Chronic fatigue syndrome.

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and adrenal fatigue are not the same, but adrenal function may play some role in its course. The cause of CFS is unknown, but it is characterized by severe, chronic fatigue of six months or longer that is not attributable to other known medical conditions.

It is typically accompanied by some combination of four or more other symptoms that have also lasted for six months or more and are unique to the period of fatigue. These symptoms can include:

  • impaired short-term memory or concentration

  • sore throat

  • tender lymph nodes

  • muscle pain

  • multi-joint pain without swelling or redness

  • headaches

  •  sleep that is not energising

  • prolonged malaise after exercise

A period of physical or emotional stress commonly precedes the onset of CFS. However, people with CFS have been found to produce lower levels of the adrenal stress hormone, cortisol, than do healthy people. Although low cortisol does not seem to cause CFS, and raising cortisol levels does not eliminate it, adrenal fatigue, and its concomitant low production of cortisol and a number of other regulatory hormones, may help predispose a person to its onset or exacerbate the symptoms.  To test your cortisol level you should do a Comprehensive Adrenal Stress Profile (saliva).

When there is a longer than normal recovery period from CFS, with decreased stamina and pronounced morning tiredness, adrenal fatigue is likely contributing to the symptom picture, no matter the cause of the illness. Providing adequate support for healthy adrenal function can be an important contributing factor in facilitating full recovery from CFS and the maintenance of health and vitality.

How is CFS diagnosed?

CFS is a very challenging condition to diagnose.  There are no specific lab tests to screen for CFS, and its symptoms are similar to many other illnesses. Many people with CFS don’t “look” sick, so doctors may not recognise that they’re ill.

In order to be diagnosed with CFS, your healthcare professional will rule out other potential causes and review your medical history with you. They’ll make sure that you have at least four of the above symptoms. They’ll also ask about the duration and severity of your unexplained fatigue.

Ruling out other potential causes of your fatigue is a key part of the diagnosis process. Some conditions whose symptoms resemble those of CFS include:

  • mononucleosis

  • Lyme disease

  • multiple sclerosis

  • lupus (SLE)

  • hypothyroidism

  • fibromyalgia

  • major depressive disorder

You may also experience symptoms of CFS if you’re severely obese or have depression or sleep disorders. The side effects of certain drugs, such as antihistamines and alcohol, can mimic CFS as well.

Because the symptoms of CFS resemble those of other conditions, it’s important not to self-diagnose and to talk to your healthcare professional.

Overcoming Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Conventional treatment protocols treat the symptoms rather than the root causes. Often individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome are prescribed anti-depressants and sleeping pills. In many cases, the side effects from these drugs in fact are worse than the original symptoms.

As an alternative, I recommend the addition of vitamin B Complex, alternative and complementary health practices, a balanced diet rich in potassium and magnesium, and the elimination of food allergens.

According to a study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, acupuncture, meditation, magnesium, l-carnitine and SAM-e (S-Adenosyl methionine), show the most promise in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. I recommend taking the following 4 steps.

First step: Eliminate Food Sensitivities and Allergens

More and more research is pointing to a link between food allergies and sensitivities and chronic fatigue syndrome. Allergies to certain foods, pollen, metals and other environmental chemicals may be causing the rising number of individuals with CFS. 

I suggest that you consider taking a food intolerance test to help you determine the foods that you are sensitive to — then you can eliminate them from your diet. By getting rid of your personal known allergens, symptoms of IBS, ADHD, cystic fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis and chronic fatigue can potentially be relieved.

Candida Imbalance

When ordering the IgG test, be sure to add on a Candida antibody profile test (saliva). According to a study published in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, an astounding 83 percent of participants who followed an anti-candida diet experienced a reduction in their symptoms related to chronic fatigue syndrome.

 A good candida diet includes foods high in probiotics including kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchi, as well as green vegetables, flax and chia seeds, and unsweetened cranberry juice. It also requires the elimination of foods that feed the candida in the body. These include sugar, fruit, alcohol and grains.

When candida is left untreated, it causes an inflammatory immune response and creates holes in the intestinal lining, leading to leaky gut.

Casein

Casein, a protein in dairy, can cause serious allergic reactions. A casein allergy is more than just lactose intolerance; it stems from the immune system producing antibodies to protect against protein and can cause the body to release histamine. This can cause hives, nasal congestion, wheezing, the swelling of the lips, mouth, tongue, face or throat, and even anaphylaxis.   Of course, the best way to avoid these symptoms is to avoid casein. This protein is concentrated in high-protein dairy products, including yogurt, milk, cheese and ice cream. However, most individuals will not have a problem with ghee or clarified butter.

Helicobacter Pylori

A bacterium called H. pylori are believed to be a contributing factor, and they are common in nearly two-thirds of the world’s population. This unfriendly bacterium attacks the lining of the stomach; left untreated, these germs can lead to stomach ulcers.

Researchers found that once H. pylori was out of the body of study participants, their physical and psychological symptoms, including those from IBS, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, got well. Finding out if you have H. Pylori is as very simple. You can test your blood, stool or even do a biopsy. However, the easiest and very accurate test is the Helicobacter Pylori breath test.

  

Second Step: Increase Your Vitamin B Intake

According to a study published in the Journal of Royal Society of Medicine, researchers found a direct link between reduced vitamin B levels and CFS.

Vitamin B6

Studies show that B6 is particularly important. Vitamin B-6 rich foods include wild tuna and salmon, bananas, grass-fed beef, sweet potatoes, turkey, hazelnuts, garlic and cooked spinach.

Vitamin B-6 helps preventing and relieving fatigue, and it supports a healthy immune system. In addition, B-6 helps supports T-cell functioning, allowing them to more adeptly fight infections.  You may order your vitamin b6 in my online store.

Importance of Methylation

Methylation is the term given to the process in the body where methyl compounds (one carbon, three hydrogen atoms) are used in the critical functions of the body — immune function, energy production, mood, inflammation, nerve function, detoxification, and even DNA — all of which are challenges in chronic fatigue syndrome patients.

Methylation helps you process toxins, make hormones, and even helps in the production of neurotransmitters such as melatonin. How well your body can methylate effects all of these important areas. Poor methylation can lead to a variety of chronic conditions including certain types of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, allergies, digestive upset, mood and psychiatric disorders, and chronic fatigue.

Vitamin B12

Methylation requires Vitamin B6, folate and B12 in order to methylate and for your body to function at a cellular level. When you have a vitamin B12 deficiency, it impairs the methylation process and can cause numerous malfunctions that directly contribute to chronic fatigue syndrome. Many vegans and vegetarians suffer from B12 deficiency, as it most commonly found in animal foods.  Vitamin B-12 rich foods include beef liver from grass-fed cows, sardines, tuna, raw cheese, cottage cheese, lamb, raw milk, eggs and wild salmon.

It’s estimated that nearly 40 percent of western adults have a vitamin B-12 deficiency. Many symptoms of the deficiency mimic the symptoms of CFS. These include a lack of motivation, low energy, poor focus, poor memory, emotional mood swings, fatigue, muscle tension and more.

Vitamin B-12 can boost energy, reduce depression, prevent against neurological degeneration and protect against some types of cancers. B-12 is a critical nutrient that supports the methylation cycle and can help stimulating improved moods, added energy and better cognitive function. 

To effectively treat chronic fatigue syndrome, the B vitamins are essential. In addition to vitamin B–rich foods, a vitamin B complex supplement can help. Overall, the B vitamins work together to support healthy metabolic functioning, hormone production and vitality.  You may order your vitamin b12 in my online store.

Third Step: Increase Potassium and Magnesium Intake

Both potassium and magnesium can help reduce the symptoms associated with CFE. You may order your Potassium and magnesium in my online store.

Fourth Step: promoting relaxation and balance

CFS can be debilitating both physically and mentally. Suffering from persistent exhaustion, reduced brain cognition, chronic muscle and joint pain, stress, and even guilt takes a toll on the body, and psyche.

Long-term stress control and relaxation must be a crucial element of any protocol used to treat CFE. While seemingly impossible, it’s imperative that sufferers of CFS do their best to effectively manage stress, and rest.

The Importance of Rest

“Rest” means more than just sleep. Commit one day per week when you don’t have any responsibilities or obligations. Truly commit to a full day of rest. This gives your body and mind a much-needed respite — helping to fight stress, anxiety and exhaustion. It’s also important during the week, if you are having a particularly difficult day, to not overtax yourself.

While regular exercise supports wellness and helps to diminish stress, individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome need to exercise at a controlled intensity. High-intensity exercises are not recommended.

Sleep

Chronic fatigue syndrome sufferers commonly experience difficulty with their sleep. In particular, falling and staying asleep, restless legs, night-time muscle spasms, and vivid (sometimes frightening) dreams. It’s important to establish a regular bedtime routine, which includes a physical and emotional wind-down period.

Yes, this means unplugging from technology —including computers, tablets, television, and smartphones — at least 90 minutes before bed time.

Avoiding Stimulants

Avoid caffeine, alcohol and tobacco, as these stimulants can cause additional restlessness at night. Be sure to exercise at least four hours before going to bed, as exercise can also act as a stimulant and create restless sleep.

Relaxation Techniques

Incorporate Heartmath exercises, massage therapy, yoga and muscle relaxation techniques into your daily routine as they can help manage symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. As part of your wind-down routine, especially if you experience restless legs or muscle cramps at night, try massaging magnesium oil into your legs, or take a nice relaxing bath with Epsom salts to soothe achy muscles.

Holiday Time

Go on a holiday. A change of scenery is important from time to time, because it allows our body and mind to recover from our daily lives. Travelling opens up new doors, changes our perspective, and gives our minds something to focus on instead of our daily tasks. Just like regular exercise, regular holidays and breaks are imperative for long-term health and wellness.

Peer Support

Chronic fatigue syndrome can cause challenges in relationships, as sometimes people simply do not understand your level of exhaustion, pain, and lack of interest.

After you have eliminated foods from your diet that are causing the symptoms of CFS, and you’ve increased your Vitamin B, potassium and magnesium intake, your energy levels will increase.

Then reach out to your family and friends and schedule get-togethers where you can catch up, share a good laugh or two, and re-engage. Research has proven that social support is essential for maintaining psychological and physical health.

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