Chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia are complicated disorders that are associated with adrenal gland dysfunction.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) AKA Myalgic Encephalomyelitis is a disorder characterized by extreme unexplained fatigue that lasts for more than six months with no apparent underlying medical condition. The fatigue is usually worse in the morning but it can occur throughout the day. Stress and physical activity can worsen fatigue. Even with prolonged periods of rest or sleep the fatigue does not improve. CFS can interfere with usual activities and one’s ability to work. In severe cases, individuals with CFS are bedridden. Its symptoms can come and improve and worsen with time.
CFS is most common in people between forty and sixty years old. Women are more likely to develop Chronic Fatigue Syndrome than men. It can affect many-body systems.
Symptoms can include:
- Severe fatigue
- Muscle aches
- Weight gain
- Easily overwhelmed by stress
- Sleep problems
- Brain fog
- Concentration problems
Fibromyalgia is a condition characterized by muscle and bone aches, fatigue, sleep, memory problems, anxiety, and depression. Fibromyalgia symptoms tend to be more severe in women than in men. Women have more widespread pain, irritable bowel symptoms, and morning fatigue than men. Painful periods are also common. The transition to menopause could make fibromyalgia worse.
The exact cause of chronic fatigue syndrome is unknown. However, it appears to be triggered and made worse by stressful events i.e. infections, emotional and physical trauma, surgery, and other chronic illnesses. Other factors that increase the risk of developing fibromyalgia include age, gender, and family history. Most fibromyalgia cases are currently diagnosed in women, although the reason for this gender disparity isn’t clear. You’re most likely to be diagnosed in middle age, and your risk increases as you get older. However, children can develop fibromyalgia also. If you have close family members with fibromyalgia, you may be at greater risk of developing it.
How are Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Fibromyalgia Diagnosed?
The cause of CFS and fibromyalgia is difficult to diagnose using standard blood and urine testing. Salivary testing is very useful in diagnosing these conditions. It oftentimes reveals adrenal gland dysfunction. Cortisol and DHEA which are produced by the adrenal gland are low or elevated in individuals with CFS and fibromyalgia. Cortisol is important for energy and our ability to handle stress. Imbalances of cortisol can result in many of the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.
Many natural treatments focus on lowering stress and reducing pain. You can use them alone or together with traditional medical treatments. In severe cases when systems are associated with adrenal gland dysfunction, prescription cortisol or adrenal glandular supplements may be used to restore cortisol levels and improve symptoms.
Natural Remedies and Treatments:
- high dose IV vitamin C therapy
- getting plenty of sleep
- physical therapy
- 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)
- vitamin C
- vitamin D
- B vitamins
- adaptogens like ashwagandha and Rhodiola
- tai chi
- light exercise
- massage therapy
- healthy diet
Dietary strategies to keep in mind:
- Drink plenty of water
- Eat lots of green leafy vegetables and fruits high in vitamin C
- Eat lean meats
- Avoid processed foods
- Avoid sugars and carbohydrate
Things that make CFS and Fibromyalgia worse:
- Vigorous exercise
- Processed foods
- Fast foods
- Inflammatory foods like dairy, gluten, MSG, and eggs
- Working long hours
- Stressful situations, events, and relationships
- Overextending and spreading yourself too thin
- Not getting enough sleep
- Caffeinated drinks
To get help with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Fibromyalgia call Taylor Medical Wellness Group at 678-443-4000 or click on the link below to schedule an appointment.