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Chronic Fatigue is a Real Illness, CDC Says, but How Much Might Be Sugar Related?

Posted Dec 18 2008 8:12pm

Up until now, chronic fatigue has gotten a bad rap. Many doctors pooh-poohed its existence and thought it was all in people's heads.

But now the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) actually came out late last week and announced that it's a legit disease affecting more than one million Americans, Reuters and CNN.com tell us.

"CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) is a terrible illness that prevents many people from taking part in everyday activities and participating in the things they enjoy," CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding said.

"Fortunately, there are therapies for CFS that can reduce much of the pain and suffering," she said.

This is big news for the CDC to actually admit that chronic fatigue syndrome actually exists. Not only that, but the organization even cited its symptoms, which include:

  • Profound exhaustion
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Problems concentrating and remembering.
  • Flu-like symptoms, including pain in the joints and muscles, tender lymph nodes, sore throat and headaches

To help raise awareness for this illness, the CDC even launched an awareness campaign about chronic fatigue on Friday and even unveiled a special website.

Actually, before now, I've actually thought a bit about chronic fatigue. While I applaud the CDC for being open minded, I'm left wondering how much poor nutrition plays into this alleged disease.

You see, back in my heavy-duty, sugar-eating days, I was once diagnosed as having chronic fatigue. I was often exhausted and 7 or 8 hours of sleep just didn't seem to refresh me. I would literally drag myself around at times. On some days, I'd really be Connie, the Walking Zombie.

But then I oh-so reluctantly kicked sweets and quickie carbs on doctor's orders in 1998. One of my biggest motivations for quitting was that I hoped it might help my crippling exhaustion. Well, low and behold, after I got rid of the culprit carbs, ALL of my crushing, unrelenting fatigue disappeared.

So nowadays I'm left wondering: Did I ever really have chronic fatigue syndrome? Was I properly diagnosed? Or did I just have a case of sugar overload causing me to be a wiped-out wussie?

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