I'd had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for years before I tried a low carbohydrate diet. Some CFS symptoms shrank within 24 hours. Substantial improvement showed itself within 48 hours.
That was eight years ago. Eating low carb hasn't healed me completely, but it plays a significant role in my health.
1) Brain fog
This lightened the first day. My thoughts were less gossamer, more inclined to go from spark to actual completion. A refreshing change.
2) IBS symptoms
That first day, my stomach, subject to aches, cramping and stabbing pains for over 10 years, began to relax. Within two days, it was ... quiet ... serene.
This one surprised me. Anxiety that had been with me since adolescence ... vanished. Like smoke from a burned-out fire, on a refreshing breeze, it just ... wafted away. Within days the sense of impending doom which had clung to me like a barnacle for years, drifted off as well.
Troubled teen? Apparently not. I'd been a teen with unrecognized grain sensitivities.
4) Numbness and tingling
Before low carb I had within me a constellation of shooting stars, stinging pins and needles showering me with tiny blasts and pops. Bursts of static crackled under my skin, any old time, all day long, every day. Tingling ripples ran up my calves and across the top of my head like waves. All of this eased with low carb.
An inner vibration accompanied me throughout most of my CFS odyssey. Like the strobe of a 70's disco ball. But when I stopped eating grains a sense of clarity emerged. Like stepping onto solid land after an extended time out at sea.
When numbness and tingling would escalate, so would the tinnitis. Sometimes white noise. Sometimes a roar like an angry ocean. Sometimes a delicate ticking in my right ear. As other neurological symptoms receded, due to this dietary change, so did the distortion in my ears.
7) Muscle weakness
I had no stamina before switching to low carb. I petered out walking from my bedroom to the living room. Within days I felt steadier and stronger, with greater endurance.
8) Ravenous hunger
Previously, I'd be hungrier after a big, carbohydrate-laden meal than if I'd eaten nothing at all. A plate of spaghetti inevitably led to two plates. I'd eat till my stomach ached. And still I was hungry.
If I had a sandwich, I'd be hungry while I was eating it and hungrier when I finished. Rice made my hunger skyrocket with every mouthful.
When I began eating only meat and low-glycemic vegetables, the hunger vanished. When I ate ... I got full. No cravings later. I'd feel fine for four or five hours. Unless you've been out of whack the way I was, you can't know the bliss of this.
9) Rapid weight gain
My weight increased slowly with middle-age creep and baby fat in my late 30s. But in my 40s, it spiraled. I went from 130 pounds thirty years ago to 200 pounds. CFS contributed over half of that.
Within days of the switch, I started losing weight. Pretty typical of new diets. But I was eating, initially, three pounds of meat a day. That's what my body said I needed and that's what I ate. And still I was losing pounds every week. Eventually I lost 50 pounds.
10) Hair Loss
My hair had been falling out. It littered my pillow in the morning, and the bathroom counter when I'd brush my hair. Three months into low carb, it stopped falling out.
Eating more protein, vegetables and fats, and eating less starch and sugar, hasn't allowed me to walk away from CFS. But I strode many giant steps forward. I am less frail, less prone to relapse.
Some people with CFS will do better on low carb. Some may not. When I began this change, I didn't know if it would do me any good. I'd tried so many things and nothing helped in those early years. I'm just glad someone wrote about low carb, and gave me the chance to find out. Now I'm paying it forward.
I spent 15 years losing the battle against Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Three years ago, I found treatment that worked for me, and now I am making a comeback.