Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a complex disorder with no ‘magic bullet’ treatment solution, but the role natural therapies has in CFS recovery is huge.
The exact cause of CFS is unknown, although scientists suspect viruses such as Epstein Barr or mononucleosis as well as environmental factors such as Heavy Metal Toxicity can trigger this syndrome.
Do I Have It?
The symptoms of CFS include:
- Feeling very tired for more than a day after physical or mental exercise.
- Having a hard time focusing and forgetting things
- Muscle and joint pain
- Sore throat and tender lymph nodes
- Visual disturbances (blurring, eye pain or sensitivity to light)
- Psychological symptoms such as irritability and mood swings
Testing is very important if you are presenting with extreme fatigue, as this can be a cause of many other conditions. We often recommend a Heavy Metals Test to check for heavy metal toxicity, and also specific blood tests to check for nutritional levels, for example iron.
Natural Treatment Approach
CFS usually involves severe sleep disturbances. Getting a solid eight hours of good sleep a night is essential for recovery. A warm bath before bedtime can be helpful. Taking nutritional supplements at bedtime is also helpful, for example magnesium, valerian, passionflower, hops, or calcium. Some people may need all of them, others, a few or just one.
2. Nutritional Support
CFS patients have numerous nutritional deficiencies and absorption problems. Supplements in powder or capsule form are generally best absorbed, and should include, generally speaking, these key nutrients:
» Folic acid
» Vitamin A
» Vitamin C
» Vitamin D
» Vitamin E
» Essential fatty acids
» Digestive enzymes
(Amounts and times to take supplements are specific to each person and self-prescription is never recommended. Please talk to your Health Practitioner before taking any supplements.)
3. Herbal Medicine
There are many herbs which help manage CFS, but two in particular are Panax ginseng and licorice root. Ginseng is known for its ability to improve mental performance and physical endurance. Licorice root has immune enhancing properties, anti-viral properties, and stimulates the adrenal gland function. All three of these mechanisms are relevant to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Acupuncture is very important in CFS recovery. Acupuncture can test for reflex points on the body related to CFS, such as immune and adrenal reflex zones, and engage the nervous system to stimulate the body – building areas which are deficient and clearing areas which are stuck. Many people are very surprised to experience just how much acupuncture helps them recover from CFS – boosting their energy, helping them feel brighter, and managing any side symptoms like body aches or sleep problems.
5. The Mind/Body Connection
It’s important that some mental shifts are part of CFS recovery. Take care of yourself. As you start to feel better from treatment, do what feels good to you rather than doing what you feel obligated to do. This is an important lesson for you to learn and to continue, even when you get well. Saying no, reprioritising, taking rest and quitting ‘high achiever’ type lifestyles is very important.
Quality of food is very important in CFS recovery. Give preference to ‘clean’ non-polluted high mineral content food. Foods which are not riddled with hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, fertilisers, artificial preservatives and colourings, will give your body its best opportunity to recover from illness. Chew well and eat regularly, never skipping meals. Incorporate a diet rich in vegetables, whole grains, pulses, fish, nuts, seeds, herbs, seaweed, etc. These foods have a stabilising effect on blood sugar levels which are erratic in CFS. Freshly harvested foods have higher nutritional content than tinned, frozen or processed foods. Tea, coffee, alcohol and sugar will put a lot of pressure on the body and really should be avoided – caffeine, for example, is dehydrating and will cause nutrients you desperately need to build your body to pass out of your body in urine.
We may also recommend a Food Intolerance Test to confirm there are no food intolerances adding to the problem – these can cause problems in the gut and mean the immune system is under pressure as well and nutrients not being absorbed as efficiently as possible, adding to the weakness and fatigue.
For more information or to start your Chronic Fatigue recovery with us, call us on 3369 0045.