What is Chronic fatigue Syndrome? This is a condition that has been discussed frequently for many years. Some doctors and patients don’t take it seriously as it may be perceived to be a made-up condition for hypochondriacs who are just lazy and weak. Some patients may feel the same way, and write it off as just the way they are. The good news though is that it is a real condition that has real reasons and effective treatments available.
As is the case with Fibromyalgia, it is a condition characterized by chronic recurring fatigue that is not explained by other established by other medical criteria using blood tests or radiological studies. If the reason for the fatigue is not seen with the naked eye on a test it seems then that it is not real, but that is not the case.
It is important to rule out typical medical reasons for fatigue though, which includes hypothyroidism (low thyroid), anemia (such as iron deficiency probably, but also vitamin B12 or folic acid deficiency or caused by slow low-grade blood loss, from menstrual or intestinal loss). Sleep studies may be warranted if sleep apnea is suspected, since this is a potential reason for fatigue. I also focus on making sure poor lifestyle habits are not a reason for fatigue, such as a lack of a regular cardiovascular exercise program and/or a poor diet. A diet too high in fats and carbohydrates/sugars and processed foods may contribute to fatigue. The types of foods that may improve energy would be increased proteins, vegetables, fruits and adequate fluid intake. Weight loss when necessary and adequate movement of the body are essential to combating fatigue.
There is a misperception that the main reason for chronic fatigue is a chronic viral infection such as Mono (epstein-barr virus), CMV and other viruses, but this is rarely the reason. As I said before, laziness and being a hypochondriac are often blamed as the reason. The real core reason though most often is a neurochemical imbalance of one or more chemicals in the nervous sysem. The only way to prove this is if the patient clinically responds to preventative medications. The first chemical to think of is Dopamine, and the best medication that works on that is Wellbutrin (Bupropion), however it often works best when combined with another medication. Norepinephrine is the second to think of, and the best to balance this is Pristiq or Effexor XR (name brand or generic). I often combine these two classes to get the best results. Serotonin and GABA may be involved. Abilify is another dopamine-based medication to consider for resistent cases. Provigil and Nuvigil may also be effective for chronic fatigue, as well as stimulants such as ADD medications and diet pills (though I only try stimulants if the fatigue does not respond to the non-stimulants first).
My success rate for treating chronic fatigue syndrome is very high, so if you or someone you know has it, please make an appointment to discuss it with me. I have lost almost 40 lbs. over the last couple of months, so also contact me if you are interested in a weight-loss plan. -Bye for now.