Chronic Fatigue Syndrome CFS is a condition many people suffer from when convalescing from chronic illnesses (bacterial infections and virus’). It involves constant, extreme, disabling fatigue which is not relieved by bed rest. The flu-like symptoms may continue on for many years in some individuals and is likened to an autoimmune condition.
Symptoms experienced by many alongside unrelenting fatigue are bloating, alcohol intolerance, chest pain, reduced immunity, reduced resistance to stress, digestive pains, dizziness, diarrhoea,reoccurring earaches and sore throats, chronic cough, joint stiffness, nausea, night sweats, shortness of breath, swollen glands, enlarged lymph nodes, muscle pain, headaches, extreme exhaustion, sleep disturbances, weight loss and depression and anxiety disorders. CFS is exacerbated further by stress, nutritional deficiencies, liver health, immune compromising conditions and viral infections (post viral complications). Some possible causes of CFS are iron deficiency anaemia, hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar), allergies, viral infections, dysfunctional, immune system dysfunction, hypotension.
The anxiety and depression you are currently experiencing may be a result of the depressed immune condition affecting the absorption of nutrients, the effect of the bacteria on the nervous system or as a result of this long term condition exhausting your energy reserves and placing a strain on your nerves, patience and tolerance.
DIAGNOSTIC CRITERIA FOR CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME
Unexplained, persistent, or relapsing chronic fatigue that is new or has a definite onset that is not due to ongoing exertion, that is not substantially alleviated by rest and that substantially reduces occupational, educational, social or personal activities.
Plus at least 4 of the following for more than 6 months
– Sore throat
– Low-grade fever
– Tender, enlarged, painful cervical or auxiliary lymph nodes
– Muscle pain
– Multi-joint pain without joint swelling or tenderness (arthralgia)
– Abdominal pain
– Headaches that are new in type, pattern or severity
– Un refreshing sleep
– Post exertion malaise lasting more than 24 hours
– Cognitive difficulties, especially with concentration and sleep
– Impaired short-term memory (self-reported) that substantially reduces occupational, educational, social and/or personal activities
DIET TIPS FOR CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME
- Ensure that your diet is on the right track by increasing foods such as water, lemon juice, bitters, vegetable juices, fresh fruit and vegetables, organic chicken, meats and eggs, miso soup, grains, nuts and seeds and fish
- Reduce foods which increase acidity and inflammation and decrease the functioning of the immune system such as tea, coffee, alcohol, smoking, dairy, wheat, sugar and preserved, refined and processed foods
- Begin each day with a warm glass of water with ½ lemon squeezed in it. Lemon juice encourages alkalinity, liver detoxification, lymphatic cleansing and bowel elimination
- Increase your anti-oxidant status by eating more berries, grapes, blueberries, fruit and vegetables, almonds, fish and garlic
- Ensure that you are properly hydrated (at least 2 litres of water/ day), dehydration can often be the cause of lethargy in many individuals
LIFESTYLE FACTORS FOR CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME
- Manage stress
- Address underlying nervous system and immune health
- Improve nutritional status
- Address liver congestion and adrenal and kidney function
NATURAL TREATMENTS FOR CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME:
- Probiotics help to ensure healthy bowel flora. Probiotics are extremely important after anti-biotic therapy as this medication will completely destroy both the good and bad bacteria housed in the bowel
- Improve your digestive/ immune health (these two symptoms are closely related) by gently repairing any digestive weakness and reducing inflammation, immune sensitivity and lymphatic congestion. These are some herbs which may benefit you to build these systems: Siberian Ginseng, Licorice, Olive Leaf, Astragalus, Reishi mushrooms, Dandelion, Golden Seal, Chamomile, Marshmallow, Oats, Calendula and Aloe Vera
- To support your nervous system and raise energy levels, the following are some herbs which may be of benefit to you: Withania, Cordyceps, Siberian Ginseng, Maca, Passionflower, Sacred Basil, Magnolia, Shizandra, Hops and Kava
- B Vitamins and Alpha-lipoic acid are essential nutrients to improve energy status, reduce stress hormone production to relieve stress and tension and improve over health