Fatigue and Chronic Fatigue syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is characterized by unexplained moderate to severe persistent, relapsing, debilitating, disruptive fatigue of at least 6 months duration often accompanied by pain and not relieved by rest. CFS was a previously recognized diagnosis where at least four other symptoms must be present including painful lymph nodes, postexertional malaise (feeling extremely run down after physical activity), nonrestorative sleep (doesn't feel like you've slept), muscle and joint pain, sore throat, poor memory, difficulty concentrating, depression, mood swings, and headaches of new severity and type. Other common symptoms are allergies, digestive disturbances, weakness, swelling, fever, night sweats, severe PMS in women, herpes breakouts, shingles, and swollen lymph nodes. While the syndrome remains the same, other codes are typically used for insurance companies.

There is no single causative factor in CFS, though it is thought it may be initiated by chronic immune activation by at least on of the following infections: Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) (one cause of Mononucleosis), mycoplasma, Coxsackie Virus, human herpes virus-6 (HHV-6), Cytomegalovirus (CMV), measles, and human T-lymphotropic virus-11 (HTLV-11). It is commonly preceded by and acute viral or bacterial throat infection thought to adequately lower one's immunity to allow EBV, CMV or others to proliferate. Thus, CFS looks similar to a mononucleosis which lasts longer and is more severe.

While there is a strong infectious connection to CFS other associations have been noted including allergies, chronic low dose organophosphate toxin exposure (insecticides, in particular), altered fatty acid metabolism and oxidative stress. In fact, Many CFS patients are allergic and CFS and allergy patients often share similar immune status. It has been proposed that the simultaneous influences allergic inflammation and immune activation may interact to produce symptoms of CFS.

Hope for Healing:

Addressing hygenic factors such as proper nutrition, removing toxic exposure and other environmental insults where possible, stress modification, adequate rest, and eliminating food allergies can help decrease the total "insult" load in people with CFS. Allergies and inflammation appear to play an important role in CFS, so modulating these processes and shunting the immune system's attention to true infectious agents when present is a treatment goal.

Individualized treatments may include eradication of infectious agents, removal of toxic exposures, support detoxification and antioxidant systems, replete nutritional and bionutrient deficiencies, decrease overall inflammation, and give treatments to improve energy, stamina, stress resistance, sleep patterns, mood, concentration and memory.

Your Naturopathic physician will tailor a comprehensive, lifestyle encompassing health care program to suit your individual and unique needs.