QUICK HEALTH TIPS: Chronic fatigue syndrome

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QUICK HEALTH TIPS: Chronic fatigue syndrome

Chronic fatigue síndrome (CFS) is not really a disease as such, but rather a characteristic and complex array of symptoms that mimic other illnesses.  The symptoms of this syndrome resemble those of flu and other viral infections, so it is quite often mistaken for other disorders.  In fact, it is often misdiagnosed as hypochondria, psychosomatic illness, or depression because routine medical tests do not detect any problems.  The symptoms of CFS may include aching muscles and joints, anxiety, depression, difficulty concentrating, fever, poor memory, headaches, low blood pressure, intestinal problems and pain, irritability, environmental sensitivities, loss of appetite, mood swings, muscle spasms, recurrent upper respiratory tract infections, nasal congestion, candidiasis, sensitivity to light and heat, sleep disturbances, night sweats, sore throat, swollen glands (lymph nodes)—but most of all, extreme and often disabling fatigue.  Immunologic abnormalities that show up on various diagnostic tests are common also.

The syndrome is much more prevalent in women than in men, and primarily affects young adults between the ages of twenty and fifty.  The cause or causes of chronic fatigue syndrome are not well understood.  Some experts believe it is linked to infection with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and/or cytomegalovirus (CMV), members of the herpes virus family that also cause mononucleosis and retinal and gastrointestinal infections.  This is mostly because people with chronic fatigue syndrome have been found to have high levels of EBV antibodies in their blood, and many people date the onset of symptoms to a long bout with a viral infection, though no connection between EBV and chronic fatigue syndrome has ever been proven conclusively.  In fact, many people have high EBV antibody levels without any apparent ill effects on their health.  Many cases of chronic fatigue occur without any known preceding infection.  Some suspect an immune system problem or a defect in the mechanisms that regulate blood pressure.

Other proposed causes of chronic fatigue syndrome include anemia, arthritis, chronic mercury poisoning from amalgam dental fillings, hypoglycemia, hypothyroidism, infection with the fungus CANDIDA ALBICANS, and sleep problems.  Fibromyalgia, a muscle disorder that causes muscle weakness and fatigue, has been found in many people with chronic fatigue syndrome.  Intestinal parasites are also comparatively common in people with this condition.  It is likely that poor diet, nutritional deficiencies, allergies, thyroid dysfunction, candida, anemia, and stress all compromise the immune system, and can contribute to CFS.

Even though chronic fatigue syndrome is not life threatening, it cannot be cured, and it can result in serious damage to the immune system.  Some people appear to recover spontaneously, but once you have had this condition, it can recur at any time, usually following a bout with another illness or during times of stress.  

The major criterion used to distinguish chronic fatigue syndrome is:

Persistent fatigue that does not resolve with bed rest and that is severe enough to reduce average daily activity by at least 50% for at least six months

The presence of other chronic clinical conditions, including psychiatric disorders, should also be ruled out.

Chronic fatigue syndrome should not be confused with the results of overwork and stress.  With CFS, a normal, active level of life is impossible to maintain and the symptoms exceed, by far, the normal lethargy or tiredness associated with a stressful and  hardworking lifestyle.

CONSIDERATIONS

There are other health problems that can cause symptoms of chronic fatigue.  Anyone who experiences extreme fatigue that persists for longer than a week or two should consult a health care provider. 

Amino acids may be beneficial.  These include tyrosine, leucine, isoleucine, valine, lysine and taurine. 

Some research points to chemical and/or food sensitivities and hypoglycemia as possible contributors to chronic fatigue.

Evidence is pointing to exhausted adrenal glands as a possible cause of this disorder.

Parasites are common in people with chronic fatigue.

Family members, friends, and coworkers must understand the nature of the disorder and realize that the person is suffering from it is not exaggerating or faking symptoms.

Depression can be a major feature of this illness.

Add some form of acidophilus to your diet, and regularly consume soured products such a yogurt and kefir. Many people with chronic fatigue syndrome also are infected with CANDIDA, and acidophilus helps to keep candida under control.

Eat a well balanced diet of 50% raw foods and fresh “live” juices.

Consume plenty of water…drink a full glass every two waking hours.  Water flushes out toxins and aids in reducing muscle pain.

Make sure the bowels move daily.

Take chlorophyll in tablet or liquid form.

Get plenty of rest.

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  • Anthony R
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