What is Chronic Fatigue?
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition characterized by the primary symptom of a prolonged, persistent debilitating fatigue not relieved by rest and not directly caused by other conditions. In general, a diagnosis for CFS requires that the tiredness is severe enough for at least a 50% decrease in the patient’s ability to participate in ordinary activities. The Centres for Disease Control (CDC) describes CFS as a distinct disorder with specific symptoms and physical signs, based on the exclusion of other possible causes.
What causes CFS?
The exact cause of CFS is unknown. A distinct or direct cause has not been positively identified.
Some studies have shown that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome may be caused by inflamed nervous system pathways, Mycoplasma bacterial infection, or viral illness (such as Epstein-Barr) complicated by an inadequate or dysfunctional immune response. For some, the condition can occur following an injury, infection preceding or following surgery (e.g., peritonitis), or other traumatic body events that weakens or adversely affects the immune system. Age, environment, genetic disposition, prior illness, or stress may also be factors. Like most autoimmune illnesses, CFS most commonly occurs in women, usually ages 30 to 50.
What are the symptoms of CFS?
Many of the symptoms of CFS are similar to those associated with the flu (muscle aches, headache, and fatigue). However, unlike the flu, while with CFS these symptoms may ebb and flow, they never go away. (Imagine dealing with flu symptoms on a daily basis and you know how someone with CFS feels on a good day.)
Primary symptoms include:
- New onset fatigue or tiredness that lasts for at least 6 months and is not relieved by normal rest
- Full-body fatigue serious enough to restrict normal activity that develops from far less exertion than was possible before the illness
Additional symptoms include:
- Constant headaches, different those previous in pattern, quality, or severity
- Feeling unrefreshed after normally adequate sleep
- Forgetfulness, cognitive impairment including confusion or difficulty concentrating, or irritability
- Joint pain, often moving from joint to joint (migratory arthralgias), without joint swelling or redness
- Low-grade fever (101F or less)
- Lymph node tenderness and swelling in the neck or armpit
- Muscle aches (myalgias)
- Exercise intolerance: Muscle fatigue that lasts more than 24 hours after an amount of exercise that would normally be easily tolerated
- Muscle weakness, all over or multiple locations, not explained by any known disorder
- Sore throat, red but without drainage or pus
Conventional treatment options for CFS
Once the possibility of other illness is ruled out, the patient must be informed of the syndrome, its prognosis, and its potential impact on the patient’s life. Patients are often relieved when their complaints are taken seriously. Many symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome may respond to treatment. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications relieve headache, diffuse pain, and relieve feverishness. Antihistamines and decongestants are helpful for allergic rhinitis and sinusitis.
Although many patients are averse to psychiatric diagnoses, depression is a prominent symptom that may be alleviated with nonsedating antidepressants. Frequently, they not only improve mood, they also help with sleep disturbances, thereby relieving the fatigue somewhat. Many times, even modest improvement can make a vast difference in a patient’s degree of self-sufficiency and ability to enjoy life.
Consumption of heavy meals, caffeine, and alcohol in the evening can make it harder to sleep, compounding fatigue. Also, total rest is not good as it leads to further de-conditioning and contributes to the feeling of being an invalid. Strenuous exercise only leads to greater fatigue, so a well-planned, moderate exercise regimen should be a part of the treatment plan.
Nutritional supplements that treat CFS
Shark Liver Oil is a natural product that has great success with arthritis because it contains different substances that combat arthritis. It boosts the immune system with alkylglycerols, it has squalene in it which is an antioxidant, it contains vitamin E and omega 3 oils and combats Leaky Gut Syndrome which is at the bottom of so many cases of arthritis.
Specifically, shark liver oil may help to:
Augment traditional cancer treatments. In Europe, shark liver oil is widely used to complement traditional cancer treatments. Some preliminary research suggests that the alkylglyerols in shark liver oil may prime the immune system, causing cancer cells to come under attack and preventing spread of disease. The oil may also fortify healthy cells and ease the harsh side effects of cancer chemotherapy and radiation treatments. There are few sound studies, however, to confirm these possible cancer-fighting benefits in people.
Fight infections and inflammations and heal wounds. Enthusiasts claim that by boosting the immune system, shark liver oil may protect against as well as speed the healing of colds, flu, and various minor skin infections. These types of uses were certainly common in old fishing communities familiar with sharks. Alkylglycerol-rich bone marrow soup, for example, is an old-time home remedy used to ward off colds.
The liver oil also has been proposed as an immune-modulating remedy to ease asthma, arthritis, and the skin inflammations of psoriasis. Whether it is truly effective for any of these conditions remains to be proven, but for the minor ailments at least, it likely poses little risk and could possibly help.
Colostrum is made from the best quality New Zealand bovine colostrum. it helps support the immune function and growth factors and provides positive effects for health and well being.
Most people benefit from taking cow colostrum as an every day immune system enhancer, but in particular people suffering from Leaky Gut Syndrome, Candida, Stomach Ulcers, Acne, Arthritis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Colitis as well as being much in demand by athletes for building muscle. Colostrum contains growth factors that help to slow the aging process in anybody who takes it. It also helps to stimulate wound healing, cartilage and nerve regeneration, which is helpful in cases of Multiple Sclerosis, Guillain Barre Syndrome and its variants.
Squalene is unique oil high in Vitamins A and D that is found in high concentrations within shark liver. It also occurs naturally within the human body where it supports natural lubrication for our skin and supports oxygen delivery and toxin removal within all our body's cells. Pure New Zealand squalene is ideal to take daily to naturally support beautiful skin, eye health and overall well-being.
Spirulina has been scientifically proven to provide the following benefits:
Animal and test tube studies suggest that spirulina increases production of antibodies, cytokines (infection fighting proteins), and other cells that improve immunity and help ward off infection and chronic illnesses such as cancer.
Amino acids make up 62% of spirulina. Because it is a rich source of protein and other nutrients, spirulina has been used traditionally as a nutritional supplement by people who cannot obtain sufficient calories or protein through diet alone and by those whose nutritional requirements are higher than normal, such as athletes.
Animal studies suggest that spirulina promotes hematopoiesis (formation and development of red blood cells). This is thought to be due to the high levels of iron present in this food supplement.
Animal and test tube studies suggest that spirulina may protect against allergic reactions by preventing the release of histamines (substances that contribute to allergy symptoms such as a runny nose, watery eyes, hives, and soft-tissue swelling). Whether these preliminary studies will translate into benefit for people with allergies is not known.
Although antibiotics destroy unwanted organisms in the body, they may also kill "good" bacteria called probiotics (such as Lactobacillus acidophilus) which sometimes results in diarrhea. In test tubes, spirulina has promoted the growth of L. acidophilus and other probiotics. Whether this positive laboratory finding will translate into protection from antibiotic-related diarrhea is not clear at this time.
Test tube studies suggest that spirulina has activity against herpes, influenza, cytomeglovirus, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Whether this laboratory finding will prove beneficial for people in treating these infections is not clear.
In one study, 87 people who chewed tobacco and had a precancerous lesion known as leukoplakia were randomly assigned to receive Spirulina fusiformis or placebo. Lesions were significantly more likely to disappear in the spirulina group than in the placebo group. More research in this area will be very helpful.
There is some preliminary evidence that spirulina may help protect against liver damage and cirrhosis (liver failure) in those with chronic hepatitis. More research is needed in this area.
Royal Jelly Extract is a highly nutritious dietary supplement rich in protein and anti-stress B Vitamins. It can help stimulate the body's metabolism, energy and stamina levels and assist in the management of cholesterol.
This supplement has been taken for a host of ailments. In addition to its use as a general health tonic, people take royal jelly to:
- Enhance immunity
- Prevent arthritis and multiple sclerosis
- Treat asthma
- Slow the signs of aging
- Stimulate hair growth
- Improve sexual performance
- Reduce symptoms of menopause
- Accelerating the healing and consolidation of fractured bones
- Lower cholesterol
- Alleviate cardiovascular ailments
- Remedy liver disease, pancreatitis, insomnia, fatigue, ulcers, and digestive and skin disorders
- Reduce tiredness and overwork, asthenia, anxiety states, insomnia and anorexia.
Bee Propolis acts as a natural antibiotic which raises the body's resistance to disease by internally stimulating the immune system. This helps the body fight infection, colds, flu and sore throats.
Propolis may help improve skin condition. Applied externally, propolis is good for abrasions and bruises because of it's antibacterial effects. It may also help lower blood lipid and cholesterol levels as well as lower blood pressure. Some suggest that propolis improves energy and endurance in athletes.