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Apart from getting as much rest as possible, interspersed with careful, moderate excercise, the major solution to overcoming M.E. symptoms is to identify the food and chemical allergies resulting from the illness. Until identified, these substances will continue to aggravate the condition and cause the repeated flare-up of symptoms. Once the allergens have been removed, the individual always improves and, in many cases, a slow recovery to good health has been achieved. Without the removal of allergens an M.E. sufferer cannot recover. Therefore, the most vital first step to recovery is the identification and removal of all food and chemical allergens from the diet and environment.
M.E. sufferers are particularly sensitive to chemicals. Even such seemingly innocuous things as perfumes, after shaves and scented soaps can bring on fatigue, aching, headaches, catarrh and dizziness within a few seconds of exposure. Hydrocarbon fumes such as petrol fumes exhaust fumes and pressure pack sprays are particularly dangerous. Chemicals and preservatives in food and drink are another constant aggravator and must be removed from the diet. Avoidance of chemicals in food, drink and in the air, is the key to allowing an overloaded immune system to commence a long and slow recovery. This may take one or two years but improvement will invariably result if these rules are firmly followed. It is important to seek help for this problem from a medical practitioner or naturopath, who understands the illness and is prepared to spend (he time necessary to help you get well. When seeking to eliminate foods that have become toxic because of M.E., there is a widespread tendency to regard ‘natural foods’ as healthier than those with artificial additives. This is not necessarily the case. Many additives, particularly preservatives, are chemically identical to those found naturally in food. However, concentrations in food containing artificial additives, can be much higher than those found naturally. When these are ingested reguarly from a variety of processed foods, they can overload the system and cause allergy illness.
Because M.E. intolerances are essentially chemically caused, whether by direct exposure, or through food and other substances, many foods that contain these chemicals, in natural form, can cause further illness to M.E. sufferers. Examples are those foods containing salicylates and benzoates in comparatively high amounts, and these can be some of the seemingly innocuous fruits and vegetables. It is essential therefore, to suspect all foods, until a process of testing can safely eliminate those that are doing harm. Merely changing one’s diet to whole grains, nuts, yoghurt, fruit and vegetables, etc. will not be successful and can, if anything, worsen both disease and symptoms.
It is absolutely essential for all M.E. sufferers to take a complete range of supplementary nutrients to assist their recovery. Without supplementation of vitamins, minerals, trace elements, amino acids and most important of all, enzymes, any attempts to recover will be a waste of time.
Exercise is important during the recovery phase to stimulate metabolism, particularly to switch back on currently inoperative oxygenase enzymes. However, it must not be overdone. Because M.E. sufferers take four times as long as healthy persons to recover from exercise, it should be commenced at about one quarter capacity and built up very slowly. It is a mistake to do more than this. Ability to recover from exercise must be almost immediate. If taken beyond this point, more harm than good will be done and a relapse will surely occur. For further information on exercise.
Because of the nature of some the symptoms of M.E. many doctors label the sufferer as ‘psychologically unsound’. Fortunately, there are a few doctors throughout the country who take this illness seriously, and they are to be found by contacting the State branch of the M.E. Society.

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