Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
WHAT IS CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME?
An individual who suffers from extreme fatigue for a period of more than six months has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). This can be a devastating medical condition because finding the underlying problem is challenging. CFS cannot be diagnosed through laboratory testing; however, some medical professionals believe that this syndrome may be related to system wide inflammation or adrenal fatigue: If this is the case, blood tests can be used to verify that inflammation is present. When looking for adrenal fatigue, urine, saliva, and blood can all be used for testing.
CAUSES OF CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME
Although the specific number of Americans who are afflicted with this syndrome is unknown, estimations indicate that there are between 3 and 3,000 people per every 100,000. Women are more likely to be diagnosed with this syndrome than men are. While the actual cause of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is unknown, ample evidence suggests that this syndrome may be related to leaky gut syndrome. Leaky gut syndrome can be diagnosed through a urine sample. Besides leaky gut syndrome, there is no shortage of theories as to the cause of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Theories as to what causes CFS abound, these theories include:
- A weakened immune system
- Chronic bacterial infections
- Chronic viral infections
- Endocrine abnormalities
- Psychosocial etiologies
How Chronic Fatigue Syndrome affects one’s daily life
CFS can cause relationships with family and friends to become strained. This is especially true when the syndrome remains undiagnosed. Without a diagnosis, treatment is impossible. Many times, individuals living with, and trying to fight, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome feel guilty, anxious and angry.
DIAGNOSING CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME
Unfortunately, very little is known about CFS; however, researchers continue searching for the root cause of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Since very little is known, diagnosing a patient typically begins by performing tests to rule out other chronic conditions and underlying diseases. If CFS is left untreated, the individual will begin having difficulty concentrating, remembering things and his or her stamina will decline.
- Some of the preliminary findings state that contributing factors to CFS include:
- Viral infections – HHV-6, Epstein-Barr HTLV, measles, parvovirus, coxsackie B and cytomegalovirus
- Hormonal imbalances
- Nutritional deficiency
- Poor immune system response
- Chronic low blood pressure
CFS may have links to:
- Celiac disease
- Oxidative stress
- Food allergies/sensitivities
The majority of researchers believe a combination of factors (varying from one individual to the next) cause Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
SYMPTOMS OF CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME
While the name “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” offers some insight into this crippling syndrome, it does not encompass the entire condition. CFS usually begins suddenly, with symptoms that resemble the flu; however, these flu-like symptoms may last a lifetime.
Other serious symptoms that accompany the profound fatigue include:
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain (that travels from one joint to another)
- Digestive disorders (Irritable Bowel Syndrome, etc.)
- Difficulty concentrating
- A recurring sore throat with no evidence of infection
- Unrefreshing sleep
- Memory loss
- Night sweats
- Enlarged/Tender lymph nodes
- Mood swings/Irritability
- Anxiety/Panic attacks
One study found that nearly 40 percent of individuals with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome were clinically depressed, with 22 percent seriously contemplating suicide in the past 12 months. These results make it clear that the mental and emotional side effects of this syndrome must be addressed during treatment, which makes functional medicine the perfect choice for treating CFS. Unlike conventional medicine, functional medicine takes the whole person into account during treatment.
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CONVENTIONAL TREATMENT OF AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE
As with most conditions, conventional medicine concentrates on treating the symptoms as opposed to finding and treating the root cause of this syndrome. Many times, individuals who have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome receive anti-depressant medications and sleeping pills. Sometimes, the side effects from the medications are worse than the symptoms of CFS.
At Florida Health & Wellness Institute, Dr. Jorge Peláez concentrates on finding the reason an individual is suffering with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. He aims to find the root cause and to create the patient a personalized treatment program. Each patient is unique, which is why each treatment program is custom-designed to meet the needs of a specific patient. Treatment programs may include vitamin and herbal supplements, diet changes (to add foods that are rich in magnesium, B vitamins, and potassium), meditation, and relaxation technique instruction as well as the elimination of foods from the diet that the patient has sensitivities/allergies to.
If you believe that you have CFS, click the button below to schedule your initial consult with Dr. Jorge Peláez. He will determine if you have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and, if you do, he will find the underlying cause and address it.