Journal

Flare Scare – Adjustments Needed

28th June 2019

If you’ve been following my blog, you will know that I have started to follow the OMS Program, a diet & lifestyle program called Overcoming MS.

Well, I have had a bit of a struggle with it the past couple of weeks and I’ve had to adjust the diet part of the program due to feeling rather unwell.

Fatigue was creeping in more and more. Of course, I started immediately worrying that MS is playing up, rearing its ugly head. I put it down to maybe having a so-called flare, dreading a full-blown relapse.

But the fatigue was different than before. When you have MS, you get used to your type of fatigue. Sounds weird but it’s true. Everybody experiences it differently and at various levels. What I have learnt is that I often get fatigued in the morning when rushing about getting ready for work and doing the school run.

If I’m lucky a quick meditation session straight after the morning school run works wonders and nips it in the bud. And often even without the meditation, the fatigue would eventually lift around midday. Another cause could be overdoing it in some way, namely by exercising be it a walk that was too long or a gym session.

This fatigue recently was different. It came with nausea which is just the cherry on the cake when you already feel like you’ve hit the ground! But what was most unusual that if it lifted at all, it made a reappearance later in the day. Meditation was also not helping, actually making me feel more tired and even after just 10 minutes I started nodding off!

What’s going on?

After consulting my very lovely sister in law who really knows her stuff when it comes to nutrition, it was clear. I wasn’t getting enough Vitamin B12. I had just dropped out most of the dairy, on top of already cutting out meat. The supplements I was taking were clearly not working. Often I was hungry, ravenous even. What finally confirmed it was a big portion of scrambled egg with braised spinach one morning. I bounded into work like a Duracell bunny!

That breakfast included what I needed: Protein, B12, Iron and to absorb it all, fat. A few days followed of me taking a break from the diet and having meat with limited dairy. I feel like a different person. Fatigue is GONE. I’m no longer constantly hungry. And most importantly, it’s not an MS flare or the start of a relapse! BIG PHEW!

Adjustments

So, I’m no expert but here’s what I have decided to do.

I will bring some meat back into my diet. It will be organic chicken and turkey. It will be no more than twice a week. I will also ensure that my other meals contain more variety of veggies. For example, a quick pasta with prawns and chopped tomatoes might be OMS compliant but I need to get better at adding stuff to our meals that are of more nutritional value. And I must confess, that there is still too much processed food in my diet, especially when pressed for time. I’m not talking ready meals, more pre-prepared salads, and sandwiches, and crisps…

It’s still a big learning curve but I’m getting there.

Final note

If you’re local and looking to lose weight, recover from a serious illness like cancer with the help of diet & exercise, find an exercise program tailored to someone with chronic illness, I cannot recommend my sis in law enough. There are no gimmicks and she is my food bible! Check her out at Bandana Health & Fitness.

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3 Comments

  • Reply Jenny 28th June 2019 at 16:59

    Oh so sorry to hear that you have been struggling Kat, but so pleased that you have worked out what feels right to you! I think that we have to do what our bodies tell us, and if that means a bit of chicken, so be it! Swank had chicken and low-fat dairy on his diet and it still worked to avoid progression. I have LOADS of hummus and avocado and olive oil to make up my lack of calories, probably more than OMS would condone but it is how I feel best.

    • Reply Kat 28th June 2019 at 20:03

      Thanks Jenny! I’m just glad that it wasn’t a relapse and I managed to fix it myself. That’s interesting about Swank, I don’t know much about it apart from it being mentioned in conjunction with OMS.

  • Reply Jenny 28th June 2019 at 23:41

    Yes, Definitely good it wasn’t a relapse! I think that Swank was the original person to look into diet, OMS builds on his findings 🙂

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