Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), which is also called chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS), and myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), is known for its symptoms associated with extreme fatigue that cause a substantial reduction in activity level. Triggered by viral illnesses or stressful events, CFS has symptoms including general pain, mental fogginess, flu-like symptoms, gastrointestinal problems, headache, muscle and joint aches, allergies to food and medications, anxiety and depression, and a decreased sex drive. CFS patients also are victim to frequent infections, which suppress the hypothalamus and lead to a decrease in the functioning of all glands and their hormones, triggering sleep dysfunction because the body confuses day and night cycles. Therefore, people with CFS have trouble staying in a deep, restorative sleep. 800,000 people nationwide of all ages, racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups have CFS at any given time. Although the severity of these symptoms may differ among people, they will hang on or reoccur frequently for more than six months and most commonly continue for three to five years.
Another cause to chronic fatigue symptom is fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS). FMS, which is found in about 80% of CFS patients, is a painful shortening of muscles throughout the body, causing many tender knots in the muscles, and leading to a sleep disorder. The tender knots, which are also called trigger points, are the source of the aches and pains that people with fibromyalgia and CFS feel.
Although treating chronic fatigue syndrome is a significant challenge, an integrated treatment approached, individualized to each patient, can improve patients dramatically. The first line of treatment is medications that provide symptom relief, including medications for pain, sleep disturbances, digestive problems, depression and anxiety and flu-like symptoms. However, these medications only put a bandage on symptoms instead of addressing the root problems. As a result, medications need to be supplemented by other supportive treatments such as counseling for emotional and mental health, cognitive behavioral therapy, sleep management therapy, and massage.
There are also several vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that can have powerful positive effects on a person with CFS. Each of these minerals in a chronic fatigue/fibromyalgia formula should work together to improve energy levels and overall health. Some key nutrients to look for in an energy formula include: Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Magnesium, Inositol, Malic Acid, Betaine, Amino Acids, Zinc, Selenium, and Fructooligosaccharides. Each of these is important to ensure recovery from chronic fatigue syndrome and can be found in a powdered drink mix. In addition to the powdered energy drink mix, it is important to also take a vitamin B-complex supplement that is specifically formulated for people with CFS/FMS, which should include niacinamide, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, and choline. This B-complex supplement can help fight against the symptoms of fatigue and mental “fogginess.” Along with a B-complex supplement, people with CFS/FMS should also take an adrenal extract. Because many CFS/FMS patients are suffering from adrenal burnout, which occurs when adrenal glands constantly produce cortisol in response to chronic stress resulting in an exhausted adrenal reserve, it is important to use a glandular therapy regimen to ensure healthy cortisol levels and adrenal function. Be sure to buy an adrenal extract supplement that contains both whole adrenal and adrenal cortex extracts as well as vitamin C, vitamin B6, L-tyrosine, betaine, pantothenic acid and licorice.
Because of continued sleep interruption is the main cause of the symptoms of CFS/FMS, the most effective way to eliminate pain is to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. However, this can be very difficult; the muscle knots of FMS make it uncomfortable to lie in one position for an extended time, which keeps the patient from getting the adequate amount of deep sleep needed to recharge their “batteries.” Herbal products can be used to help promote good quality sleep. A combination of wild lettuce, hops, Jamaica dogwood, L-Theanine, valerian, and passionflower is specially formulated for those people with CFS/FMS because each herb addresses a different aspect of sleeplessness and muscle tension. Together, these four interventions against CFS/FMS: sleep formula, morning energy drink, energy B-complex, and an adrenal complex can make a noticeable difference in CFS/FMS patients.
Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue can affect ones life for a long time, stop into your local health food store or visit one online for all the above mentioned items to help ease your pain and suffering.