Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is still one of the most mysterious and unexplained illnesses of our time. Though it is not actually classified as a disease, the term is still used by many health care providers even though many Doctors are still in debate about its origins and if it really exists. The term Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or CFS is often used when a patient experiences persistent overwhelming fatigue for a period of more than six month consecutively. Other symptoms that accompany fatigue can include:
- Headaches or Migraines
- Depression or Anxiety
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Poor memory or memory loss
- Low grade fever
- Muscle and Joint pains
- Loss of appetite and Libido
- Reoccurring illnesses such as chest infections, sore throats
- Swollen Lymph nodes
- Digestive or intestinal problems
Although there is no established primary cause of CFS, my own theory is that Chronic Fatigue syndrome is caused by a weak or depressed Immune System. The main focus should be on correcting whatever imbalance in the body is exhausting the Immune system and then focus on rebuilding it through correct diet and supplementation.
The main culprit in modern day living for a weakened or depleted Immune function is usually related to stress, nutritional deficiencies, impaired digestion, Candida overgrowth, hormone imbalance or adrenal burnout or a combination of all of these.
Steps to removing the toxic imbalance would include a detoxification diet combined with a follow up nutritional plan, stress management techniques and strategies, a specific exercise regime, and supplements to enhance and boost the immune system.
A good detoxification diet supervised by a professional holistic healthcare practitioner can help to remove the Candida overgrowth from the intestinal tract and will actually cleanse the blood, Lymph fluid and all major organs of toxic residue. It will also help to alleviate mal-absorption of foods and nutrients by considerably improving digestion, it will bind and remove dangerous heavy metals such as Mercury and can result in improved energy and mental focus.
A good therapist who specialises in spiritual, mental and energetic healing would also be a very good option to help to remove any internal blockages and alleviate negative feeling, depression or low self-esteem.
The follow up dietary regime should be inclusive of plenty of whole, living foods that are nutrient dense and high in fiber, this should include plenty of vegetables, low glycemic fruits, green juices, nuts, seeds and also cold water fish to provide the body with essential fatty acids. It is also essential to drink plenty of water to help to flush toxins and impurities out of the system and lubricate the intestinal tract.
It is imperative to avoid stress-inducing stimulants and toxic foods such as Caffeine, refined sugar, Alcohol, processed or packaged items and junk foods. I would also recommend avoiding Wheat, as Gluten intolerances are one of the major culprits of fatigue.
Incorporating stress managements techniques into your daily schedule is essential as stress disrupts the production of three main hormones; Melatonin which is the hormone responsible for allowing you to get a good nights sleep, Noradrenaline which is a hormone related to your daily energy levels and Dopamine which is a hormone responsible for making you feel happiness and pleasure.
Stress is usually brought on by physical, chemical or emotional change and our ability to adapt to it. Physical stress would include some sort of illness or injury, Emotional change could include marriage or death of a loved one and chemical change would include menopause, PMS, side effects of medication and any hormonal imbalances. These events are all too common nowadays and if we don’t learn to cope with it then it can become a constant unrelenting stress for the body, mind and spirit.
Recommended Stress management techniques can include meditation, exercise, yoga, taking a vacation, getting more sleep, massage, laughter, taking time to do activities that you enjoy, creating an action plan, setting goals, improving time management, learning to say ‘No’ and talking about problems with a friend, co-worker or professional counsellor.
There are many supplements that can support the body while recovering from CFS, Vitamin C is always beneficial as is a good probiotic to assist digestion, B-complex will help increase energy and Cordyceps sinesis can be taken to support adrenal gland function. Other really important ones include:
* Magnesium: this is one of the most important catalysts for energy production and it also assists in potassium and Calcium absorption. Magnesium deficiency can be a major cause of insomnia, muscle cramps, migraines, hypertension and cardiovascular problems. Magnesium can be found in many different foods including fish, meat, seafood, bananas, avocados, leafy greens, nuts, whole grains, grapefruits, apricots and apples just to mention a few. Try taking additional Magnesium supplements two to three times daily.
* Vitamin B12: This comes in many forms but not all are effective for utilisation. Deficiency of B12 can cause symptoms such as fatigue, depression, inflamed liver, irritability, anemia, memory loss, neurological damage and many other symptoms that are often present with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The best sources of Vitamin B12 are found in meat, sea vegetables (e.g. kelp, nori, kombu and dulse), clams, brewers yeast, eggs, organs and seafood. Taking sublingual Vitamin B12 under tongue is better than consuming it in pill form or an B12 injections can be administered by a health care practitioner
* Coenzyme Q10: This is a powerful antioxidant and it plays a crucial role in energy production of every cell in the human body, it also stimulates the immune system and increases circulation and oxygen consumption within the cells. Q10 can be naturally found in Salmon, Mackerel, sardines, meat, peanuts and good old spinach. Because Q10 is fat soluble, it is best absorbed when taken with oily foods. For best results take it two to three times throughout the day.
I personally guided people suffering with Chronic Fatigue syndrome back to good health through the recommendations above. The starting point has to be to remove the toxicity and imbalance and then focus on rebuilding and strengthening the immune system and alkalising the entire body. Be kind to yourself as it takes time but take comfort in knowing that everyday that you eat right, exercise and take time to distress you will be one step closer to a healthier, happier, more energised you. Good Luck!
DISCLAIMER: The recommendations listed here are not to replace any medical advice given by a licensed doctor or physician.