Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a chronic autoimmune inflammatory disease. CFS affects an estimated one to two million people, afflicting twice as many women as men.
How does chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome develop?
Many experts suspect that this condition has an autoimmune component, as many of those diagnosed with CFS have been found to have circulating antinuclear auto-antibodies in their blood. However, most autoimmune diseases are associated with tissue destruction or organ damage, but in CFS there is no specific damage identified.
Chronic fatigue is a major symptom in many other illnesses, especially autoimmune diseases, so other conditions must be ruled out before a diagnosis of CFS is made. These conditions include lupus, multiple sclerosis, Lyme disease, AIDS, antiphospholipid syndrome, thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyositis, and depression. It's also thought that CFS may develop from a common virus by those with a genetic predisposition to develop the illness, as is the case with some of the other autoimmune diseases.
What are the symptoms of chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome?
The main symptom of CFS is an unusually debilitating fatigue that lasts six months or more and forces the patient to reduce activity. Other symptoms include impairment of short-term memory (brain fog), chronic sore throat, tender lymph nodes, muscle and joint pain, headaches, weakness on one side, unrefreshed sleep, low grade fevers, fatigue lasting for more than 24 hours after exertion, problems with concentration, flu-like symptoms, sleep disorders (apnea/insomnia), tingling in the legs or arms, and depression.
Conventional medical treatments may help relieve the symptoms of chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome but they do not address the root of the problem. Generally, by undergoing comprehensive natural medicine testing, the reasons the body is producing antibodies against itself can be found. Some of these reasons include sensitivities or allergies to foods, inhalants and chemicals and various infections.
Discover why we believe that natural treatments are the best way to treat chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome.
Modern Medicine's Approach to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
The immune system, which is a complex network of specialized organs, cells and cell products, is continually making antibodies to help rid the body of substances it sees as "non-self," such as bacteria, viruses, infectious agents and even "worn out," damaged or mutant cells. When the immune system identifies an infection or allergen, it produces antibodies against the offending organism or substance so it can be eliminated from the body. In autoimmune diseases, the immune system fails to distinguish between "self" and "nonself," and thus attacks the body's own vital organs, systems, cells and tissues.
The list of autoimmune diseases is both long and disturbing. In treating these diseases, modern medical practitioners focus on relieving the symptoms and slowing the progression of the diseases. The main allopathic treatment used for most autoimmune conditions is Prednisone (steroids). This approach, at best, can just slow the progression of the disease. Used long-term, Prednisone can cause a host of problems, including osteoporosis, immune suppression, weight gain, bloating, thin skin, easy bruising and many other troubling side effects. Prednisone is used because it helps control symptoms; but it does not address the etiology of the underlying condition.
The Natural Approach to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (Autoimmune Diseases)
In caring for patients, natural medicine practitioners look for the cause of the problem and recommend therapies that address the source of the disease. This involves giving the body what's missing and removing what's harmful.
Since autoimmune diseases are caused by autoantibodies, the question we ask is, "Why is this person making these antibodies?" Most experts in the natural medicine field believe that many of these autoantibodies are produced by the body in response to an infection or allergen. When the offending infection(s) or allergen(s) are removed, the production of these destructive autoantibodies stops.
To help the body stop producing autoantibodies, patients are placed on allergy elimination diets. The offending foods are avoided for three months. At that time, the patient will undergo provocation/neutralization allergy treatments to desensitize for the offending food(s). If no improvement is shown, serial dilution allergy testing and treatment is done for chemical and inhalant allergies. It may also be necessary to test and treat for sensitivities to the natural hormones, such as estrogen, progesterone and serotonin.
A Final Note About the Immune System
We've noted the important role that the immune system plays in identifying and eliminating infectious cells in the body. It's also important to highlight the critical role this system plays in eliminating abnormal or mutant cell types which may also arise. This function, known as immune system surveillance, constitutes one of the body's major defenses against cancer.
Today's statistics show that one in three Americans will develop cancer in their lifetime. The body depends on a healthy, well-functioning immune system to protect it from this devastating disease.
Clearly, it is not enough to treat symptoms or slow the progression of autoimmune diseases; it is essential to restore the immune system to a healthy state and prevent against further damage and disease. And with natural medicine, this kind of healing is possible!
If you are interested in more information about natural treatments or to schedule an appointment, please contact Central Health and Wellness at 817-649-9800 or use the online Inquiry Form
Disclaimer: The preceding is to provide information about relief and the benefits that may be derived. It is not intended to claim a cure for any disease or condition. It should not take the place of your doctor’s.