Monday before last, I decided to go alcohol-free for a week. This had no real bearing on my ME/CFS: it's just something I do from time to time, to make sure I haven't turned into an alcoholic yet. ;)
More seriously, I do drink pretty much every night. I don't mean I'm a raving beer-monster; I mean I have a beer, or a glass of wine, with dinner. Sometimes, on the weekend, J (my other half) and I will have an aperitif before dinner. I am usually well within the government guidelines on alcohol intake (which are probably more restrictive than I need; safe limits correlate with body mass, and I'm 6ft tall...)
Anyway, it was time for a no-alcohol week. And I noticed that, as the week went on, I started to feel... good. I was aware that I was sleeping more shallowly, but my mind felt clearer. I felt lighter. Chores felt less insurmountable. My productivity started to pick up. I was working hard, and by evening was tired - but not in an 'ill' way. A good, clean, genuine, all-used-up tired.
I started to have a creeping, dreadful feeling that my increased wellness might be linked to my reduced alcohol intake. (Oh, conflict!! On the one hand: a simple measure I can take that might turn my life around. On the other: Nooooo!!! Don't take my beerz!!)
I cut my alcohol-free week short on the Saturday night. Not because I was gagging for a drink, but because, if my suspicion was correct, I would rather have a sofa-based Sunday than Monday. Monday is a work day, and I'm horribly (wonderfully!) busy right now. I drank a thoroughly enjoyable couple of glasses of wine as we watched "Cowboys and Aliens" (which was a much better film than I expected, by-the-by).
Sunday came complete with brain-fog, aching limbs and that dull, nagging, 'slow' feeling. The wine, perhaps? Perhaps - but the results are not yet conclusive. I've also been working to cut out refined sugar from my diet, and Saturday's dinner also included cheesecake. Oh - and Sunday's breakfast was, basically, bakery cookies. So I broke the number 1 rule of an exclusion diet, and re-introduced two possible causes at the same time.
For now, I'm happy to be both alcohol and sugar free. Next weekend, I'll introduce one of the possible culprits, and see how I go. (My money's on the alcohol. What that means for all the homebrew kit in my shed is yet to be decided.)