by: Dr. Craig A. Maxwell
The Centers for Disease Control defines chronic fatigue syndrome as “a debilitating and complex disorder characterized by profound fatigue that is not improved by bed rest and that may be worsened by physical or mental activity.” This disorder is often misunderstood by conventional medical professionals who may prescribe antidepressants or similar drugs to treat the symptoms. If you want to get to the bottom of your CFS, learn how you can heal through natural medicine!
Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic fatigue syndrome often has a sudden onset of varied and puzzling symptoms. Fatigue is extreme and sudden and not relieved by sleep or rest. CFS symptoms often get worse when the patient is exposed to physical, mental or emotional stress.
Along with fatigue, other symptoms of CFS may include:
- Muscle Pain
- Recurring Headaches
- Gastrointestinal Complaints
- Abdominal Pain
- Chronic Sore Throat
- Painful Lymph Nodes
- Migrating Joint Pain
- Low-Grade Fever
- Sleep Disturbances
- Heart Palpitations
- Neurological Symptoms
- Panic Attacks
- Brain Fog
- Muscle Twitches
- Tingling in Extremities
Conditions Similar to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
When it comes to autoimmune-related medical conditions, it can be difficult to narrow down just which condition a patient suffers from. This is because so many of them have similar symptoms.
Oftentimes, CFS is confused with:
- Myalgic Encephalomyelitis
- Multiple Chemical Sensitivities
- Adrenal Fatigue
- Thyroid Disease
Causes of CFS
Conventional physicians have been unable to determine the exact cause of chronic fatigue syndrome. However, CFS and similar conditions have one thing in common: The immune system. A person with multiple chemical sensitivities, chronic allergies, food intolerance, chronic viral infections, and severe physical and mental stress are more prone to develop CFS.
This is because people with these symptoms are highly sensitive to their environment. Their immune systems easily go on attack when exposed to chemicals, pollen, dust, mold, certain foods, and bacteria. When the body is in constant “fight or flight” mode, it exhausts the body on a cellular level, creating an avalanche of troubling symptoms.
Healing That Fatigue Feeling – Natural Treatments for CFS
The best way to heal chronic fatigue syndrome is to address the underlying cause(s). Getting your immune system back in balance is key to treating this and other autoimmune-related conditions. For my patients with CFS, I often recommend a customized combination of treatments which may include allergy elimination, rest, laughter, dietary changes, heavy metal detoxification, meditation, specific dietary supplements, and exercise as tolerated.
- Allergy and Sensitivity Elimination
Finding out what is triggering your immune system to over-respond to its environment is crucial to healing chronic fatigue syndrome. The Alcat Comprehensive Wellness 1-Kit tells you exactly which foods and chemicals you might be sensitive to, and how severely. Just take it to the nearest LabCorp office for blood drawing and they pack it and send it off for you. You should receive your results in 7-10 business days!
Also, since many CFS-related symptoms are the result of low gut bacteria, leaky gut syndrome, parasites, and chronic candida infection, I recommend Doctor’s Data Comprehensive Stool Analysis x 3 DD Kit, which evaluates for all of these factors while measuring dysbiotic bacteria, digestive enzymes, digestion capability, and even a count of all probiotics!
- Rest and Relaxation
Patients living with a chronic feeling of fatigue need rest. The body is screaming for and demanding rest so it’s important to listen. Get as much rest as you possibly can. Take time off from work if you’re able to and spend time in bed, sleeping, reading, and relaxing. If you’re a stay-at-home mom, hire a mother’s helper to take care of your children. If you have to work and take care of the house, consider hiring a neighborhood teenager to do cleaning and other household chores for you. This isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s giving yourself the time your body desperately needs to heal and rejuvenate.
The quote is true. Laughter really is the best medicine. It has been scientifically proven that regular laughter boosts your natural antibodies and helps your body fight disease! Laughter also helps ease stress by boosting that feel-good hormone, serotonin, so you’re better able to cope with the emotional response to chronic illness.
- Dietary Changes
When it comes to treating any chronic illness, diet must be healthy. Potato chips, French fries, and other comfort foods might make you feel good for a moment but they’re only making your autoimmune system worse. Processed foods not only weaken your immune system, they also upset your delicate digestive balance and cause chronic malnutrition.
In order to beat CFS through diet and balance your immune system, it’s important to eat a whole-food diet. A whole-food diet consists of organic vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meat, poultry, wild-caught fish, and healthy fats.
Specific immune-boosting foods include:
Fermented Foods – Sauerkraut, kimchi, organic yogurt, kefir, natto, pickles, and olives are all digestion-boosting foods that balance low gut bacteria and help our immune systems stay strong.
Coconut Oil – Coconut oil is a healthy fat chock full of immune-supporting antioxidants.
Blueberries – Blueberries are filled with necessary antioxidants to help fight chronic disease and heal the immune system.
Garlic – Garlic is a strong anti-bacterial and anti-fungal and should be an integral part of an immune-system boosting diet. Garlic is best when eaten raw so chop it up in salads or enjoy it in a healthy, lightly-cooked stir-fry.
Even the healthiest diets need added dietary supplements when dealing with a chronic illness such as CFS.
Here are the supplements I recommend to my patients:
Diamond Nutritionals’ formulations are bioavailable to your body so you can actually absorb and get real benefit from them! They do not contain added dyes or preservatives.
Foundation’s nutrients include:
- Vitamin A – 7,500 IU
- Vitamin C – 500 mg
- Vitamin D3 – 500 IU
- Vitamin E – 100 IU
- Vitamin K – 50 mcg
- Thiamine – 25 mg
- Riboflavin – 25 mg
- Niacin – 25 mg
- Vitamin B6 – 38 mg
- Folic Acid – 400 mcg
- Vitamin B12 – 500 mcg
- Biotin – 200 mcg
- Panthothenic Acid – 150 mg
- Calcium – 100 mg
- Iodine – 113 mcg
- Magnesium – 200 mg
- Zinc – 10 mg
- Selenium – 100 mcg
- Copper – 1 mg
- Manganese – 2.5 mg
- Chromium – 200 mcg
- Molybdenum – 25 mcg
- Potassium – 50 mg
- Choline Bitartrate USP – 50 mg
- Inositol – 50 mg
- Mixed Tocopherols – 50 mg
- Lipoic Acid – 25 mg
- N-Acetyl-Cysteine USP – 25 mg
- Rutin – 25 mg
- Lutein – 3 mg
- Boron – 1.5 mg
- Lycopene – 1 mg
- Vanadyl Sulfate Hydrate – 1 mg
Diamond Nutritional’s Ultra Probiotic Formula
When treating that feeling of fatigue, I recommend a quality probiotic supplement. This is because up to 70% of your immune system is located in your gut and if gut bacteria is low, your immune system will suffer.
For my chronic fatigue patients, I recommend Diamond Nutritionals’ Ultra Probiotic Formula. Unlike other probiotics, which only contain 1 or 2 active cultures in a low-dose capsule, each packet of Ultra Probiotic Formula contains 225 billion CFUs (colony-forming units) complete with six unique probiotic strains to populate your gut fast to boost your immune system and relieve gastrointestinal discomfort.
These strains include lactobacillus plantarum, lactobacillus acidophilus, bifidobacterium lactis, lactobacillus salivarius, lactobacillus casei, and bifidobacterium bifidum.
Diamond Nutritional’s Immune Cell Support Formula
In addition to a strong multivitamin and a good probiotic supplement, I also recommend adding our Diamond Nutritionals’ Immune Cell Support Formula. This formula contains a synergistic blend of ingredients designed to support your immune system and heal your fatigued body.
These ingredients include:
- Larch Arabinogalactin
Supports positive immune and reticuloendothelial activity. Arabinogalactins are now being used for a number of immune-stimulating functions.
- Olive Leaf Extract
Supports healthy gut bacteria and overall gastrointestinal health.
- Aloe Vera Concentrate
Stimulates the immune system and heals chronic inflammation.
Living with chronic fatigue syndrome can be severely limiting and can cause even more serious health problems if left untreated. Taking care of your health by resting and feeding your body the nutrients it needs can go a long way in helping you get back to the healthy, active person you remember!
Dr. Maxwell has treated many patients with CFS. His goal is to identify and treat the root cause(s). Please feel free to call us at 513-741-4404 to schedule a consultation. We will be glad to assist you and answer any questions you may have.