Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (Myalgic Encephalopathy or ME) is marked by
long-standing, severe and disabling fatigue, usually lasting at least six months and aggravated by minimal exertion.
There is often accompanying sleep dysfunction, muscle or joint pain,
headache or lack of concentration and/or confusion. There can also be
food allergies and/or intolerance and chemical sensitivities.
Symptoms are often similar to those found in fibromyalgia, depression, thyroid deficiency and Irritable Bowel syndrome and can be difficult to define with certainty.
Studies suggest that CFS may be due to alterations in immune function, however total consensus on a pattern of immunological dysfunction has not yet been reached.
My own feeling on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is that it comes about as the result of viral infection that the body has been unable to deal with adequately as many viruses can cause persistant or latent viral infection.
It has been suggested that Epstein Barr virus can trigger CFS, but inadequate evidence exists to point the finger at any one virus or retrovirus as a causative factor although approximately 50% of chronic fatigue patients have one or more of the following viruses in their history: Epstein Barr, Herpes virus 6, Cytomegalo virus, Ross river fever, Cox-Sackie B, Polio plus a few others.
Reducing all causes of inflammation is paramount and this of course includes inflammation from viral and bacterial causes but also we need to look at inflammation caused by oxidative stress (excess free radicals) and inflammation caused by muscular and spinal tension.
Excess oxidative stress can damage the mitrochrondria cells (the body’s power cells) and if magnesium is deficient to the point that the muscles are excessively tense then the blood flow is reduced (the muscles will feel cold and painful).
Prolonged stress will aggravate the condition and can play a part in the immune status dropping to the point that it cannot overcome a virus.
Candida, can play a secondary role in as much as it can worsen the condition,
but in itself it is the direct result either of poor diet (i.e. too much sugar) or the over-use of antibiotics, that in turn causes an over-growth of a yeast that normally grows quite naturally in the gut.
See page on ‘Candidiasis‘.
The immune system should, if working effectively, be able to over-come infection, of bacterial origin and keep infection of viral origin under control.
However, if the body becomes tired, run down, overworked, over stressed,
undernourished or the immune system is compromised in any way, a virus can again
I have seen excellent results in many people I have treated who have been told they have
ME once the immune system is strengthened.
Treatment centres on optimising health and immunity in all aspects, but in particular improving the body’s ability to overcome and resist viral infection.
Optimising other areas of health means maintaining at all times a diet that is high in fresh wholesome, unprocessed foods (and if candida is suspected, avoid all sugars), avoiding excessive stress and being sure to get enough rest and adequate sleep.
Exercise also needs to be undertaken, but not to the point that the body becomes overtired. Go carefully.
Vitamins and minerals are extremely important in the healing process.
Take extra Magnesium, Zinc, Selenium and Chromium. These can easily be obtained along with all other necessary minerals and trace elements in Colloidal minerals which should be taken long-term.
However in some cases it may be necessary to increase magnesium if muscular tension is severe. Magnesium Glycinate works better than some other varieties of magnesium and can greatly reduce the tenderness of the muscles.
See pages on ‘Minerals – facts’ and ‘Minerals – why we need to supplement’.
Also take extra B Vitamins in the form of Spirulina or Bee pollen or if preferred as a B complex tablet.
I have found that if this is done in conjunction with taking extra B12 and Iodine, a persons’ energy and enthusiasm improves hugely allowing other processes (such as exercise and diet) to become easier.
Initially, while still unwell, also take extra vitamin C, given as a time release tablet or as 250 mg every few hours plus a herbal extract containing herbs that can help the immune system fight viral infection.
These should also be used at any other time that the body becomes tired or in any
Herbs that can support the immune system are Echinacea, Phyllanthus, Astragalus, St John’s Wort, Golden Seal and also Liquorice. If necessary, a herbalist can add other herbs to help support the nervous system. An herbal extract of this type needs to be taken over several months to ensure adequate recovery.
Herbal treatments work by improving the immune factors in the blood.
Colostrum also helps tremendously. Colostrum works by improving the immune factors in the gut, as do specific strains acidophilus which should also be used on a regular basis.
See page on Probiotics.
Another treatment that I have found effective is Quercetin, which is a very good ‘anti-viral’ type of remedy but is also an effective anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory. This makes it particularly useful for people that have been unwell for some time and whose immune systems have been compromised to the extent that they are suffering from food or other allergies. Dosage needs to be 400-800mg once or twice daily depending on the severity of symptoms.
Go to On-line shop for ‘Quercetin’.
Lysine is an important and very effective amino acid to use as it effectively stops viral replication, especially at times when a virus is active in the body, which is usually when the debilitating symptoms of fatigue are noticeable.
Antioxidants should be used if possible.
Coenzyme Q10 can be useful and recommended to improve cellular energy and also as an antioxidant. In a number of trials it has been used at a doseage of 300mg daily with good success.
One of the most important antioxidants in the case of Chronic fatigue however is Glutathione.
See page on Glutathione.
Digestive enzymes are considered essential. Enzymes are needed for every
cellular activity in the body but even more importantly in this case are capable
of breaking down viruses. I generally recommend an enzyme product that
is entirely plant derived, contains effective dosages of digestive enzymes and
are extremely well tolerated.
See page on Enzymes – facts.
Up-dated Jan 2017