Chronic fatigue syndrome:
What is chronic fatigue?
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) used to be known as ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis). It is a mysterious condition that can cause a wide range of baffling symptoms. The primary symptom is extreme and debilitating exhaustion, for which no cause can be found, accompanied by loss of appetite, headaches, mild fever, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, intestinal problems, jaundice, and some muscle or joint aches.
Sufferers of chronic fatigue often have difficulty sleeping, concentrating and performing daily tasks and many have underlying depression. It is sometimes misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia, which is similar in many ways but with the additional symptom of muscular pain.
What can cause chronic fatigue?
No one knows what causes CFS but there are numerous theories. Some experts believe CFS is related to a problem with the immune system.
Some people with ME have auto-immune disorders, such as lupus, in which the immune system attacks the body's own healthy tissues. Many sufferers recall a flu-like illness before the fatigue began, indeed the symptoms do suggest a lingering viral condition. Whatever the cause or causes, CFS is widespread and primarily affects people aged between twenty and forty, and is more common in women than men.
What to do about chronic fatigue and it's symptoms
Have yourself checked out if fatigue lasts longer than two weeks, or is accompanied by sudden weight loss, muscle weakness or other unusual symptoms. Eat a healthy diet, including at least five portions of fresh fruit and vegetables a day, and oily fish twice a week.
Take a high potency multivitamin and multimineral supplement to help restore a healthy immune system.
- High doses of Vitamin C, carotenoids and St John's wort have antiviral properties and the herb St Johns Wort relieves depression.
- Echinacea is another immunity enhancer as is the herb astragalus , which also has antiviral properties.
- Siberian ginseng and liquorice bolster the adrenal glands which secrete hormones such as cortisol to counteract stress and boost energy.
Allow a full month for supplements to take effect.
Try to do some moderate exercise too as this gets the Lymph glands working and keeps the muscle strong - also clears the mind.