Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is characterised by medically unexplained, disabling fatigue and neurological symptoms. It has been characterised by a system under chronic stress and chronic inflammation
Who does it affect?
Many with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are achievement-oriented go-getters.
Most people with CFS have some degree of depression.
Women are four times as likely as men to develop CFS.
The illness most often affects people aged 40–59.
Many sufferers are Type ‘A’s who multi-task, juggle careers, families and studies.
How does it affect people?
Even when Chronic Fatigue Syndrome sufferers sleep, their stress-response systems are on high alert, signalling it is not safe to relax which would be why many awaken to exhaustion having not really slept at all. In short periods this alertness may be necessary for survival, but chronic or repeated alertness can result in damage to health.
With stress, cortisol is released in response to it. However, prolonged cortisol secretion (which may be due to chronic stress results in significant physiological changes and this prolonged state may impair normal brain function setting off a chain reaction in chemicals in the body.
It would be similar to people in this highly anxious state to compare it with post-traumatic stress disorder, but the experience in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is most likely initially a physiological one brought on by :a post viral or bacterial response, heavy metal build up in the body over time like :cadmium, mercury, lead or other toxic metals, exposure to toxic chemicals. It also could be emotional shock, trauma or state of chronic anxiety.
A stressful life experience can have significant effects on a variety of physiological systems, including the *autonomic nervous system and the immune system. *(The autonomic nervous system(ANS) is the part of the peripheral nervous control system which functions largely below the level of consciousness controlling functions like: heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, urination,respiratory rate, salivation, dilation, sexual response. perspiration)
A recent study at the University of NSW found the ANS function in chronic fatigue syndrome patients clearly indicated a dysfunction in stress-response in neural and physiological systems.
In other words this continual state of chronic alertness with varying levels of stress may set a pattern for the brain to follow and become a habit impairing a normal relaxed function and causing damage to the physiology of the body.
At least 3 of these Symptoms would point to chronic fatigue syndrome :
Fibromyalgia,dizziness,post-exertion tiredness,insomnia,un-refreshing sleep, widespread muscle and joint pain, sore throat,headaches,cognitive difficulties,mental or/and physical exhaustion,muscle weakness,sensitivity to light, sounds and smells ,depression,cardiac and respiratory problems ,impaired concentration,tender lymph nodes,restless leg syndrome, food intolerances,irritable bowel syndrome, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea or bloating,chills/night sweats,brain fog,chest pain,shortness of breath,chronic coughing,visual blurring, eye pain or dry eyes,difficulty maintaining upright position, depression, irritability, mood swings, anxiety, panic attacks.
There is also an interesting correlation between several medical conditions and chronic fatigue syndrome
Given the similarity between chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, many physicians believe that they are the same disease with different primary symptoms.
It appears there are 4 main areas of focus to rehabilitate the CFS sufferer.
1. Reduce the stress and alter habitual thought processes through re-learning by way of ‘cognitive behavioural therapy” which is often used to treat CFS patients by helping them understand individual symptoms and beliefs by avoiding these stress triggers which may be incite the condition. This may mean clearing the head of preconceived anxieties by re-learning the process of mind control.
2. Some sufferers maintain their CFS symptoms get better with complementary or alternative treatments, such as massage, acupuncture, chiropractic care, yoga, stretching, or self-hypnosis. It is a learning process and not a quick fix but has achieved success. In other words controlling thought processes through conscious self-intervention and avoiding negative or anxious thoughts and situations.
3.Many patients with CFS and are deficient in magnesium. Magnesium is essential for over 350 different functions in the body. Our body slows down during deficiency, resulting in slower cellular functioning, making the body sluggish, until fatigue eventually kicks in.
Magnesium is found in bones, red blood cells, teeth, and when combined with zinc and iron, helps with the enzyme system. The use of magnesium supplements can greatly improve the condition and dramatically improve energy levels. Magnesium, Potassium and Calcium are vital requirements in a healthy body to function correctly.
Of particular benefit is Magnesium oil which is transdermal-in other words it can be used as a massage oil and is readily absorbed into the skin. About 55% of the population do not get enough magnesium so buy some and get your masseuse or a friend to rub it all over . Also Epsom salts in a bath of warm water and soak in it for a good 40-50 minutes -use about 2 cupfuls dissolved in the water will work well too.This also helps detox the body as well of heavy metals.This should also relax you and help you sleep much better as well.
4. Detoxing any heavy metals from the body is vital.
5. Good sleep is also vital to a healthy functioning body by taking extra minerals and salts into the body this will eventually feed the cells starved of the right minerals needed to correct the condition and good sleep will follow.
6. Measured degree of exercise each day without over doing it to the point of exhaustion. Gradually strength and energy will improve
7.Chronic Inflammation as repeated on this site is the cause of many of the associated conditions and therefore we can treat the symptoms but often not the cause.
Astaxanthin is an excellent anti oxidant and anti inflammatory will help enormously in lowering inflammation .
Remember chronic inflammation may lie undetected in the body for years without any noticeable symptoms and by the time it surfaces it is sometimes to late . Almost everyone experiences some degree of chronic inflammation and as we age it becomes more pronounced. It is often attributable to premature ageing because of the oxidative stress it places on cells in various parts of the body.
Cognitive behavioural therapy is worthwhile learning to ease out the bad thought habits that may contribute to CFS.These can be hard to change ,but what it is attempted here is to try reduce anxiety by not placing oneself in a stressful state of mind or situation. Often these situations conjured up never arrive. Many have had success with the program and once learned is easily self-managed.
Minerals provide the building blocks from which the body can achieve optimum health for proper growth and body function. Repair Incontinence recommends a dose of "Pure South" at 1 level tablespoon each night before bed or 3 capsules. (see banner below) or Astaxanthin as an anti-inflammatory.
Finally exercise produces endorphins which are the body’s natural opiates and not only give a feeling of wellbeing after exercising but also relax the body and strengthen it.