Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) – What is it
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is an extremely complicated disorder, characterized by excess and chronic fatigue (severe tiredness – burnout), which cannot be explained by another pathological condition of the patient.
The usual exams of the patient are normal.
The feeling of intense fatigue is not getting better with sleep and resting. To the contrary, it gets constantly worst as time goes by.
The combination of this Chronic Fatigue with many other symptoms that are discussed below limit patients capabilities in their daily responsibilities and activities.
The quality of life of people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is profoundly disrupted.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) – Names and Terminology
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) has gone into many stages, up until it was defined and internationally recognized as an extremely severe and dangerous condition for human health, as well as another Chronic Disease leading to deficiency – inability to serve oneself. From derision up to disputes and conflicts.
Since 2015, both the NHS (National Health System) of Great Britain and all University Institutes of the U.S.A. recognize it and name it Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).
Other names that have also been used and are currently used include:
- Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)
- Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease (SEID)
This term was proposed in 2015, through a work completed by the US Institute of Medicine, which underlines that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition affecting all systems of the organism. This is why we use the term Systemic Disease, to highlight that it is a really important condition for the sufferers.
- Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome
Adrenal fatigue was initially described in medical texts in 1800 and the first treatment was provided in 1930. Nevertheless, for many decades it was unknown in conventional medicine. It was defined as a “Syndrome” because it is a set of signs and symptoms, resulting when adrenal glands’ functioning is not at its optimal level.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), which has been recognized by Functional Medicine for many years now, had other names during the previous century, such as:
Adrenal apathy and
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) – Who may be affected
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) may affect any person. It usually manifests a bit more among Women as compared to Men. In terms of age, it usually affects people between 20 and 50 years old.Unfortunately, Children may be also affected, more often in the ages between 13 and 15 years old. It usually manifests after intense or prolonged stress of the organism.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) – Statistics
Statistics for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) are still incomplete, as it was not until recently that it was officially recognized internationally.
Figures indicate more that 30% of the population.
More than one million Americans and more than 250,000 individuals in Great Britain have a diagnosis.
However, USA, Europe, Great Britain, and Japan agree that the number of sufferers is much greater.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) – Symptoms
As suggested by its name, the primary, crucial symptom of patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), is the chronic (for six months) fatigue, which is not improved with sleeping. Nevertheless, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is not an easily recognizable disease.
An individual that has this Syndrome may think that s/he lives normally, but its adrenal glands may experience fatigue.
There may be no apparent signs of physical disease, but the individual may be living with an overall sense of unwellness (not feeling well), tiredness, fatigue and an overall depressive mood.
People with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) also have:
Intense distress and discomfort after activity, sleeping disorders or insomnia, myalgias (muscle pain) Muscular weakness, arthralgia (joint pain) without inflammation, headaches, painful, but not very swollen, lymph nodes, Sore throat, frequent or recurrent, Reduced mental clarity and functionality, Difficulty in Thinking, Difficulty in Concentration, General Malaise similar to the condition before a flu – colds, Dizziness and/or Nausea, feeling “blur”, Orientation difficulties, Balance problems, Allergies or Intolerance to Foods, Scents – Odors, Medicines, Chemicals, Noise Sensitivity, Need for coffee or Cola-type refreshments, Need for sweet and savory snacks, Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms with a sense of flatulence, “bloating”, stomachaches, diarrhea or constipation or both alternating, “heartburns”, acid belching, Chills and shivers, Sensory disorders such as hypersensitivity to light, blurred vision, eye pain, Palpitations (fluttering in chest) – Exceptional cardiac contractions with no heart disease, Shortness of breath, Depressive feelings or even Depression, Cyclical Emotion and mood changes, Anxiety and Nervousness, Panic disorder, Aggravation of all symptoms following physical or mental exercise.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) – Causes
Similarly to all Syndromes, there are multiple, complex and interrelated causes involved in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).
Many theories have been proposed, including:
Viral or Bacterial Infection – Inflammation
Immune System Problems
Psychological problems, anxiety and emotional trauma
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) – Pathophysiology
All the above mentioned symptoms, all possible “switches” triggering the onset of the Syndrome, are stressors for the organism.
They are identified by our body as what we call stress. All such factors are affecting the Adrenal glands, which are characterized as “stress glands”.
These glands, despite their small size, function in such a way that great powers are motivated, influencing all parts of the body, as it was the case of Napoleon, who despite the fact he was petit, he made his presence evident throughout the world.
Thus, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) manifests after intense or prolonged stress.
This occurs during or after Acute or Chronic Infections of the respiratory system mainly, such as influenza, bronchitis or pneumonia, Infectious Mononucleosis (Epstein-Barr Virus – EBV).
Adrenal glands, in an attempt to balance each stress situation of our organism, are overactive initially. This keeps us in really good state at the beginning of the stressful situation. Adrenaline, cortisol, and catecholamines are released within our blood like a torrent, in order to support the functions of all our systems’ organs.
However, soon after that Fatigue of our Adrenal glands is evident, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).
What happens in the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
Adrenal glands fatigue may completely destroy the life of patients.
In more severe cases, adrenal glands’ activity is so diminished that they cannot stay out of bed more than a few hours per day.
Each “increase” of Adrenal glands’ Functioning reduction, each organ and system of our body may be severely affected.
Changes that may appear to people due to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) relate to:
Carbohydrates, proteins, fat metabolism, Ισοζύγιο του Σακχάρου στο αίμα, Στην παραγωγή ενέργειας, Blood Glucose Balance, Energy production, Balance of fluids and electrolytes, Cardiovascular functioning, Sleeping, Mood, Libido (sexual desire), Menstruation (menses) and Menopausal symptoms.
Many changes may occur at both the Biochemical and Cellular level to manage and balance the reduction of Adrenal Hormones, which is evident during Adrenal Fatigue.
The body does its best to replenish subfunctional Adrenal glands, but during this process it gives rise to other problems.
What causes Adrenal Fatigue – Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)?
Adrenal glands are end up in fatigue when they cannot respond adequately to stress requirements.
Adrenal glands motivate the organism’s responses in each type of stress (physical, emotional or psychological) through the hormones.
The hormones produced by adrenal glands regulate:
Energy Production and Storage, Immune System Function, Heart rate, Muscle tone, and other processes that allow us to face stress.
Either in case of emotional crisis, such as the death of a beloved person, or a physical crisis, or significant surgical operation, or any other of severe, repeated or continuous pressure on our life, adrenal glands should respond to the various types of stress, and maintain the organism’s Homeostasis.
And in case these stimuli are Cumulative, and adrenal glands’ response is Insufficient, it is very likely to manifest some Fatigue.
During adrenal gland functioning, to maintain optimal Homeostasis since the production of regulating hormones has been reduced, they initially respond by being overactive, as already mentioned above.
Who is at Risk of developing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS);
Each and every one of us may experience adrenal glands fatigue and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome at some point in our lives.
An illness, a financial crisis or a constant difficult situation may empty adrenal glands’ resources, even in very healthy individuals.
Nevertheless, there are certain factors that may make us more vulnerable to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).
These include: specific lifestyle (poor diet, substance abuse, too little sleep and rest, or too much pressure), a Chronic Disease, Recurrent of Chronic Infections, such as bronchitis or pneumonia, adrenal fatigue during Pregnancy.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) – Correlations
The requirements for all processes taking place in each Chronic and Autoimmune Disease, from Arthritis to Cancer, are performed by our adrenal glands.
Therefore, it is possible that if we suffer from a Chronic or Autoimmune Disease and we feel tired in the morning, which is one of the symptoms, our adrenal glands may be tired to some extent.
Moreover, each time a medical Treatment Regimen includes the use of Corticosteroids, it is possible to lead to reduced adrenal glands’ functioning.
All chemical corticosteroids have been designed to mimic the action of adrenal glands’ hormones, such as cortisol. Thus, the need for these occurs mainly when the adrenal glands do not provide the required amounts of cortisol.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) – Consequences
Millions of people worldwide experience Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (C.F.S.). Especially nowadays, due to the increased number of stress factors to which we expose our body.
The “Invisible Disease”, as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (C.F.S.) is often characterized, functions also (while not diagnosed yet) as an anteroom for Chronic Diseases, such as Diabetes Mellitus, Obesity, Overweight, Arterial Hypertension, Heart Diseases, and Depression.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) – Diagnosis and Treatment
It is essential to identify and carefully detect all disturbances that have occurred in all the seven systems of the organism among people suffering from the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).
Patients should be monitored through Special Exams.
Bio 4h type exams are essential.
Moreover, exams at cellular level, performed simply through the collection of a blood sample that is sent abroad.
The results of the exams determine the Treatment Regimen for the patient, with a mean duration of three to twelve months.
In cases that there are no other Pathological conditions, the patient that thought s/he was healthy, returns to normal biochemical levels. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and tiredness disappear, the levels of energy are high again, and s/he can face everyday life adequately.
Therapeutic Protocols for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome include Molecular nutrition Biomimetic Hormones administration and Restoration of any deficiency, at cellular level, helping Adrenal glands to return to restore normal functioning.
Dr. Nikoleta Koini, M.D.
Doctor of Functional, Preventive, Anti-ageing and Restorative Medicine
Diplomate and Board Certified in Anti-aging, Preventive, Functional and Regenerative Medicine from A4M (American Academy in Antiaging Medicine).
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