Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CF, CFS, CFIDS)
70% of those suffering from Chronic Fatigue, also have Fibromyalgia. 50% of those individuals also have Irritable Bowel/Bladder Syndrome. And, everyone suffering from CFS also has food sensitivities.
Symptoms of CFS include impaired memory function or concentration, brain fog, sore throat, tender lymph nodes, muscle pain, multi-joint pain without swelling or redness, a 'different' type of headache, extreme sensitivity to medications and chemicals, dizziness or vertigo, not feeling rested after sleeping and/or malaise that lasts more than 24 hours after exerting yourself. This exertion could anything from climbing a flight of stairs to washing a load of dishes.
Chronic Fatigue is often called by other names, such as CFIDS (Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome), ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, which is often associated with swollen lymph nodes in the throat and basically means having to do with the 'muscle' and 'head'), Yuppie Flu and PVFS (Post Virus Fatigue Syndrome).
Chronic Fatigue is considered to be a condition following any of several different stressors, such as a death in the family, employment problems, an accident or trauma. Chronic Fatigue becomes a syndrome when there are many symptoms that do not disappear, or disappear and then come back, for more than 6 months at a time. The onset of fatigue that comes with CFS can reduce daily activities in previously healthy and active people.
Possible Causes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic Fatigue may be associated with viral infection, such as Epstein Bar Virus (having a history of Mononucleosis), Viral Meningitis, Viral Hepatitis, severe Flu, Chicken Pox, severe or recurrent Herpes and other severe illnesses.
EMFs (electromagnetic energy fields)
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
pH imbalance (too much acid in body fluids)
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as an Immune System Response to Stress
CFS sufferers start to recover from an initial cause (virus, bacteria, surgery, etc.) and then, when they are emotionally or physically stressed, the symptoms recur. This makes for a disheartening cycle of recovery and flare-ups. There is a very complex interaction between the neurological, endocrine (lots and lots of body chemicals, including hormones) and immune system. These complex interactions are effected by physical and emotional stress, and illness.
In those with ME, which is a little different than CFS, but included under CFS's umbrella, there are abnormalities in the central nervous system including the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is the part of the brain responsible for regulating sleep, temperature and appetite.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) & Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FS) Are Similar
CFS and Fibromyalgia often overlap. In many cases it can be a struggle to figure out which you are dealing with, as symptoms are similar. In fact, FS and ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) also have the same symptoms, with ME listing a few more symptoms that FS usually does not have, but may. However, Fibromyalgia is often misdiagnosed and may actually be Mayofascial Pain Syndrome.
One thing is certain. With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, it is the fatigue that rules and with Fibromyalgia Syndrome it is the pain that makes one tired, and often depressed. In both instances, the muscles do not react to exertion normally. The person with CFS, FS or MPS has very limited muscle energy (largely due to lactic acid build-up and/or oxygen deprivation). Once their bit of energy has expired, that is it. They have to rest and recharge, if they can. There is just no more to give.
Natural Old World Remedies for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
First, Rule Out Possible Causes
Currently, there are no specific medical treatments for CFS. It is important that you, first, rule out Diabetes, Hypoglycemia, Lupus, Hormonal Disorder, AIDS, Sclerosis, Anemia, Depression and Haemochromatosis (iron overload), as these conditions have the same symptoms as CFS. Also, check for Candidas, Hypothyroidism and Mercury Poisoning (usually caused by dental fillings). If you also have pain, consider it may be an arthritic condition, Myofascial Pain Syndrome or Tension Myositis Syndrome (see Chronic Pain Syndrome).
Reduce Electro-Magnetic Frequencies
EMFs are the electromagnetic energy fields from appliances, microwaves, televisions, computers, cell phones and towers and every other electronic device and wire we can think of.
What we term Microwave Sickness the Russians call Radiowave Sickness. This kind of sickness is not found in countries with minimal technology. Paul Doyon, Associate Professor, Kyushu University states that microwaves (and other EMFs) decrease norepinephrine, melatonin, dopamine and acetylcholine levels in the brain.
EMFs also cause damage to mitachondria (our cells) resulting in oxidative damage and decreased flow of oxygen to the brain, a major factor for those with CFS. This causes CFS symptoms such as brain fog, concentration problems and dizziness.
EMFs cause the adrenals to excrete more cortisone and adrenaline leading to Adrenal Burnout.
Avoid Harsh Chemicals
Begin swapping out your current household cleaners for more earth friendly ones. If they are friendly to the earth, they will be friendlier to you, and not send you reeling from fumes or relapsing with body aches. Household, and other chemicals, increase toxicity of the blood and body fluids, leading to dis-ease.
Balance Your Physical and Intellectual Activities
Reduce stress that is caused by an unbalanced lifestyle. If you find that you tend be all head and no heart or all heart and no brain the best thing you can do, besides putting good things in your body and resting, is to use better time management to reduce stress. If you have been ignoring or over-indulging some part of your life (exercise, friends and family, play, the arts, romance, work, etc.), get involved in creating a better balance for yourself.
Manage Feelings of Depression
Do you feel you must take an antidepressant? The purpose of an antidepressant is to keep serotonin around longer. Serotonin is a brain chemical that creates calm and feel good emotions. Please talk to your doctor about your sensitivities and if you decide to take an antidepressant, request to start out with the lowest dose. Highly Sensitive People are extremely sensitive to drugs and chemicals. A smaller dose may be more appropriate.
Speak with your doctor about being highly sensitive. If your doctor doesn’t agree, won’t listen, or you get the feeling your doctor is ignoring you, find another doctor. This is your life and you have the right to be in the hands of someone who is knowledgeable and caring.
Exercise to Relax & Increase Your Energy
Nobody wants to exercise when they are already exhausted. However, saggy, tired and toxic muscles do nothing to alleviate fatigue. In fact, if you suffer from CFS you may only be a couple of steps away from having Fibromyalgia as well. They often overlap and then it will hurt to exercise. See Exercise for tips on how to get moving even when you are suffering from overlapping conditions.
One way to find out which foods you may have sensitivity is to be allergy tested. In the meantime, you might try eliminating typical foods that can cause symptoms of CFS, such as dairy, red meat, eggs, gluten, cheese, sugar and yeast. The very foods we need to eliminate are often the foods we eat most often. See Food Sensitivity.
Eat foods containing healthy fatty acids your brain needs to function properly. Many people who eat fish 3-4 times each week report feeling less anxiety and increased enthusiasm for things they once enjoyed. Don't like fish? Some folks opt to take fish, krill or salmon oil supplements, but if you are eating fish or seafood 3-4 times each week do not take fatty acid supplements. It's completely unnecessary. Flaxseed and Flax oil are often touted as a fish oil substitutes. However, they consists mostly of ALA, rather than DHA and EPA, which is found in fish oil.
Increase your serotonin levels. Without enough serotonin, an important brain chemical, we become anxious, depressed and often phobic, which are often symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. See Anxiety & Depression for suggestions on how to do so, naturally.
See Supplements for proper nutrient dosages, a list of foods containing the nutrients you seek, and precautions.
Chronic Fatigue Associations
Spiritual/Psychological causes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: There is a certain amount of resistance to something in your life. Perhaps you are not happy, or have no love, for your current situation, relationship or work. Boredom and lack of direction could be part of the picture.
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