Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Affecting more women then men on average, and characterized by the presence of deep and persistent physical exhaustion, the condition known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) affects women usually below fifty years of age-thus the condition can be said to be a young woman's disorder, since as a demography it affects such individuals the most.

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The typical symptoms of the condition are a persistent physical weakness and constant listlessness occurring most of the time. The affected person will complain of a difficulty in sleeping, he or she has trouble concentrating, and finds it's hard to perform daily tasks at home or in the office. An added symptom in most patients is a deep and underlying depression that comes along with the other physical symptoms.

It is not known whether the condition known as CFS is a specific condition caused by singular factors or whether it is a combination of unrelated symptoms displaying collective outward manifestation-indeed most medical experts disagree on its exact nature.

It is suspected that a malfunctioning immune system response could play a role in the origin of the condition, however, the specific factors that cause CFS remain a mystery and its development is attributed to unknown underlying factors. In general it is observed that individuals suffering from the symptoms of CFS also possess other immune disturbances in the body, these include 65% of patients who report they suffer from an allergy to something or another.

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This is in stark contrast to versus only about 20% of respondents in the general population-counting both males and females. Other patients suffering from CFS also suffer from autoimmune disorders like lupus, these diseases are characterized by the a haywire immune system, where the immune system begins to attack the body's own healthy tissues bringing about the destruction of important organ systems in the body and disrupting vital metabolic pathways.

The underlying causes and triggers for CFS have still not been elucidated by doctors and other research is still to shed light on this condition. Though the appearance of certain signs and symptoms apparent in the patients can foretell the condition, these include the presence of flu like illness just before the beginning of physical fatigue so characteristic of CFS. A persistent viral infection is however indicated by some CFS symptoms in most patients.

Taking this viral infection line, some suspected infectious viral agents possibly thought to contribute to CFS include, the Epstein-Barr-this virus brings about mononucleosis in humans. Infection by candida has also been suspected-this organism makes way for other infections, such as yeast infections in humans. The presence of a low blood pressure, inflammation of the brain tissues and sub-optimal levels of certain hormones have all been touted as possible causes or contributors to the development of the condition in people.

Having said this, the real cause of CFS has not been marked out and absolutely nothing concrete has been identified in the manner of a causative agent.

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Supplements and herbs

Start the supplements with a course of vitamin C and carotenoids as the first priority is to boost the functioning of the immune system. The herbal supplements of Echinacea which is a very effective immune system booster can also be added to the combination for added punch.

The Echinacea can be used in alternating doses with the astragalus herb, which is also a strong immune system booster besides having potent antiviral abilities, another herb that can be alternated is the pau d'arco herb, which can help the body resist many types of microbes-in particular the yeast infections which are so commonly observed in patients with a compromised immune system, and last but not least the Echinacea can be alternated with the goldenseal-another herb known for its immune enhancing effects.

To bring relief from muscle pain commonly associated with the condition, supplements of the mineral magnesium can be used along with the other supplemental herbs.

Without fearing side effects, additional supplements that can be taken can include the Siberian ginseng along with the licorice and supplements of the B vitamin pantothenic acid - these help the adrenal glands, glands very important in secreting hormones, an example being the hormone cortisol, a hormone known to counteract the effects of stress, helping to boost energy in the physically weak patient. Continuous and regular utilization of these supplements will begin to show positive effects with a month from the date of initial use.

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Additional things you may do

For the treatment of the underlying symptoms such as depression and to manage the resulting stress, make full use of regular relaxation techniques and take part in behavioral counseling. Alternative techniques like hypnosis or meditation, can help you manage the stress and will promote quick recovery from the worst effects of the condition. It is important to get a good night's sleep and to rest for long periods of time-this gives the body a chance to recover and fight back. The presence of added symptoms such as insomnia can be effectively countered through the use of sleep inducing herbs such as the valerian or the kava herb.

Usual dosage

Astragalus, use 200 mg of standardized extract two times daily. Rotate in 3-week cycles with pau d'arco and Echinacea.

Echinacea, 200 mg two times daily. Limit consecutive use to three weeks or rotate with other herbs.

Licorice, 200 mg thrice daily. It can raise blood pressure.

Siberian ginseng, 100-300 mg two times daily.

Pau d'arco, 250 mg two times daily.

Vitamin C, 2,000 mg thrice daily. If diarrhea develops, reduce the dose.

Magnesium, 400 mg one time daily with food. If diarrhea develops, reduce the dose.

Pantothenic acid, 500 mg two times daily with meals.

Carotenoids, take two pills mixed carotenoids daily with food (each pill should contain 25,000 IU of vitamin A).

Other beneficial herbs


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