International Awareness Day of Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases (CIND)
Awareness of Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases (CIND) – Tamzyn Murphy RD, MSc
With no apparent outward appearance of anything wrong, who would have thought that many people, particularly women, are battling debilitating symptoms on a daily basis. Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases (CIND) are silent, often overlooked, and for years wrongly perceived as non-existent, hypochondriac-inspired conditions. Nothing could be further from the truth. These conditions can not only result in excruciating pain, but also debilitating fatigue and impact on daily living and functioning, as well as relationships and livelihoods.
Today, the 12th of May, is the day the world’s attention is turned to these invisible diseases to bring recognition and help to those suffering. Today is also Florence Nightingale’s birthday, the founder of modern nursing who is also thought to have lived with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (aka Myalgic Encephalomyelitis). Amongst CIND are Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS, also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis or ME), fibromyalgia (FM) and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) and Gulf War Syndrome. These conditions are characterised by musculoskeletal pain, extreme fatigue, and sleep and cognitive problems (particularly with mood and memory). Gastrointestinal disturbances (e.g. diarhoea and Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms often co-occur). These symptoms interfere with functioning and activities of daily living.
CIND are difficult to diagnose and scientists aren’t sure about what causes them. However, there often appear to be possible environmental triggers and a role for immune system involvement and inflammation as well as oxidative stress. As such, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-supportive diets are often recommended. While supplements and dietary modifications havn’t been proven effective , it is possible that reducing inflammation and avoiding possible food sensitivities may help. As such a real- or whole- food based ketogenic diet [2, 3] may help support a better quality of life in those suffering with CIND.
- Campagnolo N, et al. Dietary and nutrition interventions for the therapeutic treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis: a systematic review. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2017 30:247–259
- Wright C and Simone N. Obesity and tumor growth: inflammation, immunity, and the role of a ketogenic diet. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care. Jul 2016:19(4):294-299(6)
- Liu Y, et al. Ketogenic diet attenuates oxidative stress and inflammation after spinal cord injury by activating Nrf2 and suppressing the NF-κB signaling pathways. Neuroscience Letters. Sep 2018: 683(14):13-18