Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

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What is Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)?

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) is a complicated disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that lasts for at least six months and that can’t be fully explained by an underlying medical condition. The fatigue worsens with physical or mental activity but doesn’t improve with rest. The cause of ME/CFS is unknown, although there are many theories.

The CDC estimates up to 2.5 million Americans have ME/CFS more commonly effecting women in their 40s and 50s, but it can affect men women and children. About one in four people with the condition have severe symptoms, whereas others are just mild to moderate.

There’s no single test to confirm a diagnosis of ME/CFS. You may need a variety of medical tests to rule out other health problems that have similar symptoms.

What are the symptoms of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)?

Signs and symptoms of ME/CFS may include but aren’t limited to: 

  • Fatigue, mild to severe that does not improve with rest
  • Brain fog
  • Sore throat
  • Headaches
  • Enlarged lymph nodes in your neck or armpits
  • Unexplained muscle or joint pain
  • Dizziness that worsens with moving from lying down or sitting to standing
  • Unrefreshing sleep
  • Extreme exhaustion after physical or mental exercise

What are the Causes of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)?

The cause of ME/CFS is still unknown. This can mainly be since fatigue is a symptom of multiple illnesses or disharmonies in the body, and it is possible that different people with ME/CFS may have a different cause to their fatigue. Potential triggers include but aren’t limited to:

Viral infections: Some people develop ME/CFS after having a viral infection (post-viral syndrome). Suspicious viruses include the Epstein-Barr virus, human herpes virus 6 and COVID-19, among others.

Chronic Lyme disease: Lyme disease has been linked to extreme fatigue, and often chronic sufferers are often first diagnosed with ME/CFS and fibromyalgia.

Immune system markers: The immune systems of people who have ME/CFS appear to be impaired slightly, but it’s unclear if this impairment is enough to cause the disorder. It is possible this is linked to an underlying undiagnosed infection (such as a virus or Lyme disease) or an autoimmune disease.

Autoimmune Disease: ME/CFS can be a symptom of a known autoimmune disorder and is also suspected to be an autoimmune disease itself. 

Hormonal imbalances: People who have ME/CFS may experience abnormal hormones imbalances.

Physical or emotional trauma: Some people report that they experienced an injury, surgery, or significant emotional stress shortly before their symptoms began.

Diet and lifestyle factors: Contributing factors can be related to food allergies or sensitivities or environmental triggers.

Chemical Sensitivities: Many people with ME/CFS have an underlying sensitivity to chemicals and fragrances used in their daily life and are unaware of the impacts on their health.

What are Some Myths and Misconceptions about Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)?

There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding ME/CFS, since it is an "invisible" illness. In the past patients were labeled as “lazy” and told that they “just weren’t exercising enough.” A study, which has now been debunked, falsely claimed that sufferers of ME/CFS just needed to gradually start exercising and they would feel better. Unfortunately, this mindset still exists, and leaves patients feeling responsible for their illness, and frustrated when even a small amount of exercise can be a huge trigger for their symptoms, and this is no longer an acceptable form of treatment.

How is Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) Treated?

Conventional medicine treats the symptoms of ME/CFS, using medications like antidepressants. Although helpful, this can still leave the patient with an extreme amount of fatigue. Ananta Health takes a more proactive role in aiding the patient to improve their quality of life overall. This process starts by assessing the patients’ history and testing with the BioScan SRT. Causes or contributors to the fatigue such as candida, parasites, Lyme disease, post-viral syndrome, food sensitivities and allergies, heavy metal toxicity and environmental sensitivities need to be determined. Treatment will often include diet recommendations, lifestyle changes and supplements and herbs according to each patient’s needs.

Can Acupuncture Treat Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)

Acupuncture is also helpful in the treatment and management of ME/CFS since it has a great effect on supporting energy, aiding sleep, calming anxiety and supporting the body overall.