Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is not really a disease in the true sense of the word. However, this syndrome is accompanied by such varied symptoms that it can become really difficult to diagnose it. Most people tend to misdiagnose it as hypochondria, depression or even psychosomatic illness since the symptoms are so confusing. Moreover, most of the routine medical tests also fail to detect anything, which further worsens the problem. Women are three times more affected by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome compared to men. More people in the age group of twenty to fifty years are generally prone to this problem.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome CFS is also called myalgic encephalomyelitis (or encephalopathy) or ME.
As mentioned before, the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are quite varied. As a result many a times, it's even mistaken as flu or any other viral infection. One of the most common symptom as the name suggests is severe fatigue which can be disabling at times. The patient feels perpetually tired for no apparent reason. This persistent fatigue is so severe that it doesn't go with bed rest and even reduces the average output of the person by at least 50% for a minimum period of six months.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is generally caused by continued stress. This stress keeps the body on its toes and in a constant state of fight or flight. This affects the adrenal glands and causes over stimulation, which are located on the top of the kidneys which can further create more problems and illnesses.
Other symptoms include:
• Aches and pains in muscles and joints
• Never feeling refreshed after a sleep
• Lack of concentration or focus
• A feeling of having a 'fuzzy' head
• Low blood pressure
• Pain in the intestines
• Intestine related disorders or problems
• Mood swings
• Loss of or increased appetite
• Heightened sensitivity to the environment
• Over acidity in the body
• Nasal Congestion
• Infections of the upper respiratory tract
• Sore throat
• Enlarged lymph nodes
• Feelings of desperation
• Sense of worthlessness
• Sugar cravings
• Manic Tendencies
• A sense that no one understands
• Bad circulation resulting in increased coldness to extremities
• Tense, or a feeling of the body constantly being on fast forward
• Abnormalities are noticed in the immune function in some tests
Since this disorder presents a wide range of symptoms, it's quite difficult to diagnose it in the first instance. Most people tend to ignore it and think that they just have flu and take medication. As a result, this Chronic Fatigue Syndrome worsens with time and leads to many other problems.
The exact cause of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is not really known. According to some researches, it may be connected with the members of the herpes virus family which are also responsible for infections of the retina and the gastrointestinal tract. These viruses are known as Epstein - Barr virus (EBV) and the cytomegalo virus (CMV). This theory is primarily based on the observation that many patients who have been diagnosed with the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome have been found with EBV antibodies in their blood. Some people attribute Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to a viral infection while in many others there seems to be no apparent cause of the problem. Many doctors even feel that problems like arthritis, anaemia, hypoglycemia and other such issues may also trigger off the problem.
Apart from these pathogenic causes, lifestyle is also certainly a cause of this problem. Poor diet, irregular working hours, recreational drugs, over work and other such habits tend to cause further problems.
There are an increasing number of young people developing chronic fatigue, again possibly due to over work and stress of school or college. Again this can begin with the occurrence of glandular fever (often known as the kissing virus due to it’s prevalence in teenagers), and this links back to the Epstein – Barr virus above, as it belongs to that family of viruses.
Many patients of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are also prone to a muscle disorder called Fibromyalagia, which causes pain in the muscles. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is not an illness but it may leave the body susceptible to other illnesses and problems since it causes the immune system to weaken.
How to help treat Chronic Fatigue Syndrome:
- Eat a Healthy Diet – it is so important to eat fresh and whole foods, and organic where possible. Foods like brown rice, fresh vegetables and fruits along with nuts, white fish, raw seeds, whole grains and turkey.
- Eat an alkaline diet as much as possible. Many of us eat far too many acidic foods and the more acidic a body is the more prone to illness. Foods which are particularly high in alkaline foods are: …………..
- Consume as many green superfoods as possible to help cleanse the body of toxins, balance blood sugar levels and increase alkalinity
- Avoid all kinds of fried, stored and preserved junk foods. Cut out the following foods as much as possible: sugar, alcohol, coffee, dairy products, baked products (cakes, biscuits, bread, pastries etc)
- Consume plenty of sugar free juices, fresh and pure filtered or purified water and herbal teas.
- Ensure on a daily basis you have plenty of water and fibre in the diet.
- Support your immune system as much as possible, through diet and supplementation – see Immune Support
- Learn deep breathing exercises and meditation – these practices will help you to breathe life and energy back into your body, and strengthen your immune system, and clear your mind.
- Listen to your body. If you need to rest you must rest. Rest can also help in fighting the problem by allowing your body to become stronger. If you over-push yourself you will make the condition worse.
- Exercise regularly if you can but gently – walking outside in the fresh air is extremely therapeutic. Again be careful not to over do it. Exercise causes the release of endorphins which relieves CFS. Yoga is extremely beneficial.
- Areas of the body that in particular need to be supported are: the immune system, the digestive system, the adrenal glands, the liver, the muscles.
The conventional approaches include tranquilizers and other such medicines that help in calming the mind but come laden with side effects.
A NATURAL APPROACH:
Alternative healing therapies such as acupuncture, NLP, reiki, other energy healing and hypnosis can help in relieving the symptoms of CFS.
Investigate www.lightningprocess.com Phil Parker has developed his own technique known to have helped many people with chronic fatigue
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