Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a disease of persistent fatigue and exhaustion symptoms lasting for more than six months time. The fatigue won’t get better with resting and interferes with daily functioning. Seventy percent of the patients are females.
A decrease/impairment of the natural killer cell function of the white blood cells, SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), increased intestinal permeability (leaky gut), HPA axis dysfunction, thyroid problems and adrenal fatigue are suspected factors in the etiology. Many patients are found to have type IV delayed allergic hypersensitivity. The patients usually have a history of recent giardia infection/gastroenteritis and a childhood history of adversities and abuse.
Symptoms/findings of CFS are:
- Post exercise fatigue
- Non-restful sleep
- Muscle joint pain
- Throat soreness
- Headaches/ migraine
- Brain fog, concentration difficulties
- Brain exhaustion
- Sound and light sensitivity
- Hypersensitivity to odors
- Dizziness on standing
- Digestive problems (irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion, gas, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, nausea)
- Depression, anxiety, irritability
- Lymph node swelling and pain
- Nocturnal sweating
Differential diagnosis includes:
– Lyme disease
– Sleep disorders, obstructive sleep apnea syndrome
– Major depression
– Substance abuse disorders
– Systemic lupus erythematosus
– Multiple sclerosis
– Chronic hepatitis
– Celiac disease
– Adrenal insufficiency
– Rheumatic diseases
– Non celiac gluten sensitivity
- If you suspect you have chronic fatigue, first consult with an internist. If you have accompanying depression and/or anxiety seek professional psychiatric/psychological help. Thyroid problems, vitamin and mineral deficiencies should be solved.
- Watch your sleep hygiene, if you have sleep problems or obstructive sleep apnea, consult a sleep specialist.
- Take care of tour gut, pay attention to leaky gut.
- Go gluten free
- Go dairy free (at least cows milk free)
- Go sugar free
- Start eating like your ancestors (Paleo diet)
- Learn how to cope with stress
- Practice positive thinking
- Stay in the moment, it will decrease your sadness for the past, and anxiety for the future.
- Be social
- Learn and practice breathing technics, meditation and yoga
- Get a massage
- Have your trigger points treated
- See a neurologist for your migraine
- Try acupuncture
– Starting an intense daily routine or a physical work out will make your fatigue and leaky gut worsen. Exercising outdoors also helps your vitamin D and serotonin levels and depressive findings.
– You can walk, do pilates and/or yoga, swim at low intensities.
- Seek psychological help
- Decrease your caffeine intake
- Quit smoking