It’s been months since you’ve woken up feeling refreshed. Showering feels like running a marathon; you can’t focus on anything and your work and your relationships are suffering. Your muscles and joints ache and all you want to do is sleep when you get home.
Sound familiar? If any of this sounds like how you’ve been “living” for the last few months, you may have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), just like its name suggests, makes a person feel constantly fatigued for six months or longer and is a debilitating syndrome that negatively affects your everyday life and keeps you from doing and enjoying the things you used to love. Integrative medicine helps to treat chronic fatigue syndrome by getting to the root of the illness using holistic and functional techniques that will allow you to reach your greatest state of well-being and get back to living life on your terms.
Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a condition that goes undiagnosed and untreated every day, but it is a disease that is said to affect more than one million Americans according to the CDC. Since more rest doesn’t decrease the fatigue caused by this syndrome and activity seems to worsen it, many people who are dealing with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in the U.S. are unsure of where to turn to.
CFS is extremely hard to diagnose on just symptoms alone because many illnesses and chronic conditions can cause long term fatigue. Furthermore, people who have been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome may not display the same set of symptoms as another patient diagnosed with the same condition. Many people report feeling as if they woke up one day with a bad flu and the symptoms never went away. Some of the most common symptoms of Chronic Fatigue include:
- Chronic fatigue (lasting six months or more) that is not helped by more rest and is worsened by both physical and mental activities
- Muscle pain or weakness
- Joint pain and body aches
- Dizziness and nausea
- Flu-like symptoms
- Sleeping problems
- Headaches and sensitivity to light
- Difficulty concentrating (brain fog)
- Chills and night sweats
- Sore throat
- Fast and/or irregular heartbeat
- Irritable bowels
- Moods swings, irritability and depression
Because the symptoms of CFS are similar to countless illnesses, autoimmune disorders, and side effects of prescription drugs, allergy medicines, and alcohol use, it is important to not self-diagnose CFS but to schedule an appointment with an integrative health professional if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms.
What Causes Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
There is no known cause of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome but there are many contributing factors that can cause CFS to manifest. Some of the most commonly speculated contributing factors are:
- Hormonal imbalances
- Lifestyle habits
- A weakened immune system
- Imbalances in gut bacteria
- Adrenal exhaustion
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome most commonly occurs to people in their 40s and 50s and women are two to four times more likely to experience CFS than men. Genetic predisposition, allergies, stress, and environmental factors can also increase your risk for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Just how the symptoms and causes of CFS are unique to the individual so is the treatment. This is why integrative medicine plays such a pivotal role in effectively treating and managing CFS in a way that conventional medicine just can’t. Integrative medicine uses functional practices that get to the root of the problem. Since Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is so difficult to diagnose, you can rest assured that we will take the necessary steps, tests, and time to ensure that we find the source of your condition and create a treatment plan uniquely tailored to your needs and goals.
Our main goal is to work with you to create a daily rhythm that nourishes your body, mind, and spirit without pushing you beyond your limitations. Treatment for CFS looks different for everyone, but can include any of the following therapies that are designed to treat the body as a whole:
- Optimizing nutrition by adopting an anti-inflammatory diet geared towards your specific health requirements. This type of diet will help reduce muscle and joint pain as well as provide natural, slow energy (think complex carbs as opposed to processed sugar) that will help to fuel your body and mind all day long. A nutrition plan designed to fight chronic fatigue will also work with you to increase your quality of sleep so that you feel refreshed, rather than depleted when you wake up.
- Extensive testing on all possible contributing factors. Our integrative medicine practice in Oak Brook, IL, leaves no stone unturned when it comes to understanding your condition and what is causing it. Diagnostic tests we may recommend include HPA Axis/Adrenal testing, food allergy and sensitivity testing, advanced Celiac and gluten testing, stool testing, and micronutrient and oxidative stress testing.
- Investigating potential environmental and stress factors that may be contributing to and trigger your symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. We help you to eliminate any unnecessary stress and equip you with the tools and strategies to better manage the stress in your life when it does present itself.
Contact Vitality Family Health in Oak Brook today to learn more about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and to schedule an appointment with one of our integrative medicine providers. We are ready to help you take back control of your life, are you?