Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a long term illness with a range of symptoms, the most common being extreme tiredness. CFS is also known as ME, which stands for myalgic encephalomyelitis.
In addition to extreme tiredness, people with CFS/ME may suffer with other symptoms and the severity of these can vary from day to day.
Do any of these look familiar to you?
- Extreme fatigue
- Sleeping endlessly or Insomnia
- Muscle/Joint pain
- Foggy Brain
- Memory problems
- Bloating and or Irritable Bowel Syndrome
ME/CFS is often diagnosed when other conditions have been ruled out and while having a diagnosis is often reassuring, it may be leaving you asking yourself what should I do next?
One of the key things that can inhibit recovery is not understanding what is causing the symptoms.
- For many a virus could be thought of as the trigger of the illness, however, from experience of working with fatigue and fibromyalgia sufferers it is evident that much has preceded a health crisis. For others, there may be a physical or emotional trigger.
- Mitochondria – the ‘power house of your cells,’ – certain nutrients are necessary to produce ATP – energy. Assessing the health of the mitochondria is an important step in getting to the root cause of ME/CFS
- The adrenals sit just above the kidneys and these glands regulate our response to stress as well as our circadian rhythm. If they are not functioning optimally, fatigue may occur.
- Low thyroid function can also cause fatigue so it is worth getting a thyroid assessment done by your GP or Functional medicine practitioner.
- Liver function – a build up of toxins from the environment can sometimes lead to reduced ability of the livers function to detoxify efficiently, leading to chronic fatigue.
- Gut function – inflammation in the gut due things such as bacterial imbalances, inflammation and stress may lead to the gut lining becoming leaky and IBS type symptoms such as food intolerances, bloating, aching joints.
As a functional medicine practitioner, all this information will be gathered during your first consultation, in order to support your recovery, through a personalised step by step approach.
In addition to addressing lifestyle and nutrition, there are many tests available that can help build an understanding of your physical causes such as heavy metal toxicity tests, food intolerance tests, stool tests, thyroid tests, adrenal stress profiling, heart rate variability testing and bio-energetic testing.