1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Adrienne Dellwo

Sleep & Digestive Problems in Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

By December 14, 2012

Follow me on:

You find reference to them in just about every description of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, and you find instances of them in just about every person with these illnesses - sleep problems and digestive disorders are part of the package.

Since sleeping and eating are such crucial aspects of life, it's important that we look for ways to manage these problems. To get started, see:

What problems do you have with food and sleep? What has helped you overcome them? Leave your comments below!


December 14, 2012 at 9:55 am
(1) dfwmom says:

We use 3 grams of L-Tryptophan along with 6mg sustained release melatonin for sleep. It does seems to help with sleep.

December 14, 2012 at 11:05 am
(2) Rachael says:

One thing that has helped me in my search for answers regarding my case of ME/CFS is knowing the important relationship between the brain and the gut.; how what you ingest deeply affects what goes on in your brain and vice versa.

“The body has two brains — the familiar one encased in the skull and a lesser known but vitally important one found in the human gut. Like Siamese twins, the two brains are interconnected; when one gets upset, the other does, too.”

Our gut and our brain originate early in embryogenesis from the same clump of tissue which divides during fetal development. While one section turns into the central nervous system, another piece migrates to become the enteric nervous system.

Patients with bowel problems have been shown to have abnormal REM sleep and many gastrointestinal disorders like colitis and irritable bowel syndrome originate from problems within the gut’s brain.
“Just as the brain can upset the gut, the gut can also upset the brain.”

“Details of how the enteric nervous system mirrors the central nervous system have been emerging in recent years.”

Dr Michael Gershon

Source for some of this information: http://www.nytimes.com/1996/01/23/science/complex-and-hidden-brain-in-gut-makes-stomachaches-and-butterflies.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

December 14, 2012 at 11:15 am
(3) Rachael says:

The Brain-Gut Connection

The Sleep-Gut Connection
The brain and gut are so much alike that during our sleeping hours, both have natural 90-minute cycles.

The Anxiety-Gut Connection

Other sources: http://altmedangel.com/gutbrain.htm

December 14, 2012 at 11:37 am
(4) Jonathan says:

Sleep: Sleep apnea and Bruxism (teeth grinding). I have NEVER awaken from sleep feeling refreashed. Someday hopefully.

Digestion: Bloating and extreme fatigue after every meal. I’ve cut out all grains and legumes which tend to be harmful for digestion and I’ve taken enzymes and HCL. Nothing seems to help. I think that once your brain is broken, you’ll have chronic digestion issue no matter what.

December 14, 2012 at 12:54 pm
(5) Leila says:

I don’t seem to be able to digest in my sleep. I wake up throwing up in the middle of the night, or very stomach upset in the morning. I just make sure to eat dinner very early (4:30pm).

December 14, 2012 at 9:23 pm
(6) Shawna says:

For the past month and a half, I’ve gone gluten and dairy free. My weight has not changed but my body seems to have dropped two sizes. Puffiness and bloat went away! I really miss my yogurt and cheese but have found that I LOVE coconut milk! Baking my own gluten free bread can be time consuming, but my guts have never felt better. If you have good willpower, you could try dropping wheat products and/or dairy to see if you feel better.

December 16, 2012 at 5:45 pm
(7) ab says:

Hey Rachael, would it be too personal of me to ask for a simplified version of the changes you made in diet and the related changes in symptoms you felt? Just curious. I’m glad going gluten- and dairy-free has helped Shawna.
Wishing everyone a peaceful holiday……

December 16, 2012 at 8:30 pm
(8) Rachael says:

Hi ab: I eat chicken w/skin, or fish, or pork, or beef (protein), eggs, butter etc (saturated fats) take fish oil supplements and eat some fruits/ vegetables everyday. I try to avoid eating too many foods, or taking meds such as SSRI’s that are known to raise serotonin levels in the gut, since 95 percent of the body’s serotonin is housed in the gut, where it acts as a neurotransmitter and a signaling mechanism.

I had a blood test years ago that showed I had high levels of serotonin in my system, but low levels of circulating dopamine. IBS is related to high levels of serotonin in the gut; something that I suffered from for years. Since raising by dopamine levels with food and taking an l-tyrosine supplement I no longer suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. I also have less anxiety which can also be caused by an excess of serotonin in the system. I hope this information helps.

December 23, 2012 at 10:57 am
(9) Rachel says:

I’ve had Fibro my whole life and I’ve had chronic gastritis my whole life. For me, when the gastritis gets acute, it feels like my stomach is trying to digest rocks. My stomach bloats to an increased pant size. Sometimes it gives me a burning feeling in my belly, but mainly it causes me to belch constantly -and I mean one right after the other.

Ranitidine and Protonix/Prilosec help the most, but it takes months of treatment and mild food to calm it back down.

I’ve learned to use gluten-free pasta, as regular pasta gives me immediate discomfort, like digesting rocks again. I also eat almond milk or almond/soy yogurt, avoiding cow’s milk. In general, I have to avoid spicy red pepper to prevent flair ups.

February 7, 2013 at 11:20 am
(10) Tonya says:

I have gastroparesis , IBS and nausea most of the time and don’t sleep well. I have also become prediabetic since last May 2012 but was just told in November for whatever reason. But I’ve last over 20 pounds since then as well !! No complaints!

August 2, 2013 at 9:50 am
(11) brimarie says:

I’m 15 years old. Whenever I eat then sleep I wake up throwing up or having severe stomach discomfort. I recently discovered I’m gluten and lactose intolerant. Why doesn’t my body digest food properly when I’m one of the healthiest eaters I know? I don’t understand how some kids can eat ice cream and fried chicken in one sitting and still not bloat automatically or have stomach pains. I guess I just need to vent. I have no idea what I could have.

December 11, 2013 at 11:31 am
(12) Tony says:

I can relate to brimarie. This world is messed up. all of the medical minds out there an no one can help us? I think the pharma industry is trying to get us hooked on acid tablets.

March 17, 2014 at 2:58 am
(13) Sheena says:

To everyone who’s having upper digestive difficulties, particularly if you’re throwing up, ask your doctor for a stomach emptying test, you may have gastroparesis, slowed stomach emptying, a common condition in M.E./CFS. I was diagnosed last year. I find the last meal of the day is always the worst and tends to sit in my stomach overnight. My sleep is terrible.

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>
  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.