Alcohol and its wonders
The Achilles heel for many people. The 'norm' for some others. And poison if you have CFS/PVFS/ME...
When I first got Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome/CFS back during the period of 1995, I thought that having a drink or two wouldn't affect me any differently to my PRE-CFS days. Unfortunately I didn't realize what I was doing to myself.
I didn't know how badly alcohol can affect the severity of this CFS...
Nowadays I don't touch alcohol at all, and haven't done so for a few years now. I'd rather see at least a few hours in the day instead of being bedridden for weeks on end because of one alcoholic drink!
Because when you have CFS/M.E., you might as well be pouring arsenic down your throat...
Okay - so that comparison might be a little 'dramatic', but you get what I mean right?
You see when you have CFS/M.E., you are likely to develop **alcohol intolerance**...
The smallest alcoholic drinks - even a tiny bit,
can send you into a relapse - as I learnt the hard way many years ago.
Having an alcoholic drink now and again was enough to tip the severity of my PVFS/CFS over the edge and put me in bed indefinitely.
When a **normal** person gets drunk they may feel a bit bad for a day or so, after which, they're back to 'normal', bouncing back and raring to go. But when a person with M.E./CFS gets drunk - or even has just one drink, they're likely to feel like 'death warmed up' for what seems like an eternity!!!
Personally, I don't actually like alcohol much so I don't miss it. But even if I did, I have realized that alcohol no longer makes me feel the way it used to before I had CFS...
Drinking alcohol now feels like I'm feeding myself poison, and my body reacts accordingly - i.e. a flare, or worse, a relapse - and I suffer the consequences for a long, long time afterwards.
Unfortunately, most of us CFS sufferers are just not strong enough to resist the poisons of alcohol.
So for most of us, it's unfortunately a case of accepting it, or getting much, much worse.
As Dr Shepherd writes in his book 'Living With M.E.':
"Some people who previously enjoyed and tolerated regular consumption of alcohol without any adverse effects, now find that even small amounts make them extremely unwell."
-- p214, Dr Shepherd, 'Living with M.E.' --
So if you have M.E. /CFS, it is likely that you may have developed intolerance to alcohol.
And that's not forgetting that alcohol also affects the effects of antidepressants (often prescribed to CFS sufferers to treat their fatigue and to help sufferers sleep)! So if you're taking antidepressants, it's definitely something to bear in mind.
Having CFS/ME can be a very lonely and devastating experience and depression can be a very real and serious symptom for some CFS sufferers. So the last thing you need is to take substances that make you feel worse.
And guess what?
Yep, you've guess it, alcohol is also a depressant. So it's not a great thing to drink if you're depressed!
And according to Dr Shepherd, many sufferers sadly do turn to alcohol...
But alcohol is no answer. Apart from probably making you feel depressed, you could also develop an alcohol dependency!
What's more, if you **are** alcohol intolerant, while you keep on taking in alcohol, then it will be really difficult for you to recover from M.E. /CFS (pretty much impossible even).