Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is the official name given by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for a disorder with many symptoms, the name for which continues to be used because it so accurately describes one of the most important factors of this illness: periods of extreme fatigue.
CFS has had several names: Epstein Barr Virus, Yuppie Flu, Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) and in many places Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.
Its signs and symptoms can be confused with such related conditions as mononucleosis, thyroid dysfunction, chemical sensitivities, autoimmune diseases and other viral conditions.
The most important complaint of the CFS sufferer is energy loss, translated into a fatigue that does not improve with rest, vacation, or entertainment. This fatigue lingers for long periods of time, and worsens with time. Along with the fatigue other symptoms occur, mostly from the neurological sphere: insomnia, depression, mood shifts, emotional instability and personality changes are frequent symptoms; unexplained sadness, or guilt, or feelings of worthlessness and suicidal thoughts are not uncommon.
Other symptoms reflecting a chronic, viral condition are frequently present, such as weakness, malaise, joint pains, recurrent headaches, stomach aches, sore throat, low-grade fever, swollen glands, night sweats, cough and cold symptoms.
These symptoms, and others, can occur in any combination and at any intensity. For physicians the world over, the ever-changing span of signs and symptoms seen in apparently healthy young people and with no apparent cause made it frustratingly difficult to come up with a single diagnosis.
Because of Bio Care Hospital's prior history in the development of individualized, integrative metabolic protocols -its approach to treating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome- is based on the following concepts:
Detoxification is a primary feature of any therapy, and in the case of CFS previous history of exposure to chemicals, antibiotics, steroids etc., makes detoxification one of the key factors in successful treatment. For the same reason, avoidance of toxins becomes a major issue. Tobacco smoke, alcohol, prescription and recreational drugs should be a major target of the life-style manipulation elements in CFS management.
An integrative approach utilizes all forms of attack against a broad spectrum of microbes, yeasts and viral infestations so strongly present in immune disturbances in general and CFS in particular.
— Melba Romero, MD.
Dietary manipulation, together with detoxification, is the foundation of any treatment intended to restore and balance immune function. The proper use of diet can never be overlooked. Food is not only the basis of energy and building materials but also the source of detoxification elements, immune substances and balanced intestinal flora - all of which becomes the foundation of immune performance and equilibrium. A healthy body and immune competent system are unobtainable under poor nutritional conditions.
Since opportunistic infections seem to be the most apparent triggers in many of the symptoms, the treatment of these conditions becomes a priority: EBV, HHV-6, mycoplasmas, yeasts, and candida are the most frequent and visible infectious elements in this syndrome. Oxidative therapies are the best choice for the treatment of these conditions. A powerful oxidative agent has become the treatment of choice, with molecules that actively release free oxygen into the blood as broad-spectrum antimicrobial oxidative agent, which attacks all cell wall-deficient structures - virtually all viruses, yeast/fungal species, various bacteria and mycoplasma.
Hence, immune restoration is the major long-term objective for the CFS patient. The attempt to regulate immune function without detoxification, dietary management and relief from pathogenic infestations will fail. Since mental stress is increasingly and demonstrably seen to play an important role in immune regulation it must also be addressed, if the patient is to have lasting results and full recovery.
Recent research reveals that most immunologically disturbed patients are neither classically immune depressed nor autoimmune-stimulated; rather, they are suffering the highs and lows of dysregulation of the various elements of what is called the immune system.
Modern biochemical research also has made it clear that a vast range of nutriments and supplements -vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, essential and nonessential fatty acids, phyto-chemicals, herbs- are of benefit in either specific or nonspecific immune regulation. Many nutritional elements classed as antioxidants, or free radical scavengers, also exert a balancing effect on immunity.