Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
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What is it?
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), often interchanged, although not necessarily accurately, with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and post-viral fatigue syndrome has been recognized by the medical profession in the UK since the mid-1990s. Other countries have been a little bit more open but a percentage of doctors still doubt that this syndrome exists and training in the underlying theories is still scant. In fact it was only in 2002 that it received official status as a condition.
Problems associated with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
In aggressive cases patients cannot even make it to the bathroom from their beds and are entirely dependent on others (GradeIV). Grade 1 allows individuals to perform menial tasks like keeping their homes usable and possibly do sedentary part time work. It is important to differentiate CFS from the persistent fatigue that is felt by 20-50 per cent of the population in association with incorrect lifestyle or stress. It may be just as debilitating and also needs addressing but may not have the same underlying causes. The term TATT – Tired All The Time – is now being used to describe such a situation.
Most often the symptoms worsen with the slightest exertion and as stress and trauma may be associated with cause anything that adds to the burden makes things worse
What it can lead to:
If left untreated it can diminish quality-of-life, lower immune resistance, and reduce the ability to exercise which in turn diminishes most aspects of health and can lead to depression.
What symptoms are shown:
For an ‘official’ CFS diagnosis to be made the patients symptoms must include fatigue or lethargy and this must be causing a 50 per cent loss of physical and social function for at least six months. Frankly FHS draws the line at 2 – 3 months.
Four of the following symptoms should also be present:
- Physical: sore throat, persistent infections, swollen and/or sore lymph nodes, headaches and pain in muscles or joints.
- Psychological depression: impaired memory or concentration, excessive sleep requirement, appetite loss or gain and agitation.
CFS is essentially a ‘diagnosis of exclusion’ which means that other medical causes of the above symptoms must be investigated and eliminated.
Diagnosing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, as explained above, has many possible causes and no single specific test is diagnostic. There are a range of tests that can be utilised and choosing these rather depends upon the symptoms being suffered and the possible causes as gleaned from a medical consultation and examination. Seriously consider seeing our integrated doctor if you are struggling.
Certain home tests can be considered to help towards accurate diagnosis and treatment:
- Urinary Chronic Fatigue Screen
The Chronic fatigue urinalysis is a nutritional test that assesses and measures compounds in the urine reflecting gastrointestinal function, cellular and mitochondrial energy production, neurotransmitter processing, and nutritional status reflecting certain vitamin/mineral and amino acid ( protein ) levels. The test can reveal malabsorption and imbalanced bowel flora. The test also specifically tests for energy production and inability to use sugar and fats correctly. Measurement of neurotransmitters tell us about psychological factors and the stress you are under, the depth of sleep you might be getting – or not.
- Hepatic detoxificaton urinalysis
The liver has two main processes of detoxification – phase I and phase II. Assessment of chemical exposure and impaired liver function can be made using this first morning urine collection. If you are not detoxifying well , toxins can build up regardless of how healthy a life you lead and knowing that this is an issue can direct treatment to enhance Detox capability
There are no conventionally common tests that unquestionably confirm a diagnosis of CFS. However, through simple blood tests, we can now measure:
- the activity of mitochondria and cellular energy ATP and ADP
- compounds that are attached to mitochondria’s active energy producing areas, the Translocator Protein Sites,
- chronic viral activity (Epstein-Barr, CMV and Herpes)
- what is attached to cell DNA (called adducts).
- chemicals such as pesticides, petrochemicals, air pollutants, heavy metals and recreational drugs for those with exposure.