Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complicated disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that can't be explained by any underlying medical condition. The fatigue may worsen with physical or mental activity, but doesn't improve with rest. The cause of chronic fatigue syndrome is unknown, although there are many theories — ranging from viral infections to psychological stress. Some experts believe chronic fatigue syndrome might be triggered by a combination of factors.
Why this occurs in some people and not others is still unknown. Some people may be born with a predisposition for the disorder, which is then triggered by a combination of factors. Potential triggers include:
Viral infections. Because some people develop chronic fatigue syndrome after having a viral infection, researchers question whether some viruses might trigger the disorder. Suspicious viruses include Epstein-Barr virus, human herpes virus 6 and mouse leukemia viruses. No conclusive link has yet been found.
Immune system problems. The immune systems of people who have chronic fatigue syndrome appear to be impaired slightly, but it's unclear if this impairment is enough to actually cause the disorder
Hormonal imbalances. People who have chronic fatigue syndrome also sometimes experience abnormal blood levels of hormones produced in the hypothalamus, pituitary glands or adrenal glands. But the significance of these abnormalities is still unknown.
• Check for heavy metal toxicity, overgrowth of candida albicans, viral or bacterial infections (including Lyme), or parasites • Rule out hypothyroidism, hypoglycemia, anemia and weak adrenal function • Drastically reduce or eliminate alcohol - it can damage the body’s ability to produce energy. Limit caffeine to avoid energy depletion; if coffee is consumed it should be organic and taken on an empty stomach. • Practice good sleep habits to recover from mental and physical fatigue; take cat naps when possible • Avoid a sedentary lifestyle which only sets in chronic fatigue; begin with walking 20 minutes per day • When possible or as energy builds, incorporate High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) 15-20 minutes 3 times per week to rev up mitochondria • Incorporate yoga or mind-body practices to modulate stress and decrease inflammation
Dietary Tips and Caveats:
• Avoid quick solutions like energy drinks and sugary sodas • Stay well-hydrated • Make accessibility to food easy; keep fridge and cupboards stocked • Boost energy and keep blood sugar balanced with protein-packed snacks such as protein shakes; include quick snacks like organic, hormone-free turkey slices, nuts and nut butters, dairy- free coconut yogurt, berries and healthy cheeses (antibiotic and hormone-free); eat smaller meals and healthier snacks more frequently • Avoid sugar-laden foods, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, and a high intake of glucose from refined grains; avoid blood sugar fluctuations which can negatively impact energy • Try to determine food sensitivities; consider an elimination diet and/or anti-candida diet • Limit dairy and gluten
Can Neurofeedback Help?
Neurofeedback has been shown to help symptoms of depression, cognitive deficits, memory and concentration problems, sleep disturbances, and chronic pain such as headaches that are typically associated with CFS.
Chiropractic and Chronic Fatigue:
A chiropractor can relieve the body of neurological stress and stressors that can exacerbate the problem by further tiring the body, and tying up valuable resources that would otherwise be used to fight off the virus. Additionally, a chiropractor can recommend nutritional supplements and stress reduction techniques to maximize the effects of the adjustments and the body’s ability to heal and return to optimal levels.