Does anyone know what actually causes chronic fatigue syndrome or what it is?
I seem to constantly have a sore throat, feel incredibly tired and generally unwell. My symptoms match up with chronic fatigue syndrome but no one seems to understand what it is
Paleo is not helping, if anything I feel worse. I suppliment vitamin d and magnesium
I don't think it's thyroid because i'm not losing hair or anything, I go for a run in the evening and feel good after but when I wake up the next day I feel like I'm going to die
I'm really getting scared now guys, I feel like I've exhausted every avenue and things are just getting worse, I go to the doctors and they say I'm just depressed. My anxiety has been pretty bad lately, I keep waking up in the night and my seasonal allergies are worse than ever. Why is paleo not working for me? What am I doing wrong? Please tell me
asked byHuntingBears (4176)
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on June 22, 2012
at 02:15 PM
Paleo may help for many things, but expecting it to help with ME/CFS may not be reasonable. Most diets simply don't address the primary issues in neurological diseases although they may assist with tertiary problems.
If you actually have ME/CFS running can make you much sicker. The reason for this is that one of the signature characteristics of ME/CFS is post exertional exhaustion lasting 24-hours or longer, unrelieved by rest and upon minimal exertion. Exceeding your energy envelope can and does cause relapses. Most ME/CFS experts recommend that patients exercise, but maybe as little as 2-5 minutes per day and build very slowly. The key is to slow down or stop if your symptoms flare.
The first thing to do is go to an ME/CFS specialist - most general practitioners are not well informed. There are lots of tests that can be run that won't tell you a thing about ME/CFS although they may help your specialist rule out other issues such as thyroid problems or adrenal problems. Some diseases/conditions such as hypothyroid, fibromyalgia etc can co-occur, and do exacerbate ME/CFS, but are not caused by or directly related to ME/CFS. Treating them will help with issues caused by those conditions, but doesn't effect the core disease of ME/CFS.
Issues such as anxiety and depression are a common and normal reaction by any patient with a severe disease. You will probably also go through a grief cycle common to all chronic diseases. A good therapist can assist with coping skills, but if they suggest that they can cure you if you just understand that you really aren't sick run don't walk to a more well informed therapist.
Most non-psychiatric experts believe ME/CFS is caused by pathogens including viruses (although gamma retroviruses have been scientifically ruled out for now). As well, one disease can be caused by many different pathogens or combinations of pathogens. The CDC has shown that the severity of the initial infection is key not which pathogen started the infection or psychological issues.
But, since not everyone contracts ME/CFS after an initiating infection, many ME/CFS experts believe that an initiating infection combines with an abnormal immune response and/or genetics predisposition. Stress may lower your immune system, but it doesn't cause disease - it just may make you more vulnerable. That said stress can exacerbate your symptoms just as with any other severe disease.
Here's a good checklist for whether you actually have ME or CFS: The 2003 Canadian Clinical Case Definition is summarized as follows and symptoms from all of the categories are required for a clinical diagnosis of CFS.
POST-EXERTIONAL EXHAUSTION: There is a loss of physical and mental stamina, rapid muscular and cognitive fatigability, post-exertional fatigue, malaise and/or pain, and a tendency for other symptoms to worsen. A pathologically slow recovery period (it takes more than 24 hours to recover). Symptoms exacerbated by stress of any kind. Patient must have a marked degree of new onset, unexplained, persistent, or recurrent physical and mental fatigue that substantially reduces activity level.
SLEEP DISORDER: Unrefreshing sleep or poor sleep quality; rhythm disturbance.
PAIN: Arthralgia and/or myalgia without clinical evidence of inflammatory responses of joint swelling or redness. Pain can be experienced in the muscles, joints, or neck and is sometimes migratory in nature. Often, there are significant headaches of new type, pattern, or severity. Neuropathic pain is also a common symptom
NEUROLOGICAL/COGNITIVE MANIFESTATIONS: Two or more of the following difficulties should be present: Confusion, impairment of concentration and short-term memory consolidation, difficulty with information processing, categorizing, and word retrieval, intermittent dyslexia, perceptual/sensory disturbances, disorientation, and ataxia. There may be overload phenomena: Informational, cognitive, and sensory overload -- e.g., photophobia and hypersensitivity to noise -- and/or emotional overload which may lead to relapses and/or anxiety.
AT LEAST ONE SYMPTOM OUT OF TWO OF THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES:
A. AUTONOMIC MANIFESTATIONS: Orthostatic Intolerance: E.g., neurally mediated hypotension (NMH), postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), delayed postural hypotension, vertigo, light-headedness, extreme pallor, intestinal or bladder disturbances with or without irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or bladder dysfunction, palpitations with or without cardiac arrhythmia, vasomotor instability, and respiratory irregularities.
B. NEUROENDOCRINE MANIFESTATIONS: Loss of thermostatic stability, heat/cold intolerance, anorexia or abnormal appetite, marked weight change, hypoglycemia, loss of adaptability and tolerance for stress, worsening of symptoms with stress and slow recovery, and emotional lability.
C. IMMUNE MANIFESTATIONS: Tender lymph nodes, sore throat, flu-like symptoms, general malaise, development of new allergies or changes in status of old ones, and hypersensitivity to medications and/or chemicals.
- The illness persists for at least 6 months. It usually has an acute onset, but onset also may be gradual. Preliminary diagnosis may be possible earlier. The disturbances generally form symptom clusters that are often unique to a particular patient. The manifestations may fluctuate and change over time. Symptoms exacerbate with exertion or stress.
Carruthers BM, Jain AK, De Meirleir KL, Peterson DL, Klimas NG, Lerner AM, Bested AC, Flor-Henry P, Joshi P, Powles ACP, Sherkey JA, van de Sande MI. Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Clinical Working Case Definition, Diagnostic and Treatment Protocols. J CFS 2002;11(1):7 ??? 116
Hope this helps.
on June 21, 2012
at 11:46 AM
Edited to add: The following are all signs of cortisol problems: Severe, unreasonable fatigue after exercise, increased allergies, and sleeping issues. Sounds like your cortisol could be high at night (so you feel good during your jog, but you also have problems with sleeping) and low in the morning.
Nobody know what causes Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Really, the name just means the symptoms, not the "disease." My guess is that there are numerous factors which contribute to it, and that each person has a different combination of factors which are dragging them down.
I had CFS for 17 years, and over the past 10 months have seen it slowly resolve. For me the important factors were:
1) Hypothyroid (don't need to be losing your hair to have this, btw! I didn't). I now take Armour, which has help enormously. I'd sure like to know WHY I'm hypo, but it could be damage to the thyroid due to the following:
2) Auto-immune response to gluten and casein, even to small amounts. I NEVER eat these now. There is no such things as "cheats" with these. Ever.
3) Cortisol issues due to chronically high levels of stress in my personal life, as well as the stress of auto-immune responses to gluten and casein, and the stress of hypo (not enough T3 helping me function properly). My cortisol production pattern was reversed (low in morning, high in evening, when it should be high in the morning, low in the evening).
on June 22, 2012
at 03:06 PM
I have similar symptoms even after being paleo one year. I thought I had a deficient thyroid, turned out to be very low cortisol (I did the 4xday saliva hormone testing, worth every penny). The low cortisol is still just a symptom of a greater issue, and my docs think I likely have a chronic viral infection (or possibly parasite). The chronic viral infection could actually be causing the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal axis issues. Before doing more testing which right now I REALLY cannot afford, I've decided to try supplements to see if they help (since I only had to purchase 2). If not, then I will buck up and get some testing done, perhaps see an immunologist.
I'm taking X-Viromin (Apex Energetics), Para-Gard (Integrative Therapeutics), 1-2 tbsp coconut oil/day (anti-viral and in the past it's given me die-off symptoms so it must be killing something), B-complex Plus (Pure Encapsulations) and IGg DF2000 (Xymogen, immunoglobulins, good for digestive healing and general immune support).
This is a great article on taking care of the adrenals: http://robbwolf.com/2012/04/09/real-deal-adrenal-fatigue/ My functional med doc stressed the importance of regulating blood sugar to care for the adrenals. So for me that means snacking religiously and never letting myself get too hungry. No intermitent fasting for me! Good luck with your journey, and as others have, I will recommend testing if you can afford it to avoid what could be a wild goose chase and will be just as costly in the end.
on June 21, 2012
at 10:39 AM
1.) How long have you been paleo? It took my body a good 2-3 months to adjust. 2.) How far are you running each night? Sometimes your body needs to adjust before you start doing long distance running so you could be exhausting your body by doing too much. 3.) Are you eating enough protein throughout your day and staying hydrated? I have a friend with chronic fatigue and she is just starting out on Paleo and hasn't had any changes yet either but she was only eating meat with 1 or 2 meals a day and after her runs she did nothing to rehydrate. Check out Zico coconut water or Thunderbird Enegetica bars to rehydrate and re-load on proteins after work outs.
on April 28, 2014
at 12:51 PM
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome resembles to many other diseases like Lyme disease multiple sclerosis etc. If you care really suffering from CFS I would personally recommend going for series of test that will help your physician to rule out other illnesses.
Some of the causes of CFS include:
1. Hormonal imbalance: Abnormal blood levels of hormones that are produced in pituitary or adrenal gland are observed in individuals facing CFS.
2. Immune System Problem: The individuals facing from CFS often have immune system, which is slightly impaired.
3. Viral Infection: Some people the CFS is developed form viral infection. Some Viruses trigger this disorder.
Researchers believe that there are no particular guidelines for preventing CFS.
The main objective or goal in treating CFS is getting or achieving relief over the symptoms.
Here are some tips that may help you in CFS:
1.Individual facing CFS should avoid physical and emotional stress. Also must avoid overexertion.
2.For treating specific symptoms medication include antidepressants that helps to improve sleep and relieve depression.
3.Stretching and light exercise for few hours before bedtime will help in sleep
Symptoms related to CFS are similar to viral infections i.e. headache, Fatigue etc.
Other symptoms include muscle pain, sore throat, tired feeling and joint pain.
Researchers believe that there are no particular guidelines for preventing CFS. Studies also suggest that CFS may also be caused by inflammation in the nervous system. Prior illness, Stress, Genetics are some of the other contributing factors to it.
on July 01, 2012
at 01:11 AM
I have been asked to lecture around the world to over 50,000 medical doctors and scientists on the LEVER MODEL vs THE SPRING MODEL of the human body.
Is it possible that the doctor you see is examining, treating and maintaining your body as a lever when it is really a spring?
I took off my white coat and considered the human form from different logical points of view: a mechanical engineer, an anatomist and a physicist. I then combined this new perspective with my years of experience interviewing, treating and training hundreds elite athletes in many sports from around the world. What I found was fascinating to me, doctors around the world and I???m excited to share it with you!
Every movement you make is powered by a miraculous spring mechanism. Once you learn how it works, the important functions it serves, how it breaks down and locks, and how it effects so many aspects of your health, you will see why so many suffer and are misdiagnosed.
Understanding the human spring will help you understand how certain athletes can high jump seven feet over a bar or run fifty miles without stopping, while other people can't jog, walk, lift weights of even get up out of a chair without pain. The efficiency of your body's motion has everything to do with the integrity of your human spring.
Medicine says the body ambulates as a lever. The body does have lever functions but mainly functions as a spring mechanism.
Video Tutorial #7 The Four Primary Functions Of The Human Spring Mechanism http://teamdoctorsblog.com/2011/05/09/video-tutorial-7-the-four-primary-functions-of-the-human-spring-mechanism/
- What the theory says is that the HUMAN SPRING stores mechanical energy therefore it is an efficiency mechanism.
CHRONIC FATIGUE - You use most of your energy throughout the day for ambulating. We walk 10,000 steps a day. When our bodies spring mechanism breaks down it changes from an efficient spring mechanism that uses elastic spring energy to move into an inefficient lever mechanism which uses muscle contraction energy to move.
A spring is a structure that deforms its physical shape. During that formation process that spring stores potential energy. Then it reforms back to its EXACT original shape and releases the energy back into the mechanism. Think about a spring when you squeeze it down it stores energy and when you let it go that releases the stored energy.
- The human spring also provides the protective mechanism for the body. It is the principle mechanism that absorbs forces of the landings during foot to ground impact activities such as walking, running and activities like dance and other sports.
The human body impacts the ground 3.6 million times a year. The human spring absorbs the force of these impacts of the landings and protects you from these collisions.
CHRONIC PAIN - When the spring mechanism breaks down your 10,000 springy steps per day can turn into 10,000 bang and twists per day. Understand?
If the spring mechanism is designed into the mechanical mechanism of the human body through human motion but if it???s not working the way it should then it will cause abnormal movement patterns that will lead to stress and strain, wear and tear, the release of information, silence and then painful.
Chronic Inflammation is linked to brain fog, chronic fatigue, feelings of hopelessness, depression, listlessness and mimics fibromyalgia or can be misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia
Video Tutorial #37 Aches, Pains, Allergies, Fatigue, Brain Fog, Diseases of Aging Have One Common Thread??? INFLAMMATION
You may find this model a better model for explaining the unexplainable like chronic pain, chronic fatigue and FIBROMYALGIA.
Also looking at the body as a spring mechanism helps us explain many mysteries that baffle doctors and you.
Like???. CHRONIC PAIN ??? The body bangs and twists into the ground 10,000 steps a day (walking) rather than springs off the ground so it cannot protect itself from the impacts resulting on an assault on the muscles and joints.
Maybe that is why my plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, shin splints, knee pain, hip pain back pain and herniated disc won???t heal!
Like??? CHRONIC FATIGUE ??? The body bangs and twists into the ground 10,000 times a day (walking) rather than the more efficient way of ambulation, springing the mass off the ground. (some have estimated that 25-60 percent of the energy is recycled through this spring action)
- The human spring also allows us to land our bodies on uneven surfaces by adjusting the body weight over the spring mechanism so it can achieve optimum balance. That???s why we have 26 bones and 33 joints in the foot and ankle That force coupled with the uneven terrain is distributed across this terrain through these 33 joints. It spreads the force across each joint while still maintaining the mass balanced with the center of gravity over the spring mechanism.
on June 22, 2012
at 05:08 PM
Hunting Bears, can I suggest something odd in hope that you will try it? Because for some weird reason it really works for me for energy (who knows why).
- You absolutely must eat something raw with every meal. For me it is raw cucumbers, raw carrots. Chew well, make sure not to grate them, bite off from the whole piece.
I found that eating 1/3 raw and 2/3 cooked vegetables with most meals works the best for me. Also, if I eat raw veggies first and cooked later, it also works better for some reason.
It has something to do with enzymes, it usually starts working on the second day.
For some meals you can actually skip protein (I hope nobody downvotes me here for saying this). I find that it helps me to sustain my energy to skip protein sometimes (but I still eat it at least once a day).
You can try fruit - it is a quick picker-upper for me. Find fruits that work best for you in terms of energy.
If everything else fails - I will give you the name of my herbal doctor.
Here is a video by my herbal doctor:
Hope you feel better soon!
on June 21, 2012
at 11:26 PM
CFS is not a single disease, but what you may have is ME. The likely cause of ME is a gamma retrovirus.