The Holistic Approach to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a debilitating and complex disorder that is characterized by profound fatigue that has lasted for at least six months and is not relieved or improved by rest. There are no proven causes of CFS and there is no specific CFS test to positively diagnose a person. Due to the fact that many other conditions can cause fatigue, all other conditions must be ruled out before a diagnosis of CFS can be made. CFS usually affects women in their 40s to 50s but in reality anyone can develop CFS.
In addition to fatigue, CFS includes eight other characteristic symptoms:
- Postexertional malaise (relapse of symptoms after physical or mental exertion)
- Unrefreshing sleep
- Substantial impairment in memory and/or concentration
- Muscle pain
- Pain in multiple joints
- Headaches of a new type, pattern or severity
- Tender neck or armpit lymph nodes
- Sore throat
There are many other symptoms that are common to CFS that typically include mild fever, flu-like symptoms, depression, irritability, allergies, weight changes, digestive disturbances, night sweats, palpitations, severe PMS and a cough. This list is not exhaustive as there are many more symptoms that have been reported.
Possible Causes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
There are many different theories of the cause of CFS, although none have been proven. Researchers do agree however that there are multiple factors that contribute to CFS including infectious agents (viruses, bacteria, candida, parasites etc), immune dysfunction, thyroid problems, toxicity (from environment, food, dental amalgams, and drugs), enzyme deficiencies, underlying allergies, nutritional deficiencies and lifestyle factors (stress, emotional and psychological factors).
Testing to Determine the Contributing Factors
Studies show that each individual may have CFS for various reasons and would therefore require different treatment protocols. The importance is in knowing that each person will respond in their own unique way to treatments and therefore there is no cookie-cutter approach to CFS. Certain tests can reveal hidden imbalances which will help to discover the individual cause and treatment approach. Some tests that may be helpful include a Complete Digestive Analysis which exposes candida, parasites, bacterial pathogens, H.pylori, pH levels, intestinal immunity, enzyme levels, food allergies, inflammatory markers, bowel flora health and any type of worm. Hormone testing can also help to determine any imbalances in the thyroid, adrenal glands or reproductive hormones. Heavy metal tests will reveal the presence of any dangerous build-ups in the body and Allergy testing will determine the immune systems reaction to certain substances.
The Keys to the Treatment Plan
Although each patient’s treatment plan will be different there are some common approaches that can be discussed. The main treatment topics for CFS are:
1. Strengthening the Immune System
- Detoxifying the Body
- Addressing Allergies
- Healing Psychological and Emotional Factors Strengthening the Immune System
The immune system is a complex network that affects all functions of the body. In order to restore and rejuvenate the immune system, a multi-factor approach must be taken.
Steps to Re-building the Immune System:
- Re-establish healthy sleep patterns
- Restore adrenal gland function
- Boosting the immune system
- Eliminating viruses, bacteria, candida and parasites
The first area to address is sleep. Most CFS patients haven’t slept well in years and are taking tranquilizers, muscle relaxants and over-the- counter sleep aides to get them to sleep. Although they are taking these medications, few actually go into deep, restorative sleep. It is in this deep sleep (REM sleep) that the body repairs itself by making human growth hormone (HGH) and other hormones that help repair damaged muscles, tissues, and organs. Deep sleep also builds and rejuvenates the immune system. Restoring sleep often results in an immediate increase in energy and well-being.
5-HTP is a potent natural sleep aide which is derived from the plant Griffonia simplicifolia. 5-HTP is converted directly into serotonin in the body. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, or brain hormone, responsible for regulating sleep, pain, mood, digestion, and mental clarity.
Serotonin is created by the amino acid 5-Hydroxytrtyptophan (5-HTP) in cooperation with magnesium, and the B vitamins (especially B6, B3 and B12).
Serotonin helps promote deep restorative sleep. Serotonin also raises a person’s pain threshold (decreases pain), normalizes digestion (eliminates problems associated with irritable bowel syndrome), increases mental function, elevates mood (reduces anxiety and depression), and is known as the “happy hormone.” The higher one’s serotonin level, the higher their pain threshold (less pain).
Melatonin is the primary hormone of the pineal gland and acts to regulate the body’s sleep/wake cycle (circadian rhythm). Normally melatonin levels in your body begin to rise in the mid to late evening, remain high for most of the night, and then decline in the early morning hours. Some things can work against your body’s production of melatonin. Levels gradually decline with age, and some older adults produce very small amounts or none at all.
What Can Decrease Melatonin Levels?
- exposure to bright lights at night
- exposure to electromagnetic fields
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) (Celebrex, Mobic, Alleve, Bextra, )
- Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs), yes the very same antidepressants that many take for CFS, including Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, Paxil, and
- anxiety medications (benzodiazepines) like Klonopin, Ativan, Xanax, Restoril, anti-hypertensive meds (beta-blockers, adrenergics, and calcium channel blockers) including, Inderal, Toprol, Tenormin, Lorpressor,
- over 3 mg. of vitamin B12 in a
- evening exercise (for up to three hours afterwards)
When administered in pharmacological doses (1-9mgs), melatonin acts as a powerful sleep regulating agent that controls the circadian rhythm (the sleep/wake cycle).
Restore Adrenal Function
The adrenals are a pair of pea-sized glands located atop each kidney. The adrenal gland consists of two sections: the medulla (inner portion) and the cortex (outer portion). The adrenal glands release certain hormones that allow us to be able to deal with immediate and long term stress. These glands and the hormones they release enable us to be resilient to stress.
Under-active adrenal glands are evident in about two-thirds of CFS patients. They have literally burned out their stress-coping gland. Amid years of poor sleep, unrelenting fatigue, chronic pain, excessive stimulants, poor diet, and relying on a plethora of prescription medications, the adrenal glands and the hormones they release have been used up. Once adrenal exhaustion sets in, it’s not long before the body begins to break down. Getting “stressed out” and staying “stressed out” is the beginning of chronic illness.
Effects of Adrenal Fatigue
- Hypotension (low blood pressure)
- Decreased mental alertness
- Excessive facial/body hair
- Salty food cravings
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- Low body temperature
- Slow metabolism
- Low immune function
- Weight changes
- Loss of scalp hair
- Digestive disturbances
- Muscle or joint pain
Self Test Methods
There are 2 self tests that you can do to see if you have adrenal fatigue:
Orthostatic Blood Pressure: normal blood pressure is approximately 120/80. The first number is called the systolic pressure and the second number is the diastolic pressure. Have someone take your blood pressure while you are lying down and then again after quickly standing up. The systolic (the first number) pressure should rise 8- 10mm. A drop or failure to rise may be an indication of adrenal fatigue.
Pupil Dilation Test: face a mirror and shine a flashlight in one eye. If after 30 seconds the pupil (black center) starts to dilate (enlarge), adrenal fatigue should be suspected. During adrenal insufficiency there is a deficiency in sodium and an abundance of potassium. This imbalance causes an inhibition of the muscles of the eye to constrict (shrink).
The most accurate way to detect adrenal fatigue is through a lab test using a saliva sample.
Nutrients to Reverse Adrenal Fatigue
Adrenal cortical extracts help to repair and restore normal adrenal function. Adrenal extracts are used to replenish and eventually normalize adrenal function. They have a strong advantage over prescription adrenal hormone replacement in that they can be immediately discontinued once they have done their job of repairing adrenal function.
Adrenal extracts have been used successfully to treat many conditions related to adrenal fatigue. They can increase energy and help to speed recovery from illness.
Certain herbs also have a direct impact on the adrenal glands. Herbs such as Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus), Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra), Borage (Borago officinalis), Ashwagandha (Withania somniferum) are classed as “Adaptogens”. Adaptogens strengthen the adrenal glands and help the body to adapt easier to emotional and physical stress.
Vitamin C is the most important nutrient in facilitating adrenal function and repair. Daily Vitamin C supplementation has shown to increase the strength and function of the adrenal glands.
Not Enough DHEA
The adrenal cortex, when healthy, produces adequate levels of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA).
- sex drive
- resistance to stress
- self-defense mechanisms (immune system)
- general well-being and helps to raise:
- cortisol levels
- overall adrenal function
- cellular energy
- mental acuity
- muscle strength
DHEA is notoriously low in CFS patients. Chronic stress initially causes the adrenals to release extra cortisol. Continuous stress raises cortisol to abnormally high levels. Then the adrenal glands get to where they can’t keep up with the demand for more cortisol. As the cortisol levels continue to become depleted from on going stress the body attempts to counteract this by releasing more DHEA. Eventually they can’t produce enough cortisol or DHEA. Aging makes holding on to DHEA even tougher. Even in healthy individuals, DHEA levels begin to drop after the age of 30. By age 70, they are at about 20% of their peak levels. DHEA levels should be confirmed by lab testing before supplementation begins.
Boosting the Immune System
Thymus extracts have proven to be one of the best immune-boosting agents for treating CFS. A recent study published in the Journal of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine showed that patients taking a thymus extract, obtained dramatic improvements in their CFS symptoms. The increase in their immune function, as demonstrated by blood tests, resulted in myriad benefits: a 47% improvement in sleep quality, a 43% reduction in food sensitivities, a 53% reduction in chemical sensitivities, a 47% improvement in short-term memory, a 79% improvement in depression symptoms, and a 100% improvement in panic disorder symptoms.
A substantial amount of clinical data now supports the effectiveness of using thymus extracts. They may well provide the answer to chronic viral infections and low immune function. Double-blind studies reveal not only that orally administrated thymus extracts are able to effectively eliminate infection, but also that treatment over the course of a year significantly reduced the number of respiratory infections and significantly improved numerous immune functions.
There are also a number of herbs that restore immune vitality. These herbs work by increasing immune resistance, endurance, energy, resistance to stress and decrease the effects of mental and physical exhaustion leading to a strong and resilient immune system. These herbs include Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus), Wild Indigo (Baptisia tinctoria), Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia), Poke root (Phytolacca decandra), Pau d’arco (Tabebuia avellan edae), Ashwagandha, (Withania somniferum), Cleavers (Galium aperine) and Cat’s claw (Unicaria tormentosa).
Eliminating Viruses, Bacteria, Candida and Parasites
Viruses, Candida, parasites and other infections are often present in patients with CFS. Whether these infections in combination are the cause of CFS or opportunistic invaders of a weakened immune system has not yet been proven. In either case, compromised immunity is a central feature of the syndrome, and the infections involved perpetuate and deepen immune dysfunction by further taxing an already overloaded system.
Candida albicans is a particular form of yeast found living in the intestinal tracts of most individuals. Yeasts cohabitate in a symbiotic relationship with over 400 healthy intestinal bacteria. These bacteria help produce short-chain fatty acids, vitamin K, biotin, vitamin B12, thiamin, and riboflavin. These bacteria also keep the yeast that inhabit our intestinal tract in check. When these good bacteria die (from antibiotics) or are suppressed (by prescription steroids), the yeasts are allowed to grow to unhealthy levels, causing dysbiosis (unhealthy balance between the good and bad bacteria). Yeast overgrowth is similar to food allergies in that there are a plethora of associated symptoms. This can lead to skepticism in many doctors; the symptoms are tough to define. Candidiasis commonly infects the ears, nose urinary and intestinal tracts.
Signs and Symptoms Candida
- constipation, diarrhea, and irritable bowel syndrome
- abdominal pain
- bloating, gas, and indigestion
- bladder spasms and infections
- ear infections
- sinus infections
- rectal itching
- itchy ears or nose
- sugar or starch cravings
- white tongue (thrush)
- toe or finger nail infections
- jock itch
- chronic vaginal yeast infections
- intestinal permeability
- increased body odor
- chronic fatigue
Like most opportunistic infections, Candida and other yeasts may increase during times of stress. This overgrowth leaks toxins into the bloodstream or other tissues, allowing antigens (foreign invaders) to set up residence in various bodily tissues. Antigens then trigger complex allergic reactions. (This might explain why most individuals with chronic yeast overgrowth develop food, inhalant, and environmental allergies).
Allergic reactions can manifest in a variety of symptoms: fatigue, brain fog, depression, joint and muscle pain, digestive disorders, headache, rash, and breathing problems. Inflammation of the nose, throat, ears, bladder, and intestinal tract, can lead to infections of the sinus, respiratory, ear, bladder and intestinal membranes. In an attempt to arrest these infections, doctors might prescribe a broad spectrum antibiotic. Such antibiotics promote yeast overgrowth and often times, additional symptoms. It invades the intestinal wall creating intestinal permeability. This allows toxins from microorganisms and protein molecules from your food enter the blood stream.
Remember, yeast feeds on sugars and on carbohydrates that easily convert to sugars. In turn, yeasts produce a series of chemical products as waste, among which are acetaldehyde and ethanol.
Ethanol is alcohol, and there are cases of people who have never drunk a drop of alcohol yet are daily inebriated. Acetaldehyde is produced as the alcohol breaks down and is about six times more toxic to brain tissue than ethanol.
Possible Causes of Candida?
Birth control pills, food allergies, antibiotics, chronic stress, poor diet and corticosteroid therapy are all initiators of yeast overgrowth. A minor increase in intestinal yeast is usually not a problem, leading possibly to infection of the mouth (thrush) or vaginal lining (vaginitis or “a yeast infection”). The body’s immune defenses are usually strong enough to keep the yeast from taking over the intestinal tract.
However, if yeast overgrowth is left unchallenged, more sinister symptoms appear. Yeasts can change into an invasive mycellial fungus with rhizoids (tentacle-like projections) that penetrate the lining of the intestinal tract. These projections can cause intestinal permeability and leak toxins across the cellular membranes.
Treatment of Candida The Candida Diet
- Avoid sugar for at least three months. Sugar is the chief nutrient for Candida albicans, so restricted sugar intake is an absolutely necessity to effectively treat chronic Candidiasis. Avoid refined sugar, honey, maple syrup, fruit juice, milk, white potatoes, corn, beans, processed or bleached (white) flour, bakery goods, muffins, cereals, and anything containing sugar. This includes ice cream, cake, cookies, and other sweets; potato or corn chips, pretzels, or crackers; and dried fruits, including raisins.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages for at least two
- Avoid mold- and yeast-containing foods for at least two months. These include peanuts, dried fruits (including prunes, raisins, and dates), vinegar, pickled vegetables, sauerkraut, relishes, green olives, vinegar-containing salad dressings, ketchup, mayonnaise and,
- Avoid milk and dairy products for at least two months. All natural (unsweetened) yogurt is ok.
- Avoid fruits and fruit juice (for at least two weeks. After two weeks, try introducing apples and pears to see if you have any reactions. (Reactions might include fatigue, depression, aches and pain, rectal itching, itching of the ears or nose, and digestive disturbances.) If not, then try berries: strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. Avoid all others.
- Many vitamin and mineral supplements purchased at a drug store may be contaminated with
What Can I Eat?
- vegetables and salads
- meats and proteins (lean cuts)
- fish and shellfish
- game birds and wild animals
- nuts and seeds
- cold-pressed or expeller-pressed, non-hydrogenated oils
- sweeteners (plant-based like Stevia or FOS are best). Fructo- oligosaccharide (FOS) is a short-chain polysaccharide used in Japan for dozens of years. It isn’t digested by humans but does stimulate the growth of good bacteria within the intestinal tract. It also helps with liver detoxification, lowers cholesterol, and eliminates various toxins. It can be used as a natural sweetener. Dosage for powder is 2,000– 3,000 mg. daily. Stevia is a remarkable (no calories, no carbs) herb, native to Paraguay. It has been used as a sweetener and flavor enhancer for
- whole grains (brown rice, white rice, oats, quinoa, millet, spelt, kamut)
Sometimes, when a lot of Candida organisms are killed off during initial treatment, a sudden release of toxic substances results in an immune response and intensified symptoms, called the herxheimer reaction. The body becomes extremely acidic. This is known as a die- off reaction. It normally lasts no longer than a week and is frequently confused as an allergic or adverse reaction to the antifungal treatment.
If the reaction is severe, you might need to reduce your antifungal medications. Half the dosage (or take every other day) for a week and then return to the original dose. Then continue antifungal medications for a minimum of three months. If treatment is discontinued too early, symptoms will gradually return.
Once fungus overgrowth has subsided and yeast levels have returned to normal (three–four months), medications and supplements can be gradually decreased over six–eight weeks, and you can gradually add previously forbidden foods to your diet. Continue to be vigilant in monitoring your sugar and simple carbohydrate intake.
Yeast Overgrowth Protocol
- Eliminate yeast-producing foods with the Candida diet above. Also make sure you’re taking yeast-free
- Improve digestion. Gastric hydrochloric acid and pancreatic enzymes help keep Candida from overgrowing in the small Patients on Zantac, Nexium, or other acid-blocking drugs increase their risk for developing yeast overgrowth.
- Supplement with pancreatic enzymes with each
- Supplement with betaine hydrochloric acid with each meal. Yeast can’t live in an acidic environment.
- Replace good bacteria, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. bulgaricus, L. catnaforme, L. fermentum, and Bifidobacterium bifidum. These normally inhabit vaginal and gastrointestinal tracts; help digest, absorb, and produce certain nutrients; and keep potentially harmful bacteria and yeast in Yogurt contains certain strains of good bacteria, but it isn’t standardized for a particular amount. Also, most yogurts are made from L. bulgaricus or Streptococcus thermophilus. Both are friendly bacteria, but neither will help colonize the colon.
- Supplement with probiotics for three months: 5–10 billion organisms on an empty stomach each day. Some extremely resistant yeast infections may need continuous probiotic replacement.
- Reduce liver toxicity. Always take milk thistle or alpha lipoic acid when taking antifungal prescription or natural
Natural Antifungal Medications
- Caprylic acid is a naturally occurring fatty acid and a potent antifungal medicine. It should be taken as an enteric-coated timed- release capsule.
- Oleic Acid, the major (56–83%) component of virgin olive oil, hinders conversion of Candida albicans yeast to the more harmful mycelial fungal
- Berberine (sulfate) has a wide range of antimicrobial properties. It is a proven herbal medicine used successfully to treat fungal, bacterial, and parasitic
- Garlic has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. It is an effective treatment for the overgrowth of Candida albicans and other yeasts.
- Oregano, Thyme and Peppermint contain pungent oils that are effective in destroying yeast in the body, thereby inhibiting an overgrowth of Candida.
Detoxifying the Body
Alternative Medicine Practitioners working with CFS know that removing toxins from the body is an essential phase in restoring their patients to health and vitality. Every year people are exposed to thousands of toxic chemicals and pollutants in air, water, food and soil. People living today carry within their bodies a “chemical cocktail” made up of industrial chemicals, pesticides, food additives, heavy metals, general anesthetics and the residue of conventional medications.
Today, people are exposed to chemicals in far greater concentrations than were previous generations. For example, over 70 million North Americans live in areas that exceed smog standards, and most municipal drinking water contains over 700 chemicals, including excessive levels of lead. Some 3000 chemicals are added to the food supply and as many as 10 000 chemicals- in the form of solvents, emulsifiers, and preservatives- are used in food processing and storage. These can remain in the body for years!
Detoxifying the body is another component in promoting the health of the immune system and addressing other factors that may be contributing to the CFS. As our environment and food are increasingly saturated with chemicals, the body’s mechanisms for elimination of toxins cannot keep up with the chemical deluge. The constant circulation of toxins in the body taxes the immune system, which must continually strive to destroy them.
When combined with multiple infections and nutritional deficiencies, this toxic overload may be the proverbial last straw in the development of CFS. Given that many people with CFS have chemical allergies it is advisable to take measures to remove the toxins stored in the body.
How to Rid the Body of Toxins
There are many different ways to rid the body of toxins. The most important thing to remember is that cleansing the liver is the key. The liver is the main filter of the body; therefore everything that enters the body must be processed by the liver. Other organs of elimination that also need cleansing are the kidneys, lungs, skin, lymphatic system and the blood.
Steps to Detoxification and Healing
1. Eliminate the intake of toxins
You must stop bombarding your body with more toxins. Cleansing cannot take place until the intake of the toxic load is reduced. Avoid processed foods that contain additives and preservatives. Consume organic foods whenever possible. Stop smoking. Drink filtered water and use natural products whenever possible.
2. Detoxify the body and unblock detoxification pathways
Even though you have reduced the entry of new toxins into your body, old toxins are still in your bloodstream, lymph nodes and organs.
Treatments should include herbal cleansing, detoxification diets, infrared sauna treatments and if needed colon hydrotherapy treatments. A cleanse should include dietary modifications to eliminate the most inflammatory and toxic foods from the diet. Avoidance of the following foods during a cleanse is best: wheat, dairy, sugar, refined, processed foods, additives, colorings, preservatives and any other known allergens.
The addition of cleansing herbs and nutrients will help to not only detoxify the body but also re-build it from the damage. Herbs such as Dandelion root (Taraxacum officinalis), Milk thistle (Carduus marianus), Burdock root (Arctium lappa), Red clover (Trifolium pratense), Barberry (Berberis vulgaris), Turkey rhubarb (Rheum spp.) and Cleavers (Galium aperine) are all example of cleansing herbs.
Certain nutrients that are also beneficial include glutathione and alpha lipoic acid.
3. Provide the body with biochemical and nutritional support
Now that the cleansing is complete, it is time to support your body’s natural restoration and defenses. To support the body’s biochemistry, the addition of minerals, enzymes, probiotics, vitamins, pure water, amino acids, herbs and essential fatty acids should begin as needed.
Many CFS patients suffer from unknown food allergies. Uncovering and avoiding these foods often yields substantial improvement in their lingering symptoms. Allergy is defined as a hypersensitive state acquired through exposure to a particular allergen and subsequent re- exposure to the same allergen. This then triggers an inappropriate immune response such as breathing in pollen and then sneezing. An allergen is defined as a substance capable of inducing an allergic response.
The two most common allergy tests, a skin prick test and the radioallergosorbent test (RAST), are good at detecting acute or immediate allergic responses (IgE antibodies). But, they don’t measure the delayed sensitivity responses to food.
95% of all food allergies occur one hour to three days after eating allergic foods. These delayed reactions must be measured using a different antibody, immunoglobulin G1-4 (IgG1-4). Two tests that do measure delayed IgG1-4 reactions are the Enzyme-linked Immuno- absorbent Assay (ELISA) test and the Food Immune Complex Assay (FICA) test. Both offer the convenience and accuracy of measuring both types of antibodies.
Intestinal Permeability or Leaky Gut
Intestinal permeability occurs when the lining of the digestive tract becomes permeable (leaky) to toxins that cause chronic inflammation. Intestinal permeability allows toxins to leak out of the digestive tract and into the bloodstream. This triggers an autoimmune reaction that can create pain and inflammation in any of the body’s tissues. The use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, steroids, antibiotics, antihistamines, caffeine, alcohol, and other prescription and nonprescription drugs renders the intestinal mucosa permeable to toxins and undigested food particles.
Intestinal permeability is associated with such illnesses as
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Food allergies
- Crohn’s disease
- Cystic fibrosis
- Chronic hepatitis
- Autoimmune diseases
Studies show that most individuals with CFS are plagued with intestinal permeability. A treatment program for patients with CFS that reduced allergic foods and used nutritional supplements to increase liver detoxification yielded an 81.2% reduction in symptoms.
- Rotation Diet: once someone has become sensitive to foods, damage to the intestinal tract has most likely repetitive exposure to the same foods may initiate allergic reactions. Left, untreated, intestinal permeability and over stimulation of the immune system can create an allergy to almost any food. A rotation diet helps reduce the chances of developing further allergies. On a rotation diet, you eat non- allergenic foods every day for four to seven days. Allergic foods are slowly reintroduced into the diet over a period of months.
- Treat intestinal permeability with digestive enzymes, probiotics, omega oils, glutamine and healing herbs (Marshmallow root, Licorice root, Comfrey root, Plantain, Goldenseal and Slippery elm).
- Treat the Adrenals. Adrenal gland fatigue is directly associated with food allergies. Once the adrenals are restored and the immune system is functioning optimally, allergic reactions are greatly
- Natural antihistamines such as Quercetin, Nettles, Astragalus, Turmeric, MSM and Vitamin C decrease the histamine response by the immune cells (mast cells) responsible for the allergic reactions and resulting symptoms.
Healing Psychological and Emotional Factors
“Why did this person get this illness at this time?” Alternative Medicine Practitioners ask such questions because they realize that illness is more than a matter of imbalanced physiology. There are always psychological and emotional aspects to every health problem and unless these are thoroughly addressed, no cure will ever be complete and lasting.
Lifestyle choices, including how one thinks and acts, can contribute to chronic fatigue. For example, a lifestyle of high-paced overachievement or workaholism characterizes the lives of many CFS sufferers prior to becoming sick. For some people dealing with unremitting fatigue is the only way they will ever take the time to focus on their internal world. While not all CFS patients have the same psychological make-up, all of them do have psychological issues that play a contributing role in their illness, and these mental and emotional factors constantly interact with their physiological condition. For true and complete healing to be successful the CFS patient must “learn the lesson of the disease”. They must not to repeat the emotional, psychological and lifestyle patterns that contributed to their illness. Working with a trained professional to help deal with some of the emotional baggage is one of the keys to healing.
Chronic fatigue syndrome is a complex multi-symptomatic disorder which requires a broad spectrum of treatments. There are no known proven causes, but rather a variety of contributing factors that are unique to each person with CFS. Studies show that this syndrome may eventually burn itself out within an average of 8 years. In the meantime there are many natural treatments to lessen the severity of the symptoms and to reverse the underlying causes. Once a diagnosis has been achieved through the symptom picture and a process of elimination of all other similar conditions, specific tests will determine one’s own unique causative factors.
The specific tests that can help to pinpoint an appropriate treatment plan are:
Complete Digestive Analysis
- Food Allergy testing
- Complete Thyroid Panel
- Adrenal Stress Index
- Candida testing
- Heavy Metal testing
- Hormone testing
The main areas that are commonly treated in CFS patients include:
- Strengthening the Immune System
- re-establishing healthy sleep patterns
- restoring adrenal gland function
- boosting the immune system
- eliminating viruses, bacteria, candida and parasites
- Detoxifying the Body
- Addressing Allergies
- Healing Psychological and Emotional Factors
There have been many people treated successfully for CFS using natural remedies. Natural medicine can help people get their health back and live life with abundant joy, peace and well-being.