Recently I’ve been studying Infectious Diseases for my Nutrition course exam. Reading about viruses and bacteria, I had a revelation about what caused my ME.
Basically I caught Glandular Fever/Epstein Barr virus at university, also known as the kissing virus. Virus inject their DNA into your cells which replicate their DNA for them and create more viruses! Eventually the viruses burst the cell and are released. They go undetected by your immune system and they hide in your cells and alter your genes for immune defence.
So this caused me to feel fatigued, dizzy, weak, with brain fog, difficulty concentrating.
Also I had a typical student diet consisting of chocolate, crisps, microwave ready meals, pasta and alcohol. So my diet was atrocious! I was malnourished and the high sugar diet gave me spots.
I went to the doctor and told him my symptoms. He gave me tetracycline antibiotics to take for the acne and told me to keep a food diary for a few months and then get back to him. I felt really alone and unsupported and didn’t know what was happening to me.
Back then I had very low self-esteem and pushed myself to please others, doing what was expected of me without questioning what I wanted to do. So I carried on working hard studying for my chemistry degree and working full-time on my industrial placement year at the same time, even though I could barely concentrate. I started collapsing suddenly as I was so weak.
Anyway the antibiotics took their effect and killed off the bad infection. However they also wiped out my good bacteria so the opportunistic yeast fungus that lives in everyone’s gut called Candida Albicans overran my gut. They have hyphae projections that plant like roots in the gut wall and cause little holes to form that allow food particles to leak through the gut into the bloodstream causing leaky gut syndrome.
Eventually I became so ill in December 2008 that I was unable to function in society so my parents brought me back home and my Mum had to care for me for 6 months as I was too weak to stand up and walk to the kitchen to get a drink or make food. I was confined to either my bed or sitting on the sofa in front of the TV.
After a year of diagnostic tests from the doctors, they all came back negative and a neurologist in London diagnosed me with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (a syndrome is a group of symptoms) in December 2009. The only treatment they could offer me was antidepressants and that said it would take time to improve.
At this point I took charge of my own health, and with the little energy I did have I began researching on ME I signed up to an ME monthly newsletter and in one issue it mentioned that acupuncture can help. So my Mum booked an appointment for me to see a local acupuncturist.
Although the acupuncture only provided temporary relief, and not helpful in the long time, she detected that I had severe digestive issues and recommended that I go and see a Nutritionist.
This was the key to my recovery as she used a bio-resonance machine to detect that my body was overrun with multiple viruses, Candida and I can several food intolerances including wheat, yeast, sugar and beef. I immediately cut out the offending foods and wondered what on Earth I could eat as everything seemed to have sugar and wheat in it.
I remember when I cut out processed sugar I had the shakes for a day like I was coming off a drug. I ate fruit as a replacement.
This is when my passion for cooking began as I began experimenting with wheat-free alternatives and baking my own bread with gluten-free flour.
After about 6 weeks of changing my diet and taking supplements including Oregano to kill the Candida and natural antiviral herb supplements, I returned to see the Nutritionist and she noted a marked improvement in my health. I felt better and had so much more energy. The brain fog had cleared.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story. I believe it is my life purpose to share it and to spend the rest of my life helping other people with their health, using the knowledge I have learned on my own health journey. I feel blessed to have had this first hand experience of illness so I can really relate to my future clients and help them on a deeper level.