I have suffered with lifelong constipation and this became much worse just prior to and on being diagnosed with ME/CFS. My g.p. referred me to a gastroenterologist who recommended that I cut out all wheat and dairy products. This certainly helped with the painful bloating and had some effect on the constipation.
However, as constipation can put a lot of stress on the whole system and my system needed all the help it could get at the moment, I decided to look further into my diet. (I had always thought my diet was pretty healthy anyway).
I read lots of diet/nutritional informtion, particularly related to ME/CFS sufferers. These are some of the things that I have implemented and found extrememly beneficial:
Buy all foods as fresh as possible and organic if budget allows
Eat a portion of vegetables raw as cooking reduces their nutrient value and many of the beneficial enzymes. On this note I juice veg/fruit every day. I have found that this definitely has an effect on my constipation as well as my energy levels. After trying a cheap juicer, which didn't last long at all, I would definitely recommend the one I am using now - it is sturdy and is standing up well to very regular usage: VitalMAX Oscar 900
Ensure you drink filtered water and lots of it to aid detox. I use an under the sink filter. Next best is bottled water, but I was told by a nutritionist that Britta filters were not effective enough. My tap is by Franke it's a triflow tap so you get your hot, cold and filtered water at the one point.
Something that certainly helped me when trying to control my blood sugar levels was to make sure that I ate some protein with every meal - particularly at breakfast and also to include protein in snacks (eg nuts, seeds, fish, poultry, eggs, red meat etc). I had always ate cereal for breakfast and never had time to cook, so I now include a protein drink at breakfast. Having a protein drink at breakfast is probably the best way to create sustainable energy throughout the day. I was told by a nutritionist that Protein powders, like micro-filtered whey protein, are the most bio-available form of protein in the world. Protein has the ability to increase your body's levels of glutathione, by providing the building blocks needed to create this molecule. Glutathione is a potent anti-oxidant which helps liver detoxification and boosts the immune system! (At this point also note that all red berries are a very potent source of anti-oxidant). ImmunoProRX by Allergy Research is the protein powder I use, it's expensive, but I experienced an almost immediate effect on energy levels and would highly recommend it.
ME/CFS sufferes are generally advised to stay away from artificial sugar replacements, however I have discovered an exception! XYLITOL is a 100% natural sweetener found in fruit and vegetables. It has the same sweetness as sugar but 40% fewer calories, no unpleasant aftertaste and none of the tooth decay problems or insulin release effects. I buy mine from Holland and Barret.
We are told to avoid alcohol (which I find I can't tolerate anyway), but tea is another matter! Caffeine is dehydrating, causes blood sugar imbalances and often contain toxins. Red Bush Tea (Rooibos) saved my life!! it has none of the toxins, caffeine or tanins which stops minerals getting into the system.
One more thing I feel I really must mention. At the beginning of my illness I was found to have a severely underactive thyroid gland. During my research I discovered in many articles that Soya (I had been substituting all dairy products with Soya) can stop the body absorbing many things and in particular Thyroxine and protein in general. I therefore switched to rice milk. (oat milk and almond milk are also ok).
At this point I have been ill for almost 12 months and have researched lots during this time (when energy levels allow!). I really hope that my findings will save you some time and energy and that you will find them as beneficial as I have.
*For all who read my blog, It would be amazing if you could forward my link http://dld.bz/mBZq to as many people as you know (twitter/facebook/your email list etc). You will then be doing your own bit for ME/CFS awareness and spreading the word to people who one day might just need it!* x