Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME

 

weary man at desk.jpgWhat is chronic fatigue syndrome and what are the symptoms? 

A condition that can last up to 6 months or more where the sufferer experiences a variety of symptoms.  The overriding symptom is that of fatigue to such a degree that it is debilitating. Aching muscles, loss of appetite and depression, upper respiratory tract infections, headache, sleep disturbances, fever, muscle spasms, sensitivity to light and heat, sore throat, swollen glands, difficulty concentrating and irritability, are all symptoms to look for. This condition affects more women than men between the ages of twenty and forty.  Very often it is misdiagnosed and mistaken for other viral infections because its symptoms are so similar.  CFS is incurable and once you have it, you will find that it usually reoccurs at times of stress or illness

 

What causes CFS ?

There are many theories as to the causes; some believe it to be linked with the condition Candida Albicans.  Some believe it is viral, the virus being the Epstein-Barr virus, yet no test has ever conclusively proved this. Others believe it is linked to mercury poisoning from amalgam dental fillings.  Other possibilities suggest problems with the mechanisms that regulate blood pressure yet other think the cause is intestinal parasites or problems with the immune system. Basically, no one really knows the cause of CFS.

 

COMPLEMENTARY APPROACH

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Eating vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds, skinless organic turkey and some fish is recommended. You must ensure you have a good supply of nutrients and help with energy levels so you should eata well balanced diet and comprising of 50 % raw foods.  Soured yogurts with live cultures will keep candida under control and if you add extra fibre to your diet you will ensure healthy bowl function which is essential for good health. Finally drink at least 8 glasses of filtered or bottled water a day to flush out your system. 

 

AVOID EATING shellfish, processed or junk foods, coffee, tea, or soft drinks.  Foods that contain sugar or white flour should also be avoided. 

The following information does not constitute a prescription or recommended dose— studies have been conducted using the dosages stated and are included for your information only.

The nutrients mentioned here are often recommended by Health -Care practitioners 

 

NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS 

CARNITINE is required if the powerhouse cells (mitrochondria)  in the body are to produce energy.

Taken in doses of 1 gram 3 times a day, CFS sufferers saw an improvement in their condition. 1,2  

POTASSIUM-MAGNESIUM ASPARATE 

1 gram taken twice a week of this mixture has shown to be beneficial. 3,4

 

VITAMIN B12 People with CFS have been found to be deficient in this vitamin.  Even people who are not deficient have been known to benefit greatly from B12 injections.5,6,7 

As injections are only available by prescription, you will have to consult a qualified practitioner. 

 

MANGANESE helps with metabolic rate by involvement with endocrine system. 

Take 5 mg daily

 

MALIC ACID & MAGNESIUM deficiency has been linked with CFS. 

Take Malic Acid as directed on label and take 500 - 1,000 mg daily of the magnesium

 

VITAMIN A protects cells and boosts the immune system so it is better able to deal with viruses.  

Take 25,000 IU daily for 1 month and then reduce to 10,000 slowly. (Do not exceed 10,000 if you are pregnant). Take the emulsion form. 

 

COENZYME Q10 Protects the heart and assists the immune system.

Take 75 mg daily. 

 

ACIDOPHILUS as candidiasis tends to occur in this condition, it is essential to get "good" bacteria to thrive.  

Take as directed on the label, but chose a non-dairy form. 

 

VITAMIN C with bioflavonoids is an  effective anti-viral agent and helps increase energy levels.  

Take 5,000 - 10,000 mg daily.  Use a buffered form. 

 

HERBAL SUGGESTIONS

MELATONIN a natural sleep hormone that can regulate sleep patterns.

Take as directed on the label. 

 

KOMBUCHA TEA.You can make your own or you can buy the commercially available ones in health stores. 

Kombucha tea is made from the kombucha tea "mushroom ".  Although it looks like a fungus it isn't.  It is in fact, a combination of a lichen, a natural yeast culture and bacterium ‘xylinum’.  

 

When you place this 'mushroom' in a mixture of sugar and tea for 7 to 10 days, it produces a tea and throws off a new 'baby' kombucha. 

 

TO MAKE: Do not attempt to substitute any of the ingredients listed. Do not substitute the white sugar with brown. Remove all hand and wrist jewellery as metal will corrupt the 'mushroom' and keep all utensils and work areas clean to avoid contamination. Smoke from tobacco products will kill your 'mushroom' so ensure it does not sit in a room where people smoke. 

 

4 tea bags (green or black tea only)

1 cup of white sugar 

6 pints of mineral water

4 ounces of newly harvested kombucha tea or 4 oz of apple cider vinegar

1 large kombucha 'mushroom'

Pot able to hold 12 pints of water

8 pint glass bowl

Piece of cheesecloth

6 inch rubber band

Wooden spoon

 

First heat the water in a pot over a high heat  (do not use aluminium) and add the sugar, boil for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat, add the tea bags and leave for 10 minutes.  With clean hands remove tea bags after this time.

Pour the tea into a glass bowl and leave until it is at room temperature, then add the kombucha tea or the cider vinegar if you don't have any freshly harvested tea. 

Place the large 'mushroom' in the tea, the smooth side up.  Then cover the bowl with the cheesecloth, securing it with the rubber band and leave for 7 - 10 days, in a dark, ventilated, quiet place.  The temperature should be between 70 - 90 % F.  

 

After this time a baby mushroom should have grown on top of the original mushroom. Remove the 'mushroom' from the tea and separate the two with clean hands. 

 

Strain the tea through the cheesecloth into a bottle leaving an 8 cm space at the top of the bottle.  Always store in glass, never plastic.  Keep in the fridge and drink 4 oz of the tea 3 times a day.  Do not exceed this dose.  When you make the next batch use the 'baby mushroom' and some of the tea to start the next lot of tea off.  

 

FURTHER INFORMATION

Get plenty of rest.  

Seek out a health care practitioner that has experience in the treatment of this condition.

Hydrotherapy in the form of cold showers has shown to be beneficial in the treatment of this condition.  However, do not try this method if you have heart or circulatory disorders. 

 

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References: 

1. Kuratsune H, Yamaguti K, Takahashi M, et al. Acylcarnitine deficiency in chronic fatigue syndrome. Clin Infect Dis 1994;18(suppl 1):S62–67.
2. Plioplys AV, Plioplys S. Amantadine and L-carnitine treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome. Neuropsycholbiol 1997;35:16–23.

3. Shaw DL, et al. Management of fatigue: A physiologic approach. Am J Med Sci 1962;243:758.
4. Crescente FJ. Treatment of fatigue in a surgical practice. J Abdom Surg 1962;4:73.
5. Kaufman W. The use of vitamin therapy to reverse certain concomitants of aging. J Am Geriatr Soc 1955;3:927–36.

6.Ellis FR, Nasser S. A pilot study of vitamin B12 in the treatment of tiredness. Br J Nutr 1973;30:277–83.
7. Lapp CW, Cheney PR. The rationale for using high-dose cobalamin (vitamin B12). CFIDS Chronicle Physicians’ Forum, Fall, 1993, 19–20. 

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