The Fit Student—Enzymes for when you Relapse

What if you freed yourself of disease, but, after being bedridden with a bug, the disease reawakened? If you’re like me, you’d fumble to find a way to defeat the foe forever.

I got smacked with an icky cold.  After ten days, the cold waned: I scarcely blew my nose, rarely sneezed, and barely coughed.  But I felt so feeble I could hardly stand.  My loved one chimed in that I looked fine—and I did.  But I felt dead-tired.

Stupidly, I googled “post flu fatigue.”  Post flu fatigue works like chronic fatigue syndrome but is kindled by the flu (Seladi-Schulman, Jun 29, 2018)—and I sported the symptoms.  Fear struck.  Might I have relapsed into chronic fatigue syndrome?

Two years ago, I got battered with what I believe to be undiagnosed chronic fatigue syndrome.  It felt so ghastly I’d, time and again, sleep thirty hours straight.  I’d also writhe with nausea and fatigue for three days most weeks.  But I freed myself through diet and fitness—until now.

Now fatigued, I stewed over two scenarios: change or relapse.  I settled with graded exercise.  Graded exercise soothes some with chronic fatigue syndrome, but hurts others (Doucleff, Oct 2, 2017 – 5:40 AM ET).   It heals me.

So, I did jumping jacks without the jumps (called controlled jumping jacks), upping increments of ten from ten reps to fifty.  Between sets, I rested while swallowing sour cabbage, sunflower seeds, apples, and berries.  To my delight, the fatigue faded.

But what if post flu fatigue slogged me every cold?  And what if I relapse into chronic fatigue syndrome?

I vowed to shape up my health.  But I already workout up to nine hours a week.  And my diet couldn’t get more wholesome.  Well, I could ditch plain yogurt and bran cereal.  But these foods seem nourishing, right?  It turns out, they’re not top-notch.  Dr.  John Bergman says steer clear of commercial dairy (at 35:01 in video).  And I say, “Why can’t companies make bran sans dye and sugar?”

So, how else could I boost my health?

I pored over an article that claimed a study showed that “one would have to eat eight oranges today to derive the same amount of Vitamin A as our grandparents would have gotten from one” (Scheer & Moss, 2019).  Lower food quality stems from “soil depletion: Modern agricultural methods have stripped increasing amounts of nutrition from the soil in which the food we eat grows” (Scheer & Moss, 2019).  Specifically, and based on the many health documentaries I’ve watched, I believe our food quality fell due to pesticides, GMOs, lack of biodiversity on farms, chemical (not animal) fertilizers, concentrated animal feeding operations, monocrops, and tractor tilling (killing) of crucial bacteria in the ground.

I thought, “How can we get more nutrition from our foods?”  And that’s when I fancied the quick dietary fix: take digestive enzymes.  “Digestive enzymes are required to break down all types of foods into small enough particles that our bodies can use” (Harris, 2018, location 567 of 1922, 29%).  Enzymes include “proteases (which breaks down proteins), lipases (which break down fats), and carbohydrase (such as amylase, which breaks down carbohydrates)” (Harris, 2018, location 369 of 1922, 19%).

Enzymes matter because a “lack of enzymes prevents our bodies from absorbing the necessary nutrients for overall health and wellness” (Harris, 2018, location 567 of 1922, 29%).  And as we get older, our enzymes decline (Kitani, Jan 11 2007).

So, I plan to snack on enzyme rich foods.  Such foods include “kefir …bananas … soy sauce …  pineapples …  avocados … bee pollen … papayas … sauerkraut … miso … kiwi … and (vegetarian) tempeh” (Harris, 2018, location 599 of 1922, 21%).  Bee pollen in particular “has over 5,000 different enzymes” (Harris, 2018, location 426 of 1922, 22%).  “These foods have the enzymes that are needed to improve digestive function and the breaking down of foods, minerals, and vitamins” (Harris, 2018, location 464 of 1922, 24%).

Maybe eating enzyme-rich foods may step-up my health?  And if you, too, have disease, such as leaky gut syndrome, enzymes may mend you, too (Harris, 2018).  After all, “chronic stress, illness, malnutrition and the overuse of pharmaceutical drugs can all disrupt the internal synthesis of enzymes” (Harris, 2018, location 525 of 1922, 27%).

And I don’t want a relapse.

Bergman, John.  Retrieved May 1, 2019 from
Doucleff, Michealeen.  (Oct 2, 2017 – 5:40 AM ET).  “For People with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, More Exercise Isn’t Better.” National Public Radio.  Retrieved May 5, 2019 from
Harris, Merlee Veronica.  (2018).  Digestive Enzymes: Detecting Leaky Gut Syndrome: ‘Your Ticket to a Healthier Life.’ UK: Merlee Veronica Harris ND Publishing Company.  E-book.
Kitani, Kenichi.  Published Online Jan 11, 2007; Published Print Mar 2007.  “What Really Declines with Age? The Hayflick Lecture in 2006 35th American Aging Association.” Age (Dordr).  29(11): 1-14.  Retrieved May 5, 2019 from
Scheer, Roddy, & Moss, Doug.  (2019).  “Dirt Poor: Have Fruits and Vegetables Become Less Nutritious?” Scientific American.  Retrieved May 5, 2019 from
Seladi-Schulman, Jill.  Medically reviewed by Daniel Murrell, MD.  (Jun 29, 2018).  “Understanding Post-Viral Fatigue.”  Healthline.  Retrieved May 5, 2019 from
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