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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Elimination Diet

Written by sshowalter, ColleenO.

Effect of Elimination Diet on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

Since people with chronic fatigue syndrome are often unsure of the cause of their condition, it is beneficial to see if a certain food or foods is the culprit. And, even if it doesn't end up treating the cause, changes in your diet can alleviate the symptoms by elimintating problems such as food allergies and gastrointestinal manifestations. At the very least, a well-balanced diet can help you to feel better.

Specifically, a food elimination diet can help to rule out food allergies or sensitivities that might exacerbate a person's symptoms. This can be done with the help of a nutritionist, health coach, practitioner or if you feel up to it, you can absolutely do it own you own. Dairy and gluten are hot topic foods, suspected to cause some people digestive issues, mental cloudiness, inflammation, and even depression and other mood disorders. A common elimination diet includes these as the most common (or “sensitive seven”) food sensitivities: Dairy, gluten, sugar, corn, soy, eggs, and peanuts.

Read more details about Elimination Diet.

How to Use Elimination Diet

Simply start by eliminating each of the foods in consecutive three to five day increments. After all foods have been eliminated, add each one back into your diet in the same time frame. For example, if you first eliminate dairy, do this for three days and move on to sugar while still keeping dairy eliminated as well. Once you get to the end of this cycle, with all foods having been eliminated, most people suggest keeping off all of the potentially harmful foods for a minimum of 3 weeks. (Many people eliminate the culprit foods for months.) When it comes time to add the foods back into your diet, you will be able to see the symptoms much more clearly having given your body extended breaks from each of the potential sensitive foods.

Elimination diets are for testing yourself for food sensitivities, not food allergies. Some food allergies can be life-threatening, so do not experiment with foods that you know or suspect you might have a severe reaction to.

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