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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis, is defined as extreme fatigue that does not improve with rest.  There is no one test or one known cause of chronic fatigue, therefore our naturopathic doctors in Calgary work to ensure all body systems are supported. Multiple theories exist about how chronic fatigue starts including viral infections, toxin exposures, and mitochondrial dysfunction.

Post-viral or post-infectious syndrome is one of the most commonly diagnosed causes of chronic fatigue.  Commonly associated infections include:

  • Epstein-Barr Virus
  • HHV-6
  • Borrelia burgdorferi
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae
  • pneumonaie
  • Helicobacter pylori
  • Streptococcus pneumonaie

These infections may become chronic and patients may experience fatigue due to ongoing infection. However, many patients experience this fatigue even after the infections are no longer present as a result of immune dysregulation and cytokine imbalances.

Toxin exposures may also contribute to chronic fatigue syndrome. Toxins and heavy metals can affect hormones, nutrient absorption, and cause neurological inflammation, all of which can contribute to fatigue. Toxins that have been shown to be associated with fatigue include:

  • Phthalates
  • Parabens
  • Organophosphates
  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Volatile solvents

Mitochondrial Dysfunction is also an important contributor to fatigue. Mitochondria are known as the “powerhouse of the cell” as their job is to produce ATP, the biochemical equivalent of energy. Tissues that are rich in mitochondria, and depend on their function include muscles, cardiac, gastrointestinal and brain tissue. These are the systems which are often most affected in chronic fatigue syndrome. Mitochondria are also cells that are very susceptible to infection and toxin, and the causes mentioned above can be reasons for mitochondrial dysfunction related fatigue.

Our naturopathic doctors in Calgary will work with you to identify the cause of your fatigue and help to restore a state of health.  As with many complex chronic diseases, a variety of naturopathic treatments may be recommended to support the whole body.

Resources

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11327394

Therapies Used for the Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

  • Intravenous Therapies
  • Hyperbaric Medicine
  • Ozone and UVB
  • Diet and nutritional optimization
  • Pharmacological, Herbal and Nutrient Therapy
  • Colonic Hydrotherapy
  • Detoxification Therapy
  • Nutrition Optimization
  • Acupuncture