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No specific diet has been devised for people with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) or Fibromyalgia (FM), but there are many helpful tips and suggestions. Many patients report an increased sensitivity to foods or additives in food items. Changes have been noted in metabolism, more specifically in how food is digested and converted into energy. Many patients also notice an increased craving for sweets and some may experience symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Excessive intake of carbohydrates may lead to "insulin resistance" which is a separate, serious health problem and should receive proper medical intervention. The goal is for people to make healthier choices in the foods they consume to fuel their bodies and keep them running as well as possible—so, improved nutrition is more of a lifestyle change. 

  • General recommendations are to consume less simple sugars and carbohydrates for the above reasons and to remember that brief, increased "energy" will be quickly reversed.
  • Too much sugar can promote yeast overgrowth (candiasis) as well as provide a suitable breeding ground for many types of bacteria.
  • Too much protein can also be harmful, as this makes the liver and kidneys work harder.
  • Increase essential fatty acids, especially omega-3 rich foods such as flaxseed, walnuts, winter squash, green leafy vegetables, and cold-water fish (like salmon, tuna, or halibut).
  • Reduce or avoid trans-fatty foods such as fried foods, many margarines (especially stick margarinethe worst type), dressings and dips, many baked goods (cakes with icing, creamy fillings and donuts) and snacks (chips and many crackers).
  • Keep meals simple and freshthis helps to avoid food additives, flavor enhancers and artificial coloring agents. Don't over-season dishes and try to eat fresh produce (though in what conditionsthe  produce has been grown in is another complicated issue in itself).
  • Drink enough water so not to dehydrate, but some ME/CFS and FM clinicians have found some patients' bodies won't retain enough of it due to a glitch in an anti-diuretic hormone. Sometimes sodium or certain medications are prescribed— consult your doctor on this. 
  • Consider finding and working with registered dietitians or healthcare practitioners to create a healthy program for specific needs and problems.
  • Consider undergoing allergy testing to make sure you have no food allergies. Symptoms of food allergies do not have to be digestive symptoms or rashes. A wide variety of symptoms, including swollen Eustachean tubes, irritated eyes and neurocognitive problems can be the result of food allergies.