Would be really grateful to hear opinions. Does anyone feel their symptoms ease after meals?

Posted , 6 users are following.

Hi everyone,

I've been keeping a symptom diary for the past few months and have found a fairly consistent pattern with food. I have found that I tend to feel really very ill around 5/6pm before my evening meal, it's an overwhelming feeling like that which you would feel in the midst of a severe infection. I begin burning up, become very uncomfortable, ache a lot more than usual, strong headache, throat becomes very sore, nauseas, feel very very weak and out of it. This makes cooking impossible and so have to rely on family. I've noticed that probably 90% of the time as soon as I eat my evening meal this seems to ease a great deal. I have literally tried to begin eating my evening meal so many times and burst into tears because my arms were too weak to hold the knife and fork and I felt so ill that it scared me, but when I have pushed through and got food down me I feel almost like a different person. Some nights after my evening meal I feel 'normal' for an hour or so and I treasure that time, but find that symptoms return again shortly after. If I ever feel well enough to go out for a meal with friends I find waiting for the food torturous. I get very nauseas, shaky, start sweating, feel very dizzy and can't concentrate on anything like I am about to pass out. Then usually once I have finished my meal this feeling eases off. I am really intrigued to know if anyone else with an M.E diagnosis experiences this.

I'm wondering if it is simply because food is energy and so it temporarily replenishes the body, or maybe it is somewhat psychological I don't know. I have tried to look into whether it could be related to blood sugar or maybe an alternative illness but can't seem to make much sense of what I've read. I've had bloods done for diabetes by my GP in the past and everything has come back fine.

I must add that the most frustrating thing is that this isn't completely consistent, some days I will look forward to my evening meal so much because I think it will offer some relief for the first time all day, only to be very very nauseas after dinner with the other symptoms remaining.

Please send replies as it would be nice to know if anyone else experiences this and if they know why, or if others don't find this pattern or if food makes things worse etc.


1 like, 4 replies

4 Replies

  • Posted

    That is really intersting. I shall take note. I often feel sick but have not noticed with relation to eating. Over Christmass there has been a lot of waiting for food and I have found it very hard to keep going, so there could be something in this, in fact I am sure there is, but as you so it is not always the case which often happens with M.E.

    It will be interesting to see others replies.



  • Posted

    Hi Amber,

    Only sometimes do I get a relief after food, yes. Sometimes, I too can feel ok but, short lived and I wish it were as simple as just needing to eat, don't you? I just read somewhere, and I really cant remember where, that us with the condition have difficulty processing the food to get the energy from it so maybe this explains the short lived "normal" energy we manage? I know other people on here have mentioned having to cut out sugars due to it making them feel worse?

    I've had the same issue as you with eating where I have to rest first to get the energy to actually eat. I've had trouble sitting and eating and sometimes like you can't use my knife and fork. The worst being where i couldn't lift a sandwich to my mouth properly and it took me 20 minutes to eat a quarter of it. It can be so distressing. I'll be honest in my own experience, I don't think the energy after food Is psychological. I haven't linked the food and energy together but do sometimes get it still.

    Hope this helps


  • Posted

    I can think of a few possible explanations for your experience. For one, it's recommended that people with ME/CFS eat small amounts of food at closer intervals than the three meals. Like every two hours or so. Also, in the first few years of my illness, i found that the protein I had during meals greatly boosted my energy. When we'd go out to eat, I could hardly hold my head up until I had a high-protein item. So I'd often ask the restaurant to rush me an appetizer with lots of protein. In later years of the illness, this didn't seem to work.
  • Posted

    i do think food helps, my interpretation is that our bodies are low in energy, and our body tries to correct and heal itself constantly, so we burn food for fuel. i can eat porridge in moring then be nauseous and shaky an hour later as my blood sugar dips weirdly. I then need to have sugary to increase my blood sugars again for energy.

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