What is chronic fatigue syndrome?
Inexplicable, persistent and long-term fatigue which is not the result of exhausting activities, doesn’t go away with rest and leads to a substantial reduction of professional, social and personal activities.
At least 4 of the following signs should be present for a period of minimum 6 consecutive months before one will be diagnosed with ‘CFS’:
- Memory and concentration disorders
- Sore throat
- Tender and swollen lymph nodes in the neck and armpits
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain without swelling or redness of the joints
- Feeling unrefreshed after a night’s sleep
- Sleeping disorders (difficulty to fall asleep and/or sleep throughout the night)
- General malaise after an effort that lasts longer than 24 hours
There is no specific cure for chronic fatigue. The syndrome requires a comprehensive approach. However, there are some guidelines which anyone can apply and that will work for everyone.
Basic guidelines for the anti-inflammatory diet
|Definitely incorporate in your diet||Eliminate from diet|
|Fruit||Fresh and frozen, without added sugars; fresh fruit juices without added sugars||Oranges and orange juice|
|Vegetables||Fresh, raw, steamed, fried, grilled||Corn, tomatoes|
|Starch||Rice, oatmeal, millet, quinoa, amaranth, teff, tapioca, buckwheat, potatoes||Wheat, corn, barley, spelt, kamut, rye (all products that contain gluten)|
|Grain products||Products based on rice, oats, buckwheat, millet, potato flour, tapioca, arrowroot, amaranth or quinoa||All products based on wheat, spelt, kamut, rye or barley|
|Legumes and vegetable proteins||All legumes (for example peas, lentils), soybeans excluded||Tofu, tempeh, soybeans, soymilk and other soy products|
|Nuts and seeds||Almonds, cashew, walnuts, Brazilian nuts, sesame and sesame paste, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, nut paste (peanut butter excluded)||peanuts and peanut butter|
|Meat and fish||Fish, chicken, turkey, venison, lam, fresh or frozen||Beef, pork, veal, processed meats, canned meat, eggs, shellfish|
|Dairy products and milk substitutes||Rice milk, almond milk, oat milk, coconut milk||Milk, cheese, cream, yoghurt, butter, ice cream, soy milk, cottage cheese, quark|
|Fat||Cold-pressed olive, flaxseed, canola, safflower, sunflower, sesame, walnut or almond oil||Margarine, cooking grease, hydrogenated oils (in all processed food, biscuits and industrial pastries), mayonnaise, prepared salads|
|Drinks||Water, herbal tea, mineral water||Soft drinks, alcohol, coffee, tea, cocoa|
|Herbs and spices||All herbs except those mentioned in the adjacent column, with a preference for cinnamon, cumin, dill, garlic, ginger, carob, oregano, parsley, rosemary, tarragon, thyme, turmeric||Ketchup, mustard, soy sauce, all ready-made sauces|
|sweeteners||Brown rice syrup, sweeteners based on fruits, molasse, stevia, tagatose||All refined sugars and products containing this type of sugar, honey, maple and corn syrup|
A shortage of the following agents is very common with chronical fatigue or fibromyalgia. You can test these supplements and see if your symptoms improve. In any case, they will strengthen your immune system. The doses are to be taken daily.
– Co-enzyme Q10: 200 mg
– Acetyl carnitine: 2 x 1000 mg
– Ribose powder: 3 x 5 g (a source of energy for the muscles)
– Vitamin B12: 1-2 mg in the form of a small tablet that should be dissolved under the tongue. When dealing with chronic fatigue, I often notice serious vitamin B12 deficiencies, and I prefer to administer the vitamin in the form of injections. Hereby, I always work towards optimal blood levels instead of minimal levels (I administer doses of 10 mg hydroxocobalamin a week).
– Magnesium: 400 mg
– Ginseng: 300-500 mg
– Rhodiola: 500 to 1000 mg.
– Silymarin: 300 mg, sulforaphane: 50-100 mg, lipoic acid: 400-600 mg (to stimulate detoxification of the liver).
– Iodium: 250 mcg + L-tyrosine: 500 mg (to stimulate production of thyroid hormone: both nutrients are necessary to produce the thyroid hormone Thyroxine-T4).
– Vitamin D3: 2000 -5000 IU per day (dosage in winter is higher than in summer, on the condition that you spend ample time outdoors and in the sunshine).
– Sleep at least eight hours a day
– Exercise at least 30 minutes a day, at your own pace
– Do relaxation exercises on a daily base (e.g. meditation)
– Ensure that your blood pressure is minimum 11/7
– Avoid dental amalgams
– Ensure a healthy intestinal flora (taking extra probiotics can be an option)
A comprehensive approach
CFS requires a multifactorial approach. A thorough questioning of the patients and an extensive blood test, plus a 24-hour urine test, are hereby fundamental.
The following points will be examined and treated when necessary.