1. Appropriate structured rest
Dr MacIntyre compared the rest that ME/CFS patients need to that imposed in TB (tuberculosis) sanatoria before the advent of antibiotics to treat TB. This involved complete physical, mental and emotional rest combined with good diet. And absence of stress - physical, mental and emotional. This helped some TB patients to recover. Dr MacIntyre feels a similar structured rest protocol can help patients with ME/CFS.
Some diets are not good for people with ME/CFS: vegetarian and low fat diets for example. Eat eggs, fish, chicken. Red meat in moderation. Watch especially for intolerance to dairy products (common intolerance in ME/CFS patients). Eat as much fresh (as opposed to processed) foods as possible. Generally eat plenty of protein. Drink lots of water - 4 to 5 pints a day. To avoid dehydration and enable the body to detoxify. Use plenty of salt. This may help for people who have low blood volume. (there is research indicating PWME/PWC may be deficient in aldosterone, which is a salt conservator)
3. Decent sleep
Insomnia is a common long-term symptom. Low dose tricyclic antidepressants (e.g. amitriptyline) can help. A carbohydrate snack before bed (sandwich, biscuits or cake) with hot milk (if dairy foods are tolerated) can be helpful. Magnesium and Calcium supplements can also be helpful before bed.
4. Stress avoidance
ME/CFS is an illness that leaves sufferers extremely stress-sensitive, in Dr MacIntyre's view. Stress can take many forms.
During the question and answer session following her presentation, Dr MacIntyre made an interesting point that may be of practical help to some sufferers.
She spoke of someone who had a diagnosis of ME, but later was diagnosed as having MS. A good friend of mine is now also (very recently) in that situation. In both cases it has been much easier to obtain State Sickness and Disability Benefits and other help.
Dr MacIntyre herself, while previously diagnosed with ME/CFS, now has a diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis. She commented that as it is a well recognised disease, with a blood test, she now has little trouble obtaining State Sickness and Disability Benefits that she had difficulty obtaining with her ME/CFS diagnosis.
Dr MacIntyre has a