When diets work, and when they don't

Does diet make any difference for symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia?

Like you, I had tried them all: Paleo. Gluten-free. Ketogenic. After reading so many books and online success stories, I felt hopeless. My ME/CFS was too complex for a simple dietary strategy to have an effect. I was right, in part.

It is a fair assumption that what we eat couldn’t possibly have any major effect on complex disease like autoimmunity or intestinal disorders. These problems are too multi-faceted and must require complex solutions.

But before abandoning the idea of diets and nutrition altogether, I invite you to look at this in a different way. Timing is everything.

Diet and nutritional strategies are now the main factors that help me maintain my improved health. But they could not (and did not) work when there were larger issues that had to be addressed first. With bigger problems treated first (like a thyroid disorder), I was then able to notice the effects of dietary change.

So before embarking on a dietary strategy for your chronic health concern, determine the main players. What are the most prominent symptoms? What lab findings are most striking? What treatments should be started first before you can work on diet and nutrition? Don’t put the cart before the horse.

And remember, a nutritional plan is not a short term strategy. You’re choosing a dietary approach for long term health and prevention. Changes can take time and be subtle. Have patience and know that you’re creating better food habits for your future and well being.

dietDr. Craigdiet, nutrrition