The Hummingbirds' Foundation for M.E.

The Hummingbirds' Foundation for M.E. (HFME) is fighting for the recognition of M.E.,
and for patients to be accorded the same basic human rights as those with similar
disabling and potentially fatal neurological diseases such as M.S.

Some informal comments to 'ME/CFS' advocates on the PACE trial sham in the UK

The reason why the PACE trials have supposedly been able to show GET improves 'CFS/ME' and so M.E. (in the eyes of many) is because of the vague wastebasket definitions and the confusion between M.E. and 'CFS.' (Plus the involvement of vested interest groups in science.) This lets them use one type of patient group in the study (FM and various CF patients) and then apply it to others (M.E. patients and others).

So critiquing this study by complaining that 'ME/CFS' doesn't improve with exercise or saying the study isn't valid because the 'ME/CFS' definition wasn't used or using the terms M.E. and 'CFS' interchangeably in any way is madness! Crazily illogical. It makes your group part of the problem, not the solution!

The 'ME/CFS' definition is just another wastebasket definition and is not a M.E. definition. It selects a mixed patient group just like the 'CFS' definitions do, it just has an extra tiny bit of some of the least important aspects of M.E. thrown in.  Using the term M.E. but defining it using the 'ME/CFS' definition as many are doing now is even worse. This is all about definitions, not mere terminology!

'ME/CFS' defending and promoting is not M.E. advocacy, it's anti-ME advocacy. It is making things worse for M.E. patients, and all those misdiagnosed with 'CFS' who do not have M.E. and don't need GET either, as well.

Please don't fall for the 'ME/CFS' nonsense! These groups' vague appearance of 'trying to help' is not nearly enough, tell these counter-productive groups to actually do what is best for patients!

Think before posting your next 'ME/CFS' 'research' or 'advocacy' post... 'ME/CFS' research and advocacy helps nobody. None of the patient groups involved, at least. It helps our abusers plenty!

If we don't demand more, how will we ever get it? How will the abuse and needless deaths ever end if we continue to support the same old illogical nonsense for another 20 years?

For more information please see:

Why the food pyramid with its recommended 10 or so serves of grains a day isn't healthy, and why whole grain wheat products are not health food.

1. Wheat contains gluten and gliadin. Gluten, dairy, and soy contain very high levels of dietary estrogens, which are inflammatory, immune suppressive, and neurologically stimulating. For more information see Foods to Avoid, Foods to Enjoy, The Epilepsy Diet Made Simple and the gut absorption recovery diet (GARD).

The bread we eat now (and the wheat it is made from) is totally different to the bread eaten even 100 years ago. Most notably, today’s wheat is far far higher in gluten than it used to be.


2. Wheat is high in toxic lectins. Think of a lectin as a protein containing a key that fits a certain type of lock. This lock is a specific type of carbohydrate. All life forms, plant and animal, insect and fungus have cell membranes that contain carbohydrates that sit within and project from the membrane. If a lectin with the right key comes in contact with one of these 'locks' on the gut wall or artery or gland or organ it 'opens the lock', that is disrupts the membrane and damages the cell and may initiate a cascade of immune and autoimmune events leading to cell death.

Lectins may bind to the gut wall and damage the gut lining, are not altered by digestive enzymes, and may alter gut permeability and pass through the gut into general circulation. Lectins can cause alterations in gut function that may be related to colitis, Crohn's Disease, Celiac-Sprue, IBS and gut permeability. Lectin damage to the gut wall may allow other non-lectin proteins to cross undigested into general circulation and cause allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. For more info see: The Lectin Report, Introduction to "Lectin," and Foods to Avoid, Foods to Enjoy.


3. Digestion problems from bread and pasta etc. These foods are like glue in the stomach, and hard to digest.


4. Opiods in wheat. There is also information which suggests that people should avoid gluten even if we can’t detect an obvious reaction to it, which means avoiding wheat, rye and barley. The Good Health in the 21st  Century book explains that all opiates from all sources, including those found in gluten and diary products, can deregulate the activity of NK cells (an important part of your immune system). They can also affect your moods.


5. Candida can be caused by following a high carbohydrate diet. Women may experience recurrent thrush, and men and women may get oral thrush and need probiotics to recover as well as an anti-candida diet plan (moderate/low carbs and no mouldly or fermented foods). This can also affect your general health.


6. Inflammatory processes are linked to many different diseases. So eating a highly inflammation-promoting diet is not healthy or ideal. Foods such as wheat are highly inflammation promoting foods, for more information see

7. Many or most wheat products, whole wheat or not, are processed foods, and full of preservatives and additives which are linked to cancer and all sorts of problems. Plus they don't have the same nutrition as fresh foods that aren't processed.

8. Eating high levels of grain, and especially one grain, deprives you of the extra vitamins and phytonutrients etc. you would get from eating all different sorts of grain or even better, different sorts and large amounts of fresh vegetables and fruits. Variety is the key to a good diet, and what we need most of is vegetables, and to a lesser extent fruit, not grains and certainly not huge amounts of any one grain.

9. High carbohydrate diets are linked to weight gain and obesity and increased risk of type 2 diabetes as well as polycystic ovarian syndrome which can mess with your hormones and cause infertility, acne and excess facial hair in women. High carb diet can also make you very emotionally unstable (and grumpy and irritable), as you swing from a sugar high to a low. That old line that ‘a calorie is a calorie is a calorie’ is actually not true. A group of people on diets with the same lowered calorie content but with different amounts of protein, carbohydrate and fat will lose very different amounts of weight, or weight can even be gained when a diet is very high in carbohydrate. As the book Mastering the Zone explains, ‘A calorie of fat has a different hormonal effect than a calorie of protein, which has a still different hormonal effect than a calorie of carbohydrate.’


10. Very high carb foods like grains (wholegrain or not), eaten in large amounts and without sufficient protein and fat, leave you feeling unsatisfied, and hungry, so you end up eating more but feeling less satiated than if you had eaten more balanced meals.


11. Eating LOTS of the same food, year on year, as many do with wheat in breakfast cereals, bread and pasta, crackers, biscuits and desserts, can cause you to develop an allergy to that food; an immune system response to that food. Not good for your health. You can test for these allergies with ELISA IgG tests.


12. It is a myth that the Japanese diet is very healthy because it is very high in carbohydrate. The traditional Japanese diet is very healthy, but this is because of the wide variety of foods eaten (100 differnet foods a week one study showed. By contrast, in most western countries the recommended minimum is only 30) plus the prefernce for fish over other meats, low intake of dairy products and animal fat, and so on. Rice is eaten of course, but this is perfectly healthy when it isn't combined with a lot of sugar-filled drinks, sugary yogurt and desserts every day! Fruit is served at the end of a meal in Japan.


In short, if you are after a healthy diet, removal of the "big 4" foods (gluten, dairy, soy and corn), which are all capable of inducing the damage to the intestinal villi that characterizes celiac disease and the related food intolerances, and many other health problems, is important.

Also important is to follow a moderate carbohydrate eating plan, 40% carbs (low GI/GL) and 30% good fats and lean protein. Plus, a diet with as many different colours of fruit and veggies in it, variety is key. Eat different types of nuts and grain and veggies etc. not the same ones all the time, and make it whole food rather than processed food as much as possible.

The food pyramid isn't healthy (it was funded by the grain board!), and nor are endless (whole grain or other) wheat products. A little bit probably wont hurt you if you are healthy, but far better to eat all different sorts of grains in small amounts (oats, quinoa, millet, etc.) than almost always wheat, wheat and wheat, and even better to ditch the grains (most of the time) for far more fresh vegetables and fruit and some nuts and seeds too!

100 carbs a day of so is plenty. The 300 or more recommended by the food pyramid is unhealthy and excessive.

More info on an anti-inflammatory and moderate carb/fat/protein diet, which can also help you slowly lose weight safely and without being hungry, is available for free on the zone website

Jodi Bassett October 2009