Dietary management and strategies
Also see the section on care for people with severe or very severe ME/CFS.
1.12.19 Emphasise to people with ME/CFS the importance of adequate fluid intake and a well-balanced diet according to the NHS eat well guide.
1.12.20 Work with the person and their family or carers (as appropriate) to find ways of minimising complications caused by:
- gastrointestinal symptoms (such as nausea)
- changes to appetite
- swallowing difficulties
- sore throat
- or difficulties with buying, preparing and eating food.
1.12.21 Encourage people with ME/CFS who have nausea to:
- Keep up adequate fluid intake and advise them to try to eat regularly, taking small amounts often.
- Explain that not eating or drinking may increase their nausea.
1.12.22 Refer people with ME/CFS for a dietetic assessment by a dietitian with a special interest in ME/CFS if they are:
- losing weight and at risk of malnutrition
- gaining weight
- following a restrictive diet.
1.12.23 Be aware that people with ME/CFS may be at risk of vitamin D deficiency, especially those who are housebound or bedbound.
- For advice on vitamin D supplementation, see the NICE guideline on vitamin D.
1.12.24 Explain to people with ME/CFS that there is not enough evidence to support routinely taking vitamin and mineral supplements as a cure for ME/CFS or for managing symptoms.
- If they choose to take a vitamin or supplement, explain the potential side effects of taking doses of vitamins and minerals above the recommended daily amount.
1.12.25 Refer children and young people with ME/CFS who are losing weight or have faltering growth or dietary restrictions to a paediatric dietitian with a special interest in ME/CFS.
1.12.26 For advice on food allergies in children, see the NICE guideline on food allergy in under 19s.