WHAT IS "CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROM" ?|
The Term Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Everyone suffers fatigue occasionally. It is a normal signal broadcast by the body to rest and/or sleep. For healthy people, a good nights sleep restores one to healthy functioning. The individual awakens with their cells fully charged, a feeling of gladful anticipation of the challenges of the day ahead, and a spark in their step.
Increasing numbers of individuals today, however, find themselves in a persistent fatigue that is deep and unrelenting, altering only between feeling tired, very tired, and exhausted. For many their condition is now labeled "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome"(CFS).
The popularity of the term (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) began in the late 1980's, and to modern standard medicine is one of the most baffling human ailments known to man . With symptoms that resemble medical entities such as systemic lupus, lymphoma, and other defined medical conditions, physicians are often hesitant to give the diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, worried that the patient may have a life threatening disease and receive a misdiagnosis.
What Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
There has been considerable difficulty in arriving at a working definition of what Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is. The major difficulty is to know what it is that is being looked for!
It is clear that "CFS" is not an illusion, but at the same time there is (conventionally) little known about "its" causes.
A literature search fails to identify a specific set of laboratory data that are universally positive with all patients. This is further evidence that CFS patients have a variety of different problems existing rather than suffering from a single, distinct, etiological entity.
What Do We Know By Conventional Standards About CFS?
Very little. Might the answers lie in looking closer at the basic human condition and understanding what are the common denominators for illness in all cases of impaired health? Why is CFS so prevalent in our society today?
CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROM AND POOR HEALTH
As a private practitioner, chronic disease epidemiologist, Natural Hygienist and Professor of Nutrition for the past eighteen years, I suggest consideration and exploration of two principles: basic health picture and biochemical individuality.
1. Basic Health Picture
The one common denominator for CFS is poor health. While appearing simplistic on the surface it is critical to appreciate. Patients fail to improve, (as they do with CFS under conventional management), as long as their basic health picture is overlooked.
Patients often hesitate to say how poorly they feel overall, rather just stating their most bothersome symptom, e.g. bad headaches, poor digestion, low back pain, arthritic pains, etc. Further probing usually reveals a person who has not felt well in many years. For most patients the decline in health has been so gradual that they do not recognize how poorly they feel overall until experiencing a full health building program and improving their vitality. It is amazing how many patients have learned to accept feeling run down as a way of life.
The patient who on my initial questionnaire states that their health is "excellent", later reveals that they have constipation and/or diarrhea, need to eat frequently to "keep going", have frequent gas, are irritable, have trouble getting out of bed in the morning, must rely on coffee, cigarettes, soft drinks, or protein shakes, or other stimulants to get through the day, have skin problems, have bad breath, have muscle or joint stiffness, etc., etc., but that "overall"they say "their health is excellent"!!!"
After all, the patient continues," doesn't everyone have these kinds of problems?"
Sadly, the answer may soon be yes. More and more individuals in our society are experiencing physical degeneration at earlier ages, and chronic fatigue becomes the norm, accompanied by muscle pains and aches, headaches, indigestion, irritability, skin outbreaks, reliance on coffee and other stimulants, sleep disturbances, and gradually and insidiously these have been swept into the realm of normalcy. I have seen this frequently with students in their twenties already experiencing early signs of physical decay, yet many accept their digestive problems, reliance on stimulants, lack of focus and concentration, fatigue, depression, etc., as being "normal".
The initial step in addressing the patients chronic fatigue problem is to address the overall health. Included in this are hygienic factors e.g. rest, sleep, sunshine, recreation, activity, significant others, pure water, fresh air, appropriate diet, avoidance of overeating, mental poise, absence of toxic habits e.g. coffee, tobacco, drugs, alcohol, etc. These factors are those most basic to what make us up as human beings and yet are those most overlooked.
2. Biochemical Individuality
Factors that relate to the patient's individual chemical make up must be explored. The patients biochemical individuality (a term used by the late Roger Williams Ph.D., Nutritional Biochemist of the University of Texas) must be assessed. Knowing what makes each person unique, allows an individual approach to be taken to effectively and expeditiously improve the patients health. ...
BEFORE AND AFTER|
Dr. Goldberg - almost crippled by severe rheumatoid arthritis and colitis - read more
CASE STUDY 1: CHRONIC FATIGUE & INDIGESTION
A twenty seven year old male body builder came to our office with complaints of chronic fatigue, indigestion, and an inability to put on additional muscle mass despite eating large amounts of calories and protein, and lifting weights aggressively. His fatigue was severe and he was finding it increasingly difficult to drag himself to college, let alone to the gym for workouts which were important to him.
Physical examination revealed broken out skin over much of the chest, back and face. The patients breath was foul and he had a good deal of flatulence. He was under Chiropractic Care and commented that he was not able to hold his adjustments.
Dietary analysis revealed that he consumed in excess of 500 grams of protein per day largely in the form of tuna, egg whites, poultry, and commercial protein powders supposedly for body builders. Oddly, the patient was concerned that he was not getting enough protein and that this was the cause of his problem, while in reality he was consuming approx. eight times his protein needs.
I suggested a blood plasma amino acid analysis to determine how much of the ingested protein was getting into the blood as amino acids, along with a standard blood chemistry. The blood chemistry revealed elevated levels of uric acid, triglycerides, and blood urea nitrogen. Plasma amino acids were low in seven of the essential amino acids.
This surprised the patient in light of the massive amounts of protein he was ingesting. The patient responded that perhaps he should increase his protein intake! I informed him the problem was not due to lack of protein in the diet, but due to a lack of breakdown of that protein into amino acids.
Treatment & Outcome:
I recommended a liquid diet to rest the G.I. (gastro intestinal) tract and to permit the digestive potential to improve. Following this, the patient was put on a vegetable diet with a modest amount of fresh fruit for three weeks. The patient lost weight during this time which concerned him, but he was encouraged to hold the course. He noted that his breath began to improve, his skin cleared, and his bowels functioned much better. He was then placed on a maintenance diet of moderate amounts of protein (approx. 60 to 75 grams per day), starches and fats, utilizing natural foods. He was taken off all his "protein powders".
The patient's energy level soared, and he soon was putting on muscle mass and weight (to his delight). Subsequent testing of his amino acid pool revealed that all levels of plasma amino acids had returned to normal.
One of the benefits of amino acid testing is to analyze the digestive tracts ability to break down proteins into amino acids, and then retest to determine if our protocol has been successful. This can be an important key in helping patients with chronic fatigue and other health problems that stem from inadequate protein breakdown. This test reinforces the fact that we are not so much what we eat, as what we are able to digest, absorb, and assimilate.
An excess of food can be as dangerous to our health as a deficient amount.