What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? The definition of this disorder often times depends on who you ask. From my research, the most noted symptoms are:
1. Fatigue that lasts more than six months.
2. Short term memory loss.
4. Muscle aches.
5. Inability to concentrate.
These symptoms may fit a number of other disorders, but with CFS these symptoms appear to be debilitating. Sleep and rest have no effect on the feeling of tiredness, small amounts of work or exercise tend to make the person feel worse and more run down instead of invigorating them.
The term Chronic Fatigue Syndrome may be relatively new but the disease itself has been around for many years and often referred to as immune dysfunction syndrome, myalgic encephalomyelitis and neurasthenia or nervous exhaustion.
The causes of CFS have been linked to infections, allergies, nutritional deficiencies, drug reactions, mononucleosis and adrenal gland dysfunction.
Chronic fatigue syndrome is most noted in patients between the ages of 40-50 which might indicate a nutritional deficiency because the body begins to lose its ability to absorb nutrients properly. This may also be an indication of the adrenal gland not functioning as it should due to age. CFS is rarely noted in patients under the age of 29 or over the age of 60. This could stem from the fact that people of those age groups take better care of themselves than the other age related groups. People entering their 60’s may determine that if they live another 20-30 years they’d like to feel better and not be a burden to their loved ones so they begin to take a more whole body and whole food approach to their health. It could also be an indication of the retirement years. They no longer have to live by the alarm clock and have more leisure time to enjoy life; hence they would just feel better and have less stress.
Anytime the body is at stress or not getting its daily requirements of water, nutrients, exercise, and rest, it is going to revolt and cause a host of problems. While it may not be convenient to avoid all the stress in our lives, due to our jobs, there are ways that we can take a whole body approach. Western medicine tends to fail us because it wants to treat the symptoms and not the whole body. Eastern medicine has long been noted for taking a whole body approach.
The suggestions made in this report will take a whole body approach, because it’s the whole body that we must live with and care for to obtain the benefits of good health.
Water is the basic foundation of life. We have to have water each and every day. Ask anyone who drinks a lot of water if they don’t feel better. They can also attest to the fact that if they don’t get enough water on certain days, they feel more lethargic the day after.
Many people fear that if they drink more water they will need to use the restroom more which can be inconvenient for their jobs. At first you will probably need to use the bathroom more than before until your body adjusts and begins to use the water it’s given.
Plenty of water is a must have for good health. If you can’t drink the full 8 glasses a day in the beginning, start with smaller amounts. The key here is to start drinking more water.
Getting plenty of rest is one of the most important factors in our lives, especially as we age. But not everyone requires a full 8 hours. You may want to experiment and see if you feel better on less, maybe 6 or 7 hours a night. Resting can also mean taking a few minutes each day to just sit quietly and meditate, or watch something funny on TV. Whatever is it that makes you feel more alert should be attempted daily.
Exercise is another key ingredient in a whole body approach to good health. If you haven’t been getting enough exercise, you should start. I should also mention that in the beginning of any exercise program, you will probably feel a bit more tired and lethargic. The first day will seem like a breeze compared to subsequent days. Many days you will tell yourself that it’s not worth it and it can’t be helping, but you have to keep it up to reap the benefits. Remember that any changes (good or bad) that you do to your body will send it into shock. Exercise is no different, your body may think you are trying to kill it and it will resent you, but if you keep it up and go slowly, your body will begin to crave the good feelings you achieve from exercise.
Nutrition is another basic necessity of life. Under the heading of nutrition we will cover vitamins, minerals and the herbs that can help you combat the symptoms of CFS.
Certain nutritional factors have been linked to Chronic fatigue syndrome such as, deficiency in vitamins B12 and B6, lack of L-carnitine (an essential amino acid required for energy production), nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide which helps make the body’s energy source, magnesium and the hormone DHEA. All of these can be obtained through diet and nutrition or from supplements. It should be noted the best way to get vitamin B12 into your body is to take injections or a sublingual formula that dissolves under the tongue. Vitamin B12 is hard to absorb through the digestive tract, especially as we age, and is the reason so many women opt for injections.
Herbal formulas that may be useful include:
Asian and Siberian ginseng, long known for their feel good energy effects, may be one of the best herbs out there for stress and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Purslane contains a lot of magnesium. Other foods high in magnesium are string beans, spinach, lettuce, licorice and coriander.
Spinach also contains folate which is another essential vitamin that many people lack. You can also get folate from pinto beans, asparagus, broccoli, okra and brussels sprouts.
If you’ve done any studies on herbal treatments, you are aware of the fact that getting healthy can be tasty. We don’t have to eat awful tasting diet food to feel our best, we just need to eat lots of whole vegetables.