This is a condition which is characterised by overwhelming fatigue.
What to look for
recent onset of extreme
fatigue resulting not from
any type of exertion and that you cannot relieve with rest or sleep.
following physical exertion.
sleep disorders (insomnia
swollen lymph glands.
inability to concentrate.
recurrent sore throat and
symptoms that persist for
Most people who are afflicted
with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) are professional people but it can also afflict
children, teenagers and almost anybody.
CFS is characterised by
symptoms similar to the flu and a sudden overwhelming fatigue and is not a result of
CFS is not a fatal disease,
although it can last for a long time.
The cause of CFS is not
known, but researchers are investigating various possibilities.
It is currently thought that
CFS may develop when a virus invades the body at a time when the immune system is not
functioning efficiently. It may be at a time when you are run down physically,
emotionally, or it could be a change in your current environmental, or a combination of
Some doctors believe that CFS
is psychological rather than physiological. Your doctor will get information off you
regarding your medical history, perform a physical exam, and do a complete blood count to
rule out other disorders that share symptoms with CFS.
Your symptoms must have been
present for at least six months before the doctor will diagnosis you with the disorder.
Treatment centres on
relieving symptoms as there is no known cause for this disorder.
It is vitally important to
maintain a balanced diet with plenty of low impact exercise and to avoid stressful
situations and get plenty of rest.
The flu like symptoms of CFS
can be temporarily alleviated with a variety of medicines and medications.
Sensitivity to a chemical,
pesticide, household cleaning product, or another potential environmental toxin may also
be contributing to CFS. Try eliminating suspected items, then reintroducing them one by
one, to pinpoint what may be causing your symptoms.
Chinese Herbs -
A commercially prepared mixture called the Astragalus Ten Formula combines Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng), licorice (Glycyrrhiza uralensis),
astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus), and other herbs
in powder or tablet form.
Herbal Therapies -
(Hydrastis canadensis) has been shown
Echinacea (Echinacea spp.) and shiitake (Lentinus edodes) mushrooms contain substances
which may help this condition.
(Glycyrrhiza glabra) is said to have antiviral properties. Silymarin, a component of milk thistle (Silybum marianum), may help with liver
German chamomile (Matricaria recutita), burdock (Arctium lappa),
(Achillea millefolium), and
(Panax ginseng) are all said to be beneficial to CFS sufferers if taken regularly. You
will need professional help for more specific guidelines.
- Some Homoeopathic practitioners have reported success in treating the
symptoms of CFS. As with all chronic ailments, it's best to seek the advice of a
Homoeopath who can accurately diagnose and treat the specific symptoms of your case.
One theory holds that a
nutritional deficiency may be a contributing factor causing CFS, so it's important to
maintain a healthful diet. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, refined sugar, white flour, salt, and
fried, preserved, high-fat foods in favour of whole grains, beans, rice, fish, and fresh
fruits and vegetables.
Add edible seaweeds, shiitake mushrooms, and
to your diet. Eating two cloves of
garlic a day may help
boost your immune system's antiviral and antibacterial activity.
Coenzyme Q10 and vitamin B12 are nutritional supplements that may
lessen symptoms. Some evidence suggests that a combination of malic acid and magnesium may help relieve fatigue and muscle pain.
Other immune system-enhancing
vitamin C and beta carotene (see Vitamin A), which is also a natural antioxidant.
B5 and B6,
manganese, and chromium all play a role in strengthening the immune
system as well.
The amino acid tryptophan,
found in various foods, may be helpful for some symptoms, and since it helps the body
produce serotonin, a natural sedative, it may aid in sleep. However, don't take it in
supplement form if you have high blood pressure or are taking antidepressants.
People with this disorder may
have food allergies or sensitivities. This will show itself as an intolerance to a
When a food that you're
allergic to enters your body, your immune system views it as an invader, and attacks it by
flooding your bloodstream with antibodies. The overabundance of these antibodies, in
conjunction with the release of histamines and other body chemicals, results in CFS like
When to seek further