How the Primal Blueprint Helped Me End My Struggle with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

It?s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark?s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I?ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

In 2000, after an exhaustive round of tests, I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Basically, I had deep and never-ending fatigue with no identifiable cause.  Not knowing I had any other choice, I resigned myself to a life limited by my illness. I had to weigh each activity against how long it would take me to recover from it. Something seemingly simple, like taking a hike, could result in days of recovery time. I went from a highly active person who loved hiking and tennis to someone who had to take a nap after weeding for a half hour. In a nutshell, it sucked.

For nine years I let myself accept that my life would have to suck. Then, in 2009, I came across information from a doctor in the UK who specializes in treating CFS. She had a detailed supplement plan…and she also highly recommended eating Primally to feed our mitochondria. Everything she said made perfect sense to me, so I set about following her plan. I started taking the numerous supplements, and I gave Primal eating a try. Unfortunately, I didn’t educate myself properly about how to eat Primally, so I just gave up the bad stuff and didn’t replace it with the good stuff I was missing. Needless to say, my Primal eating ended quickly. I had crazy cravings for bread, and because I hadn’t paid attention to how my new way of eating was making me feel, I simply gave up the Primal eating. I did keep on the supplements, though, and they helped enormously! I went from not knowing if I could get out of bed in the morning to at least being able to get up without wondering if I was really sick or just having CFS issues.

Jump forward almost three years – this past March. I embarked on a food elimination plan for 28 days, just to see what would happen. After about two and a half weeks, I noticed a HUGE difference in how I felt. I actually had  – gasp! – ENERGY. The brain-fog vanished. I could concentrate on tasks for long periods of time. When I got home from work, I didn’t collapse into a puddle of exhaustion on the couch. What could possibly be in my diet to have caused me to suffer from chronic fatigue for so many years?

When I started the food-testing part of the plan, I got my answer: gluten and sugar. My reaction to them was almost instant, with the return of the brain-fog, sore muscles, headaches, and fatigue. There was no way to argue with my experiment: gluten and sugar had to go! So I started researching Primal eating again. Thank goodness, this time I found sites like MDA and Balanced Bites…resources to help me understand where I went wrong the first time and how to do it properly this time.

Since March, I’ve lost about 15 pounds – mostly inflammation weight, according to my doctor – and have gone from wearing size 10/12 to size 4/6…and some of those size 6s are starting to feel big now, too!

But the best part?? ENERGY! I genuinely had forgotten what it felt like to not be in a fog of exhaustion all the time. Pre-Primal, I could manage to work a full day and *maybe* run an errand after work (I generally made excuses for myself about why I could skip the errand, though). Now? Well, here’s an example of what I did one day last week: worked all day, ran two errands, came home and took care of my cats, mowed my lawn, fixed dinner, and put together breakfast and lunch for the next day! That would have been utterly unthinkable for me 6 or so months ago. Now, it’s normal.

Going Primal has absolutely given me my life back! When I was first diagnosed, I never would have thought that my diet was to blame. Such a simple fix to make my life worth living! I do wish I’d been successful going Primal three years ago, but I am so very grateful that I finally discovered my cure. Thank you, Mark, for all you do to help people like me make amazing changes in their lives! Now that I understand what Primal can do for me, I’ll never look back.


TAGS:  guest post

About the Author

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

98 thoughts on “How the Primal Blueprint Helped Me End My Struggle with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. I wish I could convince so many people in my life to give this a try!
    Seems like there’s an after picture that’s missing?

    1. I really want to convince my aunt to go primal/paleo. She is 300+ pounds, has sleep apnea and fibromyalgia. I am pretty sure all of her problems would go away if she switched to primal. It is only a matter of time before she gets diabetes. My other aunt who had diabetes already died in her sixties so I know it runs in the family.

      1. I have an aunt like this, too. It has been really hard to try to convince her to switch, every time I try talking to her about I get scoffed at, laughed at, or looked at like I’m crazy. How she ( or my other quite large aunt) don’t have diabetes yet is beyond me. Hope my success shows them the way. Good luck !

    2. What a great story, Amy! Regarding the after picture, I could view it by right clicking on the horizontal line near “Since March…” then doing a “Save As.” She looks great – and so happy!

      1. Seems to be fixed now. A happy, primal Amy is on view!

        So happy for your recovery, Amy!!

  2. Wow, that is great that primal eating gave you your life back. I have a lot more energy after going primal and no longer need caffeine to get me through the day, but your transformation is incredible. Every time I read one of these stories about how primal eating fixed huge life ruining problems, I am amazed that standard American diet can do so much damage.

  3. Amy! I have had periods of this and know exactly what you’re talking about – the waking up in the morning not knowing how you’re going to feel and how much you’ll be able to do is debilitating in and of itself. Making the connection between food and how we feel isn’t an instinctive one (or it’s been conditioned out of us) and is very common. How wonderful you were able to see the light. You have your whole life before you to be soaked up with relish. Congratulations! 🙂

  4. All that change in 2 1/2 weeks? And just since March?? I’m so happy for you, Amy. Congrats on your success and thanks for sharing your story!

  5. Amy – What a great success for you. I have a freind who also suffers from chronic fatigue. I’ve talked to him about switching to primal and although he’s open minded, he hasn’t committed yet. I’ll send him your story today. Maybe it will be the nudge he needs.

    1. I hope he’ll give it a try! But make sure he knows that it might not work so well for him – as people below have noted, CFS can be caused by a number of different things. I do hope going Primal will help him, though!

  6. I look forward to these every week. Kudos and great job.

    Just wanted to give a last minute headsup to all you Primal peeps who love their VIBRAM 5 FINGERS – FOR THE NEXT 21 HOURS YOU CAN GET THEM FOR UP TO 55% OFF!! Go to this link an and search vibram it will take you to the selection they have – they still have a decent selection left. I got free shipping too!!

    1. P.S. If you are unsure about sizing – get a tape measure and go to the Vibram site, they have the conversions, this is an awesome deal!

    2. Thanks for posting this!!!! I just went and bought a pair – what a steal!! 🙂

    3. genuine vibram’s at a discount!?!? Unheard of! Probably need new ones, love trail running too much in them!

    4. I tried the link – it took me to a site called Zulily for little kids. It wanted me to join and would not go anywhere until I did (which I didn’t). Is that indeed the site? Do I really need to “join” to find the vibrams?

      1. That is a good deal. I just got a pair for $30 on clearance at a local store though. Thanks for posting.

    5. Very nice marketing by the way. Hope you enjoy your $20 from each of us.

      1. Thanks for the info, Jennifer, that is a good deal. Joshua, you say that as if she cheated someone out of their money or something. If I buy a pair, I truly hope Jennifer enjoys whatever commission she might get from the sale.

  7. Amy, would you mind telling me what kind of supplements you took? I know someone with very bad autoimmune issues.
    Thanks and congrats!

  8. Awesome story Amy. I know people without CFS who get more energy from feeling this way. I can’t imagine how good that boost must if felt for you!

  9. Amy, I’m so happy you found your way out of CFS with something as simple as cutting gluten and sugar! What a great story!

  10. Awesome story! So glad you found something that helps. Congrats!! I’m fairly new to Primal eating and I’m finding it’s helping tremendously with regaining energy. I didn’t realize how little energy I had until it started to return!

  11. “Then, in 2009, I came across information from a doctor in the UK who specializes in treating CFS. She had a detailed supplement plan…and she also highly recommended eating Primally to feed our mitochondria.”

    So pleased that you have gotten your energy back, Amy! Having a sister who had bad CFS symptoms for about 15 years, I know how much it means when they subside. She still has to manage her energy levels, in spite of being grain-free and fairly primal for the last 16 months.

    Could you post the name or website of the UK doctor? I’m sure my sister would love to get the information on supplements. As far as I know, none of her doctors (at major university medical centers in the US) has recommended nutritional supplements (other than some discussion of potassium and magnesium, as I recall). And now her diet has been restricted by having to limit/avoid FODMAPs (no more kale! how can she live?) to manage digestive problems.

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Dr. Myhill is the UK doc specializing in CFS or ME Myalgic Encelphelomyaliits as it is known over there. She advocates a Paleo diet rather than Primal and is the first place I heard of it.

      I have a fairly severe case of CFS and have been Primal for a year now with some minor improvement in my symptoms so it isn’t a cure for everyone but certainly helps.

      A doc here in the US that advocates Paleo for mitchondrial health is Dr. Wahls.

      1. The causes for CFS (as in, the stressors that push people into chronic fatigue) can be quite different from one person to another, and in most cases are probably plural. Amy was one of the fortunate few who was still able to hold down a job with CFS, so obviously was not one of the worst cases. Which in no way detracts from her wonderful results. I have gotten a certain measure of help from Dr. Myhill’s supplementation program, a certain amount from eating primally, and another amount from correcting my iron deficiency. I am still not able to hold down a job. But the benefits of primal eating are great enough that I have no intention of stopping.

        But I do thank you, Amy, for making me think of the possibility of trying an elimination diet to see if there are other things bothering me beyond the grains and sugars. And for encouraging me to take up the full supplementation again. I was going through the “it gets worse before it gets better” stage for quite a while, and backed off just for the relief.

        1. Yes, I have definitely been lucky in the level of my CFS – no doubt about that.

          Have you tried B12 supplementation? As in, very large doses? That was the one deficiency they found in my blood work, and taking B12 definitely helped! I was taking 2500 mcg/day of cyanocobalamin, but recently switched to 1000 mcg/day of methylcobalamin, the form that’s more easily absorbed.

          I wish you the best of luck in trying an elimination diet to see if something else might be adding to your CFS – I will hope you find something that will render results as magical as I did!

      2. Yes, Dr. Myhill in the UK is the one I was referring to. She’s come under attack by the UK medical society, but I still believe her research is valid. Yous sister can download her book for free, and it includes the supplement list.

        Dr. Wahls is doing great work here in the US, though again, medical society refuses to take her seriously.

        1. Thanks for all the experience-based replies. I will send my sister the link for Dr. Myhill’s site. I already knew about Dr. Wahls’ approach, although I hadn’t really thought of it for CFS. I live in Québec, so I was also aware of Dr. Jacqueline Lagacé’s book ( and her approach based on Dr. Jean Seignalet’s work (

          My sister is doing soooo much better than she was 20 years ago, when she would be curled up in bed in the fetal position in pain many days and unable to eat. She did stop working for years, then went back to work when her symptoms subsided somewhat, and was able to do a lot of great things. But she still crashes if she overdoes it, so she is careful. Supplementation might help her get that final bit of vitality back.

        2. I have CFS. It is very bad now. I first got it 5 1/2 years ago – May 5, 2007 – after a crazy flu just hit me like a brick. Housebound now. But I went Primal three years ago – fully recovered and then some – but stopped eating Primal and dove back into work for National Geographic and had bad, bad relapse in February, 2010. I fear now I will never get better but I have all faith – from experience – that Primal eating helps immensely. I guess I just wanted to thank you for spoonful of inspiration.

  12. Kudos to the doctor for recommending Primal eating!! Doctors like that are few and far between. And congratulations on getting your life back!!! I know you must feel amazing (:

  13. Lively Amy! What a wonderful testimonial. I’m so glad you have your life back. You seem like far too much fun to be dragged down by dumb gluten and sugar. I’m sharing this with a friend who has CFS.

  14. Congrats Amy! I know just how you feel! I have Multiple Sclerosis and within 1 week of giving up gluten, my horrible MS fatigue lifted and I was able to live a fairly normal life. Just one week! It can happen so fast. It makes me so sad to know so many people with conditions like Chronic Fatigue, fibromyalgia, MS, and other ones could be helped but they are so reluctant to try dietary therapy. Stories like yours can encourage people to just try it. Thanks for sharing!

    1. A primal diet is *essential* for people living with ME – I would never eat any other way. I am happy that woman was able to find relief. However, chronic, unexplained fatigue and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are not the same thing (unfortunately, the vast majority of doctors are not trained to recognize the difference). The level of damage (and perhaps, the underlying disease process) for someone who has “brain fog” but is still working and has to sleep after exertion is very different from someone who has aphasia (in my case, not just difficulty finding the right word – difficulty producing verbal thought), ataxia, neuropathy, exercise intolerance, and extreme muscle weakness. That’s ME, and not everyone with chronic fatigue syndrome has it.

      I wish I was one of those people who had miraculous recovery through diet alone. It’s really not a panacea. I have been eating a high fat, low glycemic, paleo diet for several years now, and have been gluten-free for longer. Loads of fats, offal, pastured everything, extremely fresh, clean and wonderful, bone broths, foraged foods. It helps me avoid some of my worst neurological symptoms, but I am still largely bedridden and continually malnourished.

      Then, I started taking an antiviral medication, and suddenly went from walking 100 steps a day to 3,000 (within 48 hours, after 10 months of hell).

      I don’t know of anyone with ME (or with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – the original, Incline Village version) who experienced substantial remission/relief through change in diet alone. And certainly not by eliminating gluten. If it were that easy, people would be getting better, and most don’t. It’s just one of a thousand and one pieces of a puzzle we are all trying to assemble, blindfolded.

  15. I’m so thrilled for you Amy. You look great, but more importantly, you feel great again.

  16. Great job Amy and awesome testimonial!

    To see the after picture, right click on horizontal line near “Since March, I’ve lost about 15 pounds” and do a save-as to your desktop.

    She looks great!

  17. Congrats! also just what I needed… last couple of days of hurricane mess have had me eating worse, and I’m getting hit with not being able to get out of bed until 12 (like when an alarm goes I just can’t get conscious enough to even be deciding whether to get up or not!), feeling sore and like I just want to go back to bed most of the day… trying to get back into eating enough animal fats at the very least!

    Does anyone have any more information on what Amy refers to as “inflammation weight?” Just curious. The amount/speed of weight loss sounds similar to my own case as well.

    1. I don’t know if this is what you’re after, but the idea is that grains and processed foods actually produce tissue inflammation, so when you go off them entirely and stay off, you’ll lose the inflammation and thus the weight it was causing. Hope that helps!

      I also hope your power is back on and that you’ve been able to get back to eating well and feeling better!

      1. Thanks Amy! That makes sense. I suppose that inflamed tissue weighs more… fluid?

        yep got power to make steak now 🙂

  18. Way to go Amy,
    When will health professionals finally join the dots? So glad you have found your way.
    To all those in the path of the hurricane, you are in our thoughts. The news here in Oz has showed some incredible footage, and we wish you a speedy return to normal,

  19. I also have fibromyalgia and have benefited from eating primal. Could you list what supplements you use that you feel have been helpful?

    1. Hi, Gayle!

      Further up, someone posted about Drs Myhill (UK) and Wahls (US). Both their sites have great info on supplements. I honestly can’t remember by whole regimen and dosing, so I can give you a list when I return from Down Under, but now all I’d be able to produce is a guesstimate.

      I think you’d find a lot to help you on Dr Myhill’s site in particular.

  20. I’m an ex-pat American living in Britain… I need to know who the UK doctor is!!! I haven’t found any relief from the NHS and I have been trying to “see” a doctor from the USA, but the distance limits what we can do.

    1. As mentioned by someone else above, the UK doctor is Dr. Sarah Myhill. Unfortunately, she’s been under attack by the NHS for the last 2 years or so, and they have removed her license to practice. But check on her site – that may have been overturned or expired since I last checked! In any case, her website is extremely useful, so give that a look, too.

      Best of luck to you – I hope you find someone/something who can help you!

  21. Great story! Thanks for sharing! (Both pics are visible in Firefox even though the after pic was not visible in IE.)

    1. Hi,

      This article really struck a chord with me as my mum has suffered with CFS for over 20 years. She has just sat down with me and read your article, and we are really interested in the changes that you saw with your elimination diet. I am already transitioning into the primal diet myself and loving the changes in my energy levels, but for my mum, I think it would be good to try an elimination diet and supplement plan under the guidance of a specialist in Chronic Fatigue Syndrom. Please could you tell me the name of the UK specialist doctor that you saw? We are UK-based too. Any help is much appreciated! Great article!
      Best Wishes,
      Laura Spoor

  22. Thank you so much for sharing and congratulations! One of the things I am looking forward to is more energy. It’s been two weeks since I gave up grains and sugar but unfortunately it coincided with a sinus infection so I wasn’t feeling too energetic. Now my sinus infection is almost gone (without antibiotics!!!) and I’ve started excercising but I’m exhausted from that. But I am confident that I will be able to figure out what foods are causing me to be foggy brained and without energy so that I can eliminate them. So happy for you!

    1. Hold off on the exercising! People with CFS should never push themselves to exhaustion, ever! You are digging your hole a little deeper every time you do. I am speaking from extensive personal experience. Start with short walks and gradually build it up as you can do it without suffering.

      1. On 1st March this year my world tumbled into inactivity! Although I have not yet been given a firm diagnosis of ME/CFS is pointing that way.

        In Feb this year, I was climbing mountains and doing exercise classes and by March I could barely walk for 15 mins even slowly…. and this is still the case. Obviously, I have not been able to do my work, as a teacher, since.

        I have always eaten fairly well – including growing a load of our own fruit and veggies, and raising our own meat – but I have decided to give this diet a go.

        I’m 12 days in now, and as yet no big changes, but I reckon it may take a few months to show up?

        I have also read a load of Dr Myhill’s material and am very highly motivated for this. Perhaps one day I’ll be able to write a story like Amy’s?

        Thanks for sharing Amy. Light at the end of the tunnel.

        1. Oh weird – I thought I’d replied at the end of all the comments…

          Judg I do agree with you however. DO NOT PUSH seems to be the most important rule for this condition!

        2. Yeah stick with Paleo/Low Carb – helps CFS people the best. And REST, REST. Avoid Stress like Plague. Take Supplements. And get hormone level checked by US docs trained by Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum or Dr. Holtorf. They follow same procedure as Myhill but put more emphasis on re-balancing hormones and testing blood for reactivated viral infections like EBV. I got better big time after two years but found I had to hit all areas to get better but Paleo Diet and hormone – especially treating rare hypothyroid disorder – were most important. Don’t got to normal MD as you will get no help and probably put recovery back big time. Anyway, that was my experience and experience of many I have met along the way.

  23. First, I want to say how glad I am that Primal eating has helped you so much, and how tremendous it is to find a doctor who knows how to properly treat patients with CFS! But I do want to caution that patients have differing levels of neurological damage, which may be slow to repair or even irreversible. I’ve had CFS since 2006, and while eating Primal and taking my battery of supplements keeps me from being bedridden, I’m still on disability and unable to work. But I will take what I can get, and I wholeheartedly recommend Primal eating for anyone with CFS, Fibromylagia, MS or other autoimmune/neuroimmune disorders. It may not be a cure-all, but it definitely reduces the inflammation burden on your body and gives you the nutrients your cells (and mitochondria) so desperately need!

  24. Well done Amy – you look radiant in the after pic (clearly on view in my Firefox browser). Fabulous that you can link diet to your own health & wellbeing and managed to regain so much of your life. Although I don’t have any of the illnesses mentioned, vastly increased energy would be the most obvious improvement I have found going primal, followed closely by a distinct loss of “puffiness” in my face, neck – heck everywhere really.
    And yep – thoughts from down under are with those who have been affected by the hurricane.

  25. Hello,

    I’m thrilled for Amy, it’s wonderful she’s recovered. I follow much of the primal diet myself. I want to echo the caution of a few other posters who have cast doubt on a primal diet as a definitive cure or even help for CFS/Fibro symptoms. It’s likely that people suffering from these conditions have a variety of causes for their problems that will vary person to person. In my own case, I gave up sugar and gluten for a long time and unfortunately had no improvement in my CFS symptoms, though I continue to follow much of the primal diet anyway because I think it’s healthy. I know of other people who have likewise had no improvements from quitting gluten and sugar. In my case, it later turned out I had a genetic connective tissue disorder that had gone undiagnosed and had been causing my symptoms, so I was able to get better care once I had been properly diagnosed.

    The reason lots of people with CFS/Fibro don’t try a primal diet is that many have the same sort of healthy skepticism that Mark wisely encourages on this blog. Ill people are bombarded with endless promises of a cure, much of which is quackery. Until there’s the kind of evidence that Mark rates on this site (ie replicated randomized placebo-controlled trials showing primal diets/quitting sugar and/or gluten do improve CFS/Fibro symptoms) then a lot of sufferers will be unwilling to try it. We need more biomedical research.

    All the best to Amy

    1. Research into CFS is one of the least funded illnesses in the US. Even seasonal allergies gets more money. This illness has been seriously neglected by both the CDC and the NIH. Since we have no testing or can even agree on a definition we have no idea if we truly have the same illness.

      I have heard many stories of people being cured of it in very short time span with something as simple as B12 supplementation. This begs the question of whether they were diagnosed correctly in the first place since simple supplementation won’t cure this illness.

      Right now people with CFS are an N=1 experiment. We have no diagnostic tests, no treatment protocols and very little research going on. We are all out here trying things and seeing what helps us individually.

  26. I know this isn’t the place for it, but if you’d like to share your supplements I’d love to hear them! My sister suffers from fatigue and neurological symptoms and her doctors are completely blowing her off. She has been eating a paleo diet for some time now with some improvements but not enough, and she’s got three kids under 5. She had great improvements with supplementing b12 but is having some regression lately and is very frustrated. Anyways, if you’d like to email me, or anyone with info on this, please do at isfahelww at windstream dot net.

    1. Best thing she could do is find a functional medicine doctor or a homeopathic doctor. They will test her for vitamin and mineral deficiencies and for proper function of other body systems. If her guts are damaged she may be having trouble absorbing what she needs from foods.

  27. I always read success stories here: they are huge inspiration. However yours is especially important: I have chronic fatigue, and I am unable to work all day or several days in a row. My doc told me that my adrenals are completely exhausted because of stress and trauma. Supplements help, but I have had an enormous craving for bread. I’ve read your story several times. It feels that I can give up bread, that it will make the difference. To feel energy is the most enticing feeling in the world. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

    1. It’s not enough to just give up the bread (and all gluten & sugar). You must add the fat into your diet. The fat is essential, as I understand it, to eliminate cravings and for proper connective tissue function. Follow the entire lifestyle and you may see a difference. Good luck to you.

  28. Definitely jealous. I did the primal diet (with the help of a practitioner who understood it) for two years and saw NO improvements in my autoimmune disease. It was incredibly disappointing. I don’t think it’s a cure-all for everyone unfortunately. I love reading stories like this though…gives me hope.

  29. I, too, would also love more information. What supplements are you taking? What do you mean when you say you’re avoiding sugars… refined sugars? ‘Natural’ sugars? Fruit? I felt my best when I was avoiding all added sugar but am wondering if I would benefit from lowering my fruit-sugar intake as well.

  30. Well done Amy. I too suffer from ME/CFS and can empathise with you. After lots of tests for different things my doctor said that I had CFS and that there was no treatment for it. After researching on the internet I found MDA and the Primal Blueprint. I wish I had known about primal eating years ago, as I am 69 years old and it is taking longer for me to recover. My weight is coming off slowly (22lbs in a year) but until recently I could not manage much exercise because of the CFS. However in the past few weeks, since the weather has been cooler, my energy levels have been improving and I don’t have to drag myself about now to get things done. I will go eating primal as it definitely works. More power to your elbow Mark.

  31. That’s one of the biggest things that people underestimate about the paleo diet/primal eating– you really do gain your energy back. I think this should be emphasized more by paleo proponents.

  32. Can we see Amy’s AFTER PHOTO as part of the article above?

  33. WOW! You look stunning, vibrant, and healthy. Congratulations. I am so happy for you.

  34. Thanks for all the great comments, folks! 🙂 I apologize for not yet replying to each person with a question, but I’m traveling Down Under with very limited internet access – normally need to use the slloooowwww free connection at McDonald’s (hey, they have to be good for something, right?!), but I’ll get to each one ASAP.

    The people who have made comments about Primal not necessarily being a cure-all for CFS are absolutely right. I only discovered what my triggers were via a scientific experiment. CFS is caused by a number of different things – my doctors originally thought I basically had a lifelong case of Mono. So glad that turned out not to be the case!

  35. Hiya….

    What a great story and just more evidence that primal does work in looking, feeling and performing better.. 🙂

    Very well done!!

  36. Great story, Amy. I’m always stoked to hear about someone becoming well by going Primal and avoiding the treadmill of medication. How wonderful that you were able to eliminate your symptoms just by dropping sugar and gluten! Congratulations are in order. Oh, and some smaller jeans, girlfriend! Those are looking baggy on your new bad self.

  37. Thanks for sharing, Amy. I was diagnosed with Epstein Barr a few years ago and had similar dread each morning, wondering if I would make it through the day. It hit me in spells. I’ve been eating mostly primal for about a year and feel more energetic, with fewer migraines. I’m now giving up dairy to see if it will help even more. Your post has encouraged me.

  38. I got healed from CF(id)S eitehr, only by eating no gluten and casein any more. First results i got after two weeks, one year later i was better than ever before.
    That time i did not loose any weight, since i am additional primal (March 2012) i lost 19 Kg. Maybe you will read my story in March 2013. 😉

  39. Great story, Amy! I have a mother-in-law who has fibro who gave primal a half-hearted attempt a few months ago. Hopefully, like you, she’ll try it again and find that it really is life changing and not boring like she claimed. I wish you continued success with your illness. Congratulations!

  40. Such an empowering story!! I too cured my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, hypoglycemia, IBS, and dandruff all with the primal diet. I really wish more people out there would bite the bullet and follow this plan as well. It’s DEFINITELY not easy, but I wouldn’t trade all the cookies, cereals, popcorn, etc. for the way I feel now!!!

  41. Thank you so much for posting your story. I’ve had fibromyalgia for the last two years and tried giving up gluten and dairy to help. I’ve had theories that sugar might be affecting me as well. Now I think I’m going to seriously cut it out to double check.

  42. Old post, I know, but it deserves to be said. Chronic fatigue is not the same as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is not the same as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

    Chronic fatigue can have many dietary causes or contributors, including undiagnosed celiac disease or a B12 deficiency.

    Amy, as many have said, had a very mild form of the illness–although I am sure it did not feel mild to her! Mild==still at work full-time or part-time or any time, Moderate==homebound, Severe==bedbound. My experience of the illness ranges from moderate to severe. I generally use a wheelchair when I am out of the house, and can sometimes go for weeks when I cannot sit in a chair.

    All of the interventions mentioned in the comments here have helped. I was already gluten-free before I got sick, but I know that certainly helps. Completely avoiding casein has helped. Supplementing with B12, CoQ10, Vit D, alpha lipoic acid, and several other antioxidants I can’t recall at the moment has helped. Drinking lots of turmeric and olive leaf tea (to quite inflammation and keep my viral load down) has helped. DHA has helped. Reishi mushrooms have helped. D-Ribose has helped. Magnesium has helped.

    None of these interventions have brought me anywhere close to returning to even half my normal life.

    As in every disease, there’s a range of causes and complicating factors, as well as a range of severity. It may be that in MS, as in CFS, some people have just taken more damage, such that it can be difficult or impossible to return to normal, even though there is always room for improvement. I think what I’m trying to say is that not every MS patient who tries a primal diet is going to be Terry Wahls. Not every patient who tries a primal diet is going to be Amy. But ever 5% will help.

    1. Let me put it this way–most of the people I have spoken to who self-identify as having CFS have nothing like the illness I and many of the other severely ill people in that amorphous category have. I tend to be suspicious of the “I eliminated gluten” or “I took B12 shots” and all was well stories.

      Myalgic encephalomyelitis is not being tired all the time. It’s having severe neurological, GI, endocrine, and cardiovascular symptoms that get worse with exertion.

  43. Oops ignore me I’d missed the earlier comments where you mention the doctor!

  44. What a wonderful story, Amy. I’m so glad you got better. being free of the ‘fog of fatigue’ must be sooo liberating.
    Unfortunately I am still struggling with the fatigue. As been said before: CFS can have many causes. Mine are (among others) POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardic syndrome) which is a lowering of the blood-pressure when sitting and standing and the body trying to compensate by a higher heartrate. Very heavy medical tights give some relieve. One other thing the doctor at the Chronic Fatigue Centre in Amsterdam (the Netherlands) found out is that the levels of pyruvate in my blood are too high. Pyruvate is a substance that comes before the last step in generating energy in the cells. This could mean not all the energy that could be generated in my cells is actually generated (this description is a very simplified version of a complex process)
    I was hoping going primal would help me but so far after 4 months nothing significant has happened. ( though a have less heartburn and itching skin) I will continue though, hoping it may still come……

  45. Thanks for sharing your story Amy. Likewise, when I hit day 3 of primal eating I suddenly felt like another engine was added to my body. I had suffered from chronic fatigue for about 25 years. Saw a 80% cure in 3 days of avoiding grain. Saw another 10% improvement when I stopped eating fruit and honey. The remaining 10% seems to be coming slowly.

  46. Paleo eating is such a wonderful tool for CFS recovery! I have a similar story as Amy…15 yrs with CFS recovered with diet & targeted supplementation to heal the mitochondria. It works yet few CFS doctors give dietary advice to their patients.

  47. Greetings from Idaho! I’m bored at work so I decided to browse your website on my iphone during lunch break.
    I love the information you provide here and can’t
    wait to take a look when I get home. I’m shocked
    at how quick your blog loaded on my mobile .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G ..
    Anyhow, fantastic blog!