Alphabet Soup

“Highly Sensitive Girl” lives her life as a Highly Sensitive Person with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Multiple Food Sensitivities, and a variety of other challenges.  Below is a translation/introduction/explanation of some of the abbreviations you will run into on these pages—the Alphabet Soup of my life.

HSG/HSP: Highly Sensitive Girl/Person comes from Elaine Aron’s book and concept The Highly Sensitive Person.  “According to Dr. Aron’s definition, the Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) has a sensitive nervous system, is aware of subtleties in his/her surroundings, and is more easily overwhelmed when in a highly stimulating environment.” [quotation from her website]  I read her book years ago, recognized myself in the concept, but didn’t appreciate just how “sensitive” I was until more recently.

CFS/CFIDS/ME: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (aka CFIDS: Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome or ME: myalgic encephalomyelitis) is much more than just feeling tired all the time.  According to the CFIDS Association of America, “CFS is characterized by incapacitating fatigue (experienced as profound exhaustion and extremely poor stamina) and problems with concentration and short-term memory. It is also accompanied by flu-like symptoms such as pain in the joints and muscles, unrefreshing sleep, tender lymph nodes, sore throat and headache. A distinctive characteristic of the illness is post-exertional malaise, a worsening of symptoms following physical or mental exertion occurring within 12-48 hours of the exertion and requiring an extended recovery period. . . The symptoms of CFS are highly variable and fluctuate in severity, complicating treatment and the ill person’s ability to cope with the illness. Most symptoms are invisible, which makes it difficult for others to understand the vast array of debilitating symptoms with which people with the illness must contend.”  I was diagnosed with CFS in 2003.

MFS: Multiple Food Sensitivities  In my case, this includes sensitivities to wheat/gluten, corn, and dairy (lactose, whey, AND casein).  So when you see GF, CF, DF on this blog, I’m referring to:

GF: gluten-free (no wheat, barley, or substances derived from wheat)

CF: corn-free (no corn or corn derivitives, this is the most difficult; corn is in EVERYTHING)  NOTE: on some blogs and in other people’s recipes CF can refer to “casein free”, but since I’m avoiding lactose, whey, AND casein I collect those all under DF (see below)

DF: dairy-free (no milk, butter, or cheese from any animal source—cow, sheep, goat, etc.)  For me, this means that most “dairy-substitutes” are out.  Many of them eliminate lactose, but not whey and/or casein.

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