“I’m so tired! Exhausted. Never enough rest. There’s no energy for anything. This headache doesn’t go away! I have no appetite. My muscles ache, joints hurt. My whole body hurts! It’s difficult for me to concentrate or remember things. I’m feeling so down right now. It’s frustrating that no one knows what’s wrong. Something’s wrong with me!”
Those suffering from long-standing chronic fatigue understand well the devastating effects chronic fatigue syndrome has on daily lives, limiting one’s ability to carry out ordinary tasks. Chronic fatigue is accompanied by multiple symptoms ranging from muscle pains to depression. Because each individual expresses varying symptoms of different degrees, conventional medicine finds chronic fatigue syndrome difficult to diagnose and provides treatments that are ineffective at addressing the root causes of the suffering. Long-term use of prescription medications for treatment of the symptoms of chronic fatigue also have a harmful effect on the body’s natural functions.
There is no one specific cause of chronic fatigue syndrome, though it appears to be exacerbated by severe emotional or physical stress and trauma, prolonged viral or bacterial infections, immune dysfunctions, thyroid problems, toxic exposure and/or nutritional deficiencies. Chronic fatigue syndrome is currently defined as severe fatigue lasting more than six months while also experiencing at least four of the following symptoms:
- Loss of memory or concentration
- Sore throat
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
- Sleep without feeling rested
- Extreme exhaustion lasting more than 24 hours after physical or mental exercise
- Poor memory
- Digestive disorders
- Chest pain
- Numbness and tingling of the extremities.
Other common symptoms include: bloating; nausea; diarrhea; night sweats or chills; brain fogginess; dizziness; shortness of breath; chronic cough; visual disturbances; allergies or sensitivities to foods, alcohol, chemicals; irregular heartbeat or palpitations; jaw pain, or pain in eyes or mouth. A qualified naturopathic doctor can usually devise a protocol that will be effective in treating the symptoms, as well as creating health and well-being for the totality of the patient.