Nutrition and Chronic Fatigue
Nutrition can impact symptoms of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) such as chronic fatigue and is important for normal activities of daily living. When patients have been deconditioned for prolonged periods of time, or don’t get the proper nutrition needed because of chronic fatigue, it is hard to access all the nutrients the body needs. Having a chronic illness for a prolonged period of time, or having musculoskeletal issues, or other complications of EDS in or out of the hospital, results in loss of lean muscle tissue, and can result in impaired immunity, increase risk for other infections, affect wound healing, and increase the time it takes to recover from illness.
Patients who have underlying health conditions such as chronic pain, hypertension, chronic respiratory illnesses such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, obesity, tobacco use, or who are elderly, are especially vulnerable. It is important to get plenty of rest and eat well-balanced meals for recovery.
Some guidelines for eating well include drinking plenty of water -at least 64 ounces a day unless your physician says otherwise. Aim for at least 5-7 servings of non-starchy vegetables a day (that means eat less of the potatoes and corn and more of your greens!), lean protein such as chicken and fish, and plant-based proteins such as beans and chickpeas. Use healthy fats such as avocados, or olive oil which have antioxidants such as omega-3 fatty acids.
Taking care of your body by eating healthy, staying hydrated, getting enough rest, and practicing mindfulness and meditation, will go a long way in controlling symptoms like Chronic Fatigue.
Author: Bala Munipalli, MD