Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is characterized by severe, unexplained, disabling fatigue that is not relieved by rest. CFS has an identifiable onset, usually after an acute viral infection such as mononucleosis. It can be persistent or relapsing and lasts for at least 6 consecutive months.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients usually exhibit four or more of the following symptoms:
- Impaired memory or concentration problems
- Tender cervical or axillary lymph nodes
- Sore throat (but may not show signs of infection)
- Muscle/multi-joint pain (but not arthritis)
- New onset headaches (tension-type or migraine)
- Not refreshed after adequate sleep
- Fatigue, pain and flu-like symptoms after exertion
These symptoms can be further aggravated by physical or mental stress, poor sleep or trauma.
Naturopathically there are many avenues I explore and treat with CFS:
- Toxin and heavy metal accumulation
- Imbalanced brain chemistry/low serotonin
- Sleep disturbances
- Infection with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), or with the fungus Candida albicans
- Food allergy (dairy products, eggs, wheat/gluten, nuts and beans are most common)
- Emotional stress
- Adrenal exhaustion
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Chronic mercury poisoning from dental fillings
By Dr. Pamela Frank, BSc (Hons), ND
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