Nutritional therapy: supporting recovery from ME, Fibromyalgia & CFS

Using nutritional therapy to support recovery from ME, Fibromyalgia or CFS helps to shorten the recovery journey.

Tackling your diet is a massive task when you are well.  When you have a chronic fatigue condition, it can seem like an impossible task.  Changing your eating habits takes effort and energy, two of the things that are in really short supply when you have ME, Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

The approach we use within The Chrysalis Effect is to work with qualified nutritional therapists who have specialised in chronic fatigue recovery. They understand all about the conditions and how nutritional therapy can help to support your recovery.  This includes appreciating and understanding how challenging it can be to make some of the changes that may be required.

Dealing with digestive tract issues

Not every client requires nutritional support, but many do because digestive tract issues are a common set of symptoms associated with chronic fatigue conditions.  Things like Irritable Bowel syndrome (IBS), food sensitivities, intolerances, allergies, constipation, diarrhoea, leaky gut syndrome – the list goes on, with many more symptoms besides these ones.  Many of those with ME, Fibromyalgia and CFS know that their symptoms are made worse by stressful situations and anxiety.

This is all part of the Dominoe Effect – follow this link here to read all about how stress triggers a series of reactions which can seriously impact our health over the longer term.

Too much information!

There are lots of different pieces of information and advice available about nutritional therapy via the internet and medical practitioners.  It can be really confusing to know what to do for the best.

  • If I try something and it doesn’t seem to be working, do I stick with it or abandon it?
  • How long will it take to work?
  • Does it need something else alongside it to make it more effective?
  • Is it all a big con anyway? !

Trying to work it out on your own can add to the anxiety and worry, which in turn makes you feel worse.

One of the benefits of working with a Chrysalis Effect nutritional therapist is that you tap into their experience.  They have experience of supporting recoverers back to health and understand the best way to help you.

How nutritional therapy can help you

The actual work done varies hugely as it is tailored to each client’s unique circumstances.  The starting point is always a thorough investigation at the initial consultation.  It is quite common for the focus to start on adrenal glands and thyroid gland function.  Improving the performance of these glands can have a significant impact on energy levels in a relatively short space of time.

Our nutritional therapists work with an holistic approach.  This means that they take into account everything that is going on for you, as well as considering areas such as mineral and vitamin function, heavy metal toxicity, parasitic activity etc. etc.  Their work is aimed at rebalancing your body to address the physical symptoms associated with chronic fatigue conditions, as well as improving energy level.

The Chrysalis Effect team approach

Chrysalis Effect Team
Chrysalis Effect team approach

Within The Chrysalis Effect, practitioners work as a team.  We understand that one single practitioner is unlikely to have all of the tools required to help you get your life back.  Chronic fatigue conditions are as complicated and diverse as the people who live with them.  So we have a diverse team of specialists who bring different skill sets.  This means that we are able to cross refer you to the specialist you need.

But we don’t just push you around from one practitioner to another.  You have a lead practitioner who delivers the majority of your recovery programme as well as co-ordinating any referrals and progress reviews.  You are in safe hands the whole way!

The approach cuts out a lot of the worry and guesswork, helping to shortcut your journey back to health.

Get in touch to find out more

Ready for change?

If you would like to know more about how nutritional therapy can help you, why not arrange a complementary 30 minute Health Profile Review?

You can start this off by completing the Online Health Profile.  Once submitted, Suzanne will contact you to arrange a convenient time for your 30 minute telephone or Skype call.

If you have any questions, or would just like to chat then

  • call 07973 305093
  • email
  • fill in the form on the contact page Reconnecting You

The Dominoe Effect: how stress links to Chronic Fatigue

The Dominoe Effect

The Dominoe Effect begins with a trigger.  This can be anything that causes our body to react and switch on our fight, flight or freeze response.  The trigger can be anything that causes a rise in our stress and anxiety levels.  They vary enormously from person to person.  A trigger doesn’t have to be a big, dramatic situation.  In fact, it’s more likely to be lower level stressful situations or anxious moments that are triggered repeatedly throughout the day.

When we encounter a stressful situation, our adrenal glands get to work producing adrenaline.  This hormone that rushes around our body preparing us to do something, usually to fight, flee, or freeze.

Adrenaline does this by setting off a series of chemical reactions (this is the Dominoe Effect) that put our bodies on red alert.  Adrenaline prepares us to do whatever is necessary to deal with the situation.  This state of readiness means that our metabolic rate is increased so that we have more energy to allow us to react.  Our heart rate increases to move our blood around our bodies quickly, our digestion process is slowed right down as is our immune system function.  Neither of these processes are a priority when dealing with an emergency.

The evolution of our stress triggers

This red alert system was designed to deal immediately with a threat.  If you think of this in “caveman” terms, a threat may have been coming across a sabre toothed tiger and needing to fight it, run away from it or play dead until the tiger goes away!

Dominoe EffectThe action, and outcome, take place quickly – you either escape, are eaten or are left alone!  Whichever way it pans out, the emergency is over in a short space of time.  If you escaped, or played dead really well, then your body has the chance to calm down.  The adrenaline levels drop off and your body returns to normal function.  The drop in adrenaline allows your digestive and immune systems to switch back on.  Theses systems are now a priority as we need replace the energy used up during the emergency, and maybe to help deal with injuries.  (If you were eaten, well, let’s leave that thought right there…..

Zooming forward to modern day life, we don’t tend to encounter too many tigers.  We do encounter situations where the stress response is very similar i.e. our chemical reaction to a situation follows the same path, with adrenaline whizzing around our system.  Problem is, we don’t usually have the opportunity to release that adrenaline (fight, flee or freeze) and then have the opportunity for our systems to return to normal functions.

Adrenal gland function

If our adrenal system is constantly being triggered throughout the day, our bodies are at red alert more often than they are in “normal” mode…..and then we find ourselves in The Dominoe Effect.

Dominoe Effect and triggers
Tigger and cycle of events

The ability of the adrenal glands and the thyroid gland to keep up with the “red alert” demands become compromised.  They are simply working too hard.  In fact, if they spend too much time working and not enough time resting, it can lead to adrenal  and thyroid exhaustion.

Overactivity in the thyroid gland impacts on our cognitive function, meaning that our ability to think is affected.  “Fibro fog” is a good example of this where we struggle to think of the right word, put a name to a face or think in a clear manner.

The impact of stress on the digestive tract

Our digestion is constantly being given a “shut down” instruction so it is unable to function properly.  This is k for a short period of time, we are designed to cope with this.  Over the longer term, all sorts of complications emerge relating to Irritable Bowel syndrome (IBS), food sensitivities, intolerances, allergies, constipation, diarrhoea, leaky gut syndrome etc. etc.

A significant portion of our immune system is located in the gut.  When our digestion is impaired, there is an immediate knock on to how well our immune system can function.  This is especially true if the necessary nutrients are not being provided.  This lack of nutrients makes the job of tackling inflammation and infections even more tricky.  Ultimately it means that we are more prone to infections and take longer to heal.

Sleep issues become more pronounced.  This is because our bodies are on red alert.  Chemically, our bodies are wired for action, not sleep.  The balance of adrenaline and cortisol (our sleep hormone) are all out of sync.  Our heads might be thinking it’s bedtime, but our bodies are just not in the same place!

…and the end result is…

Our system becomes so discombobulated that our ability to effectively regulate our blood sugar levels is compromised.  We experience sugar highs, where we have lots of energy and are running around like busy, busy bees, and sugar lows, when we need to hibernate because we have burnt through all of our energy reserves!  Bobbing up and down between one extreme state and another is very hard work for our bodies and requires a huge amount of energy to manage – using up even more of our precious energy supplies.

Another impact of the general chemical chaos that long terms stress causes is the potential for high toxin overlead.  It’s another symptom of our body just not being able to function properly.  It can lead to all sorts of complications and imbalances.  The ripples outward grow more significant and poor methylation can be a factor.  Methylation is a chemical process that occurs everywhere within our bodies.  It’s one of the basic chemical processes that enable us to function, so anything that interferes with it has a profound impact on our bodies.

And finally, as if all of the above weren’t enough, we find ourselves in a scenario where at their most basic level, our cells cannot function correctly to produce the energy required to keep us going and we end up with poor mitochondrial output.  Mitochondria are the battery packs within our cells that make and store energy.

All in all, it’s a sad and depressing cycle of reactions….but it all starts with a trigger.

The good news is that if you get in front of those triggers, and either prevent or reduce them, you have the opportunity to interrupt the viscious cycle.  You can eliminate or at least modify the fight, flight or freeze response and break the Domino Effect.

Do you have the power?

You know that old adage about “information is Power”?  Here is a perfect example of how you can use information to have a powerful effect on your health and wellbeing.  By knowing how the Dominoe Effect works, you can take steps to interrupt it.

I love it!!!  Rather than being out of control and under the influence of things you don’t understand, put yourself in control.  It’s an amazing position to be in.

Find your triggers

Change your responses,

Feel the benefits of being in control

It is 100% possible to recover from ME, Fibromyalgia and CFS– you need information, a plan and support to get you there.

This is how I work with clients to help them overcome ME, Fibromyalgia and CFS.

If you want to know more….get in touch!  You can

  • email me  Suzanne
  • contact me via my website Reconnecting You
  • speak to me on 07973 305093 or
  • you can message me on Facebook at ReconnectingYou
The Chrysalis Effect
The Chrysalis Effect Online Recovery Programme

For more information about The Chrysalis Effect Online Recovery Programme click here

Movement: Why it’s key to recovery from ME, CFS & Fibromyalgia

Movement is vital to recovery

Movement is one of the 8 key areas that I work with when supporting a client to recovery from a chronic fatigue condition.  For some, it will be a higher priority than for others.  It all depends on what phase of the recovery process they are in, and their personal circumstances.

It’s a pretty big broad subject heading “Movement”.  New clients often ask me “What do I mean by movement?”  The answer is usually, “Whatever is comfortable and appropriate for you”.

This isn’t me skirting around the subject or being evasive, it’s a recognition that energy levels can vary so much for my clients that it’s really important to take into account exactly what is going on for them at that moment in time.  Many clients have energy levels that fluctuate daily and leave them feeling disheartened and frustrated.

There isn’t a set of defined expectations around movement.  I prefer to work with my clients in a way which encourages them to undertake some form of movement on a regular basis.  The aim is to help their body to retain the ability to move.

What does “appropriate and comfortable” mean?

For a bed bound client, this may mean taking up the very gentle breathing exercises associated with yoga nidra.  It may sound simple, but when energy reserves are so severely depleted that a client spends most of their time in bed, this form of exercise may be all that they are able to do at that point in time.  There are fantastic benefits of working with the breath and learning to connect with different breathing patterns.  It strengthens the lungs, expands and contracts the ribcage and moves the diaphragm up and down – activities that most people take for granted.  It also has the added benefit of providing a focus for your mind – it’s very difficult to be anxious or stressed when you are concentrating on breathing in and out – try it out for yourself!!

As the recovery process gets going, a bed bound client may be able to carry out some very gentle yoga stretches whilst lying in bed.   Over time, as strength and energy increase, the client might progress to being able to do some gentle yoga exercises out of bed.  Sometimes clients go on to attend yoga classes, sometimes they continue their yoga practice at home.

It’s not all about yoga!

Of course, movement doesn’t have to be about yoga!  I recently worked with a lady who really missed the long walks she used to take with her husband.  When we first started walking together, this client’s energy levels were very low.  She only had the energy to walk down the path to the front gate.  My client would then pause for a moment to rest before turning around to walk back into the house.

Over the months that we worked together, my client was able to increase the distance she walked. She did this really gently by taking a few steps further down the road, if she felt able to do so.  Then she would turn around to come home.  My client knew a short walk around the block, and slowly built up to being able to do this route.  Her next stage was to add little detours to this trip around the block.  She slowly increased the distance she felt was comfortable and appropriate for her to walk.  12 months later on my client and her husband have got a puppy, so that he can be part of their regular walks.  She if feeling so much stronger.

Movement with a plan
Plan your movements

Of course, there were ups and downs along the way and there is still some work to do to reach her goal of going on long walks.  But this is such a dramatic turn around from 12 months ago.  It really shows the power of working with a recovery programme and the benefit of sticking with a long-term plan.  We very often expect ourselves to be able to do better, to be able to do more and to be able to do it right now!  We talk ourselves out of carrying on if we don’t see huge impacts straight away.

Supporting recovery over the long run

Many people with ME, Fibromyalgia and CFS have been unwell for years.  It’s going to take a little time for our bodies to become well again.  Having a long-term plan, and a support network rooting for you to achieve that plan, is really helpful.

It’s such a privilege to be a part of the journey that people take to get their health back.  I absolutely love hearing about the ups (and downs!) because they really do help to keep us on track.

Movement walking on a beach
Footsteps on a beach

Within the Chrysalis Effect, we have a Recoverers Support Facebook group – it’s an amazing forum.  I love seeing the photos taken when a recoverer is able to share one of their “ups”.  Photos of views seen while out walking, or a day trip out somewhere they have wanted to get to for a while or even photos of holidays. These are all examples of different types of movement that weren’t a possibility before they joined the Online Recovery Programme.  The great news is that what was an impossibility is now a reality!

Recovers also share their experiences of when they have maybe done a bit too much and are feeling disheartened by a relapse. There is huge support, by the bucket load, in the Facebook group with encouragement and advice as others share their experiences.   The best bit is knowing that whatever you are going through, you aren’t alone – there is always someone out there who is having a similar struggle or who has overcome something similar.

Get your life back

It really is 100% possible to recover from M.E, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and this includes having the strength and the energy to get back to moving how are used to move before .

If you would like to move more, to have more energy or to begin your recovery journey, then get in touch.

You can

  • email me on Suzanne or via my webpage Reconnecting You or
  • speak to me on 07973 305093 or
  • message me on Facebook at ReconnectingYou