Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a disease that can be reversed! Each person is unique and needs to be treated as an individual. Certain patterns can be seen among the many people suffering from chronic fatigue. Not every person with fatigue will benefit from the same exact medications, minerals, or vitamins as the next person. Again, each person is unique and needs individualized attention. Persistent fatigue will not be fully corrected with out attention to the following dysfunctions in the body:
*yeast/fungal/mold- a common infection these days. It is found in 90% of the patients that I treat. Exposure to high levels of antibiotics, steroids (topical or ingested), hormones (birth control pills, artificial thyroid hormones, estrogen replacement therapy, etc), or a high sugar diet makes individuals prone to yeast problems. To clear out a fungal or yeast problem a patient and often their spouse need to take special yeast killing medicines and follow a strict diet for 3 weeks. In worst case scenarios houses and air quality may need to be screened. Occasionally a "sick building" will be at the root of sick people's complaints.
*parasites- a common infection found in my patients. Exposure to poorly handled meats or vegetables, poor water supply, pets, or travel to foreign countries may increase risk of parasite infections. Parasites need to be treated with special antiparasitic medications. Antibiotics will not work on parasites.
*viruses- many people have compromised immune systems. With lowered immune system function certain people are prone to long standing viral infections. Viruses are not easily eradicated except by your own immune system and white blood cells. Any therapy for viral infections needs to be aimed at improving immune system function. Specific herbs, vitamins, and minerals will help.
*bacterial infections- certain bacteria are long term infections such as H. Pylori (a type of bacteria that lives in the stomach and upper digestive tract and causes ulcers and digestive problems). Certain bacteria may need to be treated with antibiotic herbs or medicines.
*Ask your health care provider to screen for systemic yeast infections, parasite infections, viral burdens, and possible low grade bacterial infections. The most common way to screen for yeast and parasite infections is with a stool sample being shipped to a qualified laboratory such as Great Smokies Labs for analysis.
Fast response food allergies (IgE mediated responses)- some food allergies react quickly, with in 10 to 15 minutes and are characterized by swelling, itching, breathing difficulties, and redness. Certain ways for detecting IgE allergies has been the skin scratch method. The problems with the skin scratch method is that it only tests for IgE mediated allergic reactions and does not test for ANY other types of allergies. This is like only looking for half or one third of the possible problems.
*Slow response food allergies (IgG mediated responses)- most food allergies that seriously affect the health and are not recognized are slow response allergies. These allergic reactions may cause headaches, fatigue, sleepiness, moodiness, depression, pain, and may eventually lead to autoimmune problems if exposure is long enough. Commonly blood testing is done to identify these types of allergic foods. A problem with blood testing is that a large amount of false positive results are found which leads to too many foods being identified as allergic.
*All possible allergy-causing foods need to be identified, a desensitization protocol done, and an avoidance period of usually 3 weeks is needed to usually permanently correct food sensitivities. Ask your health care provider to test for both IgE and IgG mediated allergies, then follow a desensitizing protocol such as NAET, and after a period of time re-introduce the foods back into the diet.
Heavy metals are involved in most patients suffering with fibromyalgia. Our exposure to toxins such as mercury, lead, aluminum, arsenic, copper, cadmium, and others is increasing with time. After exposure to toxins our body often stores toxins that it is not able to detoxify. As each person's body has higher levels of toxins problems with body function increase such as endocrine problems, hormonal imbalances, loss of menstruation in women, mental problems, autoimmune problems, headaches, joint pains, loss of flexibility, and obesity. Heavy metals need to be identified and a gentle detoxification protocol implemented. Ask your health care provider to screen for heavy metal toxins. It is worthwhile to note that one source of mercury poisoning may be from mercury amalgam (or "silver") fillings. I would encourage everyone to NOT use mercury amalgam fillings in their mouths. Rather, use ceramic or other non-toxic fillings.
Homocysteine is a toxin that is naturally produced in our bodies as a result of protein metabolism. Normally, homocysteine is eliminated from the body or converted into non-toxic substances and recycled for use in other ways. When the body is deficient in certain vitamins and minerals it cannot effectively detoxify homocysteine from the body. When homocysteine levels rise heart problems and inflammation follow. Homocysteine has been called the single most important factor that we can change for heart disease. Homocysteine is being recognized as more important than cholesterol as an indicator of poor heart health. Homocysteine also is a toxin that can cause inflammation and pain throughout the joints and muscles of the body. If your homocysteine levels are high, certain B-vitamins are necessary to detoxify homocysteine naturally.
Nutritional deficiencies in general may be behind certain health problems. Today, more than ever, people are mineral and vitamin deficient. We don't have to just eat junk food to be lacking in vitamins and minerals. Often "healthy" foods, vegetables, fruits, and meats from the grocery have less than half of the mineral content of foods 60 years ago. Shopping for foods that are grown organically helps with this. Sometimes multivitamins are recommended. A sign of a poor vitamin is one that has the toxin stearic acid or calcium stearate. Stearic acid is a saturated fat that makes absorption of the vitamin much more difficult. I suggest looking for vitamin manufacturers that encapsulate rather than make vitamins in tablet form. Also a sign of a poor vitamin is one that uses the poorly absorbed calcium carbonate. If your calcium is in the form of calcium carbonate, in my opinion, it is worthless. Discuss with your health care provider which nutrients will be helpful for health in general and also helpful for chronic fatigue specifically.
Often people with chronic fatigue have digestive dysfunction. Often they are not absorbing the nutrients that they are eating. A person may have leaky gut syndrome. This is basically where the intestines have become microscopically damaged and are letting toxins and undigested food particles enter into the blood stream. When this happens allergic reactions and autoimmune problems follow. Leaky gut can often be corrected when infectious organisms are removed. Some people may not be making enough acid in their stomach and can benefit from acidic enzyme therapy such as hydrochloric acid tablets with meals. Some people may have poorly functioning pancreatic function and so may benefit from pancreatic enzymes. Some people may have a poorly functioning liver and gall bladder with low secretion of bile salts. Bile salts may be helpful for digestion and emulsification of fats.
Poorly functioning adrenal glands are associated with low energy and poor resistance to stress. The hormones that are manufactured in the adrenal glands help normalize blood sugar, combat inflammation, make sex hormones, DHEA which can be thought of as an anti-aging hormone, and provide a feeling of wellness and energy. Most people with chronic diseases have poorly functioning adrenal glands. These people may benefit from adrenal glandular nutrients or vitamins and minerals which directly support function or healing of the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands respond well when a person identifies their foods which are causing allergies and they avoid them for several weeks. Many cases of chronic fatigue are corrected simply with adrenal support and avoiding specific foods.
A normally functioning liver will help to detoxify the body of toxins AND filter the blood before it enters the rest of the body. A normally functioning liver produces bile salts which aid in digestion. The function of the liver is extremely important for people with chronic illness. Since the liver is so important for cleaning and detoxifying it needs to working properly because people with fibromyalgia are usually extremely burdened with toxins. It is usually not possible to detoxify the body well if the liver is not working well. So detoxifying must also include support for the liver. If a person is attempting to detoxify heavy metals with a congested liver, metals may just circulate in the blood stream and never really leave the body. This is extremely stressful for the body. So certain vitamins and minerals may be needed to support liver function and help the liver to do its job.
At the Nutritional Healing Center we strive to use the cutting edge of nutritional medicine to help people recover from chronic diseases such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, migraine headaches, and asthma. If we can be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to call and make an appointment.