog@gmail.com.

There is one other very important part to this exercise session, but I will make that a separate post, called EXERCISE MINDSET.  Stay tuned for this very important factor.

April 29, 2009 at 1:33 pm Leave a comment

CHRONIC FATIGUE – DIET

I’m doing a series of posts to give you a bit more information about my battle with chronic fatigue – what worked, what didn’t, where to go for more help.  I will add to it on a regular basis as I get time.

There is no one thing which provides the whole answer. It is a combination of things that help: diet, exercise, supplements being the main ones, so I will start with DIET.

DIET

When you have chronic fatigue, managing your energy levels is difficult. Mostly, you just run out of energy before you run out of day. I remember thinking to myself that it was like having one of those small espresso cups of coffee and that was your energy quota for the day. Not nearly sufficient to get you through a normal 16 hour day! And when it was gone, it was gone. There was no more energy. You found yourself almost at the point of collapse. So one became very cautious about how one spent that energy, and very focused on ways to top it up.

At the beginning of my battle, I used to eat foods that I thought would give me an energy boost – muesli bars, nut bars, chocolate bars etc. Most of these were sugar-laden and provided a short term energy spike which led to a later (even bigger) energy slump. I realised that they weren’t helping me.

My doctor suggested eating foods which are as fresh as possible – young fruits and vegetables that are just picked. Things like sprouts and lots of leafy green vegetables. I tried this, but it didn’t make much difference to me.

In order to give my body the maximum energy and try to maintain that energy at an even level throughout the day, I started eating low GI foods. This turned out to be one of the best things I ever did, and I still eat low GI foods today. Low GI foods are those that contain protein, are more dense, and take longer for your body to process. Therefore they deliver energy over a longer period of time and avoid the energy spikes that come from eating high GI carbohydrate rich and sugar laden foods. For more information on Low GI eating, go to http://www.glycemicindex.com for a list of foods and their GI. You will also find some great low GI recipes at http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/collections/low+gi

I also eliminated ALL sugar from my diet. I had been a “cookie monster”, loving my cakes and biscuits. I had never had a weight problem and so never needed to pay any particular attention to my diet. I ate pretty much what I liked. However, I hated having chronic fatigue so much and was so determined to get better that I thought it was worth the sacrifice to cut sugars out of my diet. Initially it was difficult, but once you have been through the “withdrawal” period your body adjusts and you no longer crave the sugar. After a while, the sweet treats you used to love are no longer enjoyable, as they taste just TOO sweet. I was quite zealous about this. No sugary drinks at all, no lollies, chocolate, cakes, biscuits, ice creams. If I allowed myself to have even just one lolly it would start the craving for more. Like an alcoholic I suppose – can’t stop at just one drink!

Cutting out sugars from my diet is one thing that did make a marked difference. It seemed to make my body less achey and a little less lethargic. If I indulged and had sweets one evening when we were out to tea I really regretted it the next day, as I felt heaps worse. I learned that it was worth making the sacrifice. Interestingly enough, now that I have recovered I find that I can eat the sweet stuff again without any after effects. I still stick with a low GI diet, but I’m not quite so extreme about eliminating ALL sugars.

Cutting out all sugars is one thing I would highly recommend if you have chronic fatigue. When I met other people with chronic fatigue I would tell them of how much I had benefited from cutting out sugars, but they were horrified and said they couldn’t do THAT! I was surprised at their reaction – I was so desperate I would have done anything to get well, but they preferred to stay sick. Go figure! If you need more convincing that sugar is not good for you, go to http://www.formerfatguy.com/articles/124reasons-no-sugar.asp

I also cut out tea, coffee and alcohol. I wanted to keep my body as “clean” as possible and not give it any toxin load to cope with. Again, this seemed to help, and I would recommend you try it. I drank lots of plain water and green tea (for its anti-oxidants). I really enjoy a glass of wine, but again I decided it was worth the sacrifice to be well. At social events I would drink soda water, either plain or with a small amount of natural orange juice (no added sugar!).  Again, now that I am well I find it doesn’t affect me at all to have a glass of wine.  But while I was sick, it make a big difference to cut it out.

I used to eat a lot of plain yogurt – it is good for your intestinal health. However I discovered much later that although I am not lactose intolerant I actually do better on a non-dairy diet. Cutting out dairy foods seems to agree with my body, and I still use only soy milk and keep the use of cheese to a minimum.

I discovered the benefits of a non-dairy diet while on a liver-cleansing diet. I would never have thought to try this, but my doctor discovered that my liver was not doing well as a result of some medicine I had been taking and he put me on a liver cleansing diet. I was already 2 years into my healing journey by then. I wasn’t happy about this to start with, but it did make a difference to how I felt and it did fix my liver problem. A sluggish liver that is not performing properly can make you feel terrible. So a liver cleansing diet is always worth a try.

What works as far as diet is concerned is a very personal thing. I have told you what works for me, but we are all different. If you want to be well, it is worth trying these suggestions. Don’t make excuses in your own mind about why you shouldn’t try it – have a go and if it makes a difference to you, then you will be glad you did.

CONTACT SUZI

Email:  sumos@westnet.com.au

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/SuziMorris

Myspace:  www.myspace.com/suzi1956

Squidoo lens:  http://www.squidoo.com/HealthOver50

Business Building:  http://sumos.magneticsponsoringonline.com

April 27, 2009 at 3:42 am Leave a comment

Sugars that Heal??? That doesn’t sound right!

We’ve been bombarded by the media with warnings about the evils of consuming too much sugar. “Sugars That Heal” sounds like a contradiction in terms to us.

It is true that too much of the wrong kind of sugar is NOT good for you. If you need convincing of this, read 124 Ways Sugar Can Ruin Your Health by Nancy Appleton at http://www.formerfatguy.com/articles/124reasons-no-sugar.asp

As with most things though, moderation is the key! Unfortunately, there is a lot of sugar hidden in processed foods that we don’t even know about (unless we’re a diligent label reader), so moderating our sugar intake is difficult.

However, it turns out that not all sugars are bad! The “Sugars That Heal” are glyconutrients – also known as saccharides or plant sugars (very different from the white stuff you put in your coffee each morning). Glyconutrients are one of the most important breakthroughs in recent medical science.

Glyconutrients are essential for immune system function and inter-cellular communication within the body. A study published in Harper’s Biochemistry reported that the body needs eight specific sugars and that only two of them are prominent in our modern diets. (1)

8essentials1
Every cell in every system of every human organ requires these eight essential sugars. We don’t get all the glyconutrients we need from our modern western diet, even when we concentrate on eating fresh, raw plant foods. Some reasons for this are:

– Green harvesting of produce – bananas and tomatoes are green even as they are shipped!
– Agricultural food crops are grown in mineral depleted soils
– The use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and preservatives
– Modern food processing and methods of packaging.

We are consuming an increasing amount of foods which are calorie dense but nutrionally inadequate. Look at the average diet of children today – soft drinks, processed cereal, pizza, lollies, fast food and their favorite and often only source of vegetables: French fries. Could this be why we are seeing a dramatic rise in ADHD? Autism has gone from 1 in 10,000 children to 1 in 150 in just ten years. Adult-onset diabetes is occurring at epidemic rates in children as young as eight.

Adults are not faring any better with their food choices, as this quote from the Gale Encyclopedia of Public Health shows:

“It is recognized that dietary behaviors influence the development of many chronic diseases, including coronary heart disease, some cancers (e.g. breast, colon, prostate, stomach, and cancers of the head and neck), type II diabetes mellitus, and osteoporosis. Recommendations for healthful dietary behavior include limiting consumption of high-fat foods, having a high intake of fruit and vegetables, increasing fiber, and controlling caloric intake to prevent obesity.” (2)

The high incidence of obesity, heart disease, cancer and type II diabetes show the lack of success dietary changes are having in preventing disease.

What can take us from this downhill spiral of poor nutrition and its consequences to the sought-after state of vibrant health and wellness? Glyconutrients provide the missing link in nutrition to boost the body’s immune system, and increase energy levels. These “sugars that heal” are certainly a good news story.

You may be asking yourself : ‘What diseases do the glyconutrients treat?’ The answer is: NONE! Glyconutrients don’t ‘treat diseases’, their role is to improve cell to cell communication and thus promote optimal health in your body.

From my own experience having battled with chronic fatigue I know that I had an immediate improvement when I began taking glyconutrients. After continuing to take glyconutrients for four years I now enjoy better health than I have ever experienced in my life before.

Are these “sugars that heal” really a better solution for vibrant health and wellness? I encourage you to find out for yourself. Go to http://www.mannapages.com/suzi if you would like to see product information, or email me if you have questions: SuziMorrisBlog@gmail.com.

REFERENCES:
(1) Murray RK, Granner DK, Mayes PA, Rodwell VW (eds): Harper’s Biochemistry. Stamford, Appleton and Lange; 2000:677-677.
(2) ( Author Info: KAREN GLANZ, JAY MADDOCK, The Gale Group Inc., Macmillan Reference USA, New York, Gale Encyclopedia of Public Health, 2002 found on the web at http://www.healthline.com/galecontent/behavior-health-related/2).

January 31, 2009 at 2:04 am Leave a comment

Hello world!

I hope that you will find information on this site which will challenge, inspire, and inform you in your quest to be the best that you can be. It is my aim to assist you to attain a level of health which will let you do all the things you want and live life to the full as you “mature”. I think age is just a number and getting older does not mean you have to suffer with arthritis, lose muscle tone and bone density or live in a fog of forgetfulness. I believe strongly in proactive health and I take full responsibility for where I am at in life and the quality of life I enjoy.  I have recovered from chronic fatigue and I have a story to tell.

In my future blogs I will share with you the things that have worked for me in terms of nutrition, exercise and mental attitude, in the hope that you will find something useful.

Be your best.

January 27, 2009 at 10:48 am 2 comments


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