Doctor You: Natural Recovery from Chronic Fatigue
Videos are available with this book, and we recommend that you watch
the videos as you begin learning about your options for dealing with
chronic fatigue. Although you may find some repetition, the videos will
help you process the information in this book and we strongly suggest
that you watch them.
Chronic fatigue can be devastating–especially to those who are used to
a very active lifestyle. One of the criteria for diagnosing chronic fatigue
is the sufferer’s need to cut back on activities by 50% or more. That
means in work, at home, in relationships, and in hobbies, a person can
only do half of what he / she could before. Such a change can be unbelievably
This eBook will outline the symptoms, the possible causes, and how a
diagnosis of chronic fatigue is given. It will also relate information about
how conventional medicine treats chronic fatigue and what sort of improvement
might come through that course. Alternative natural health
& healing suggestions for dealing with, and hopefully recovering from,
chronic fatigue will be given, as well as references to scientific information
that backs up the natural approach.
People suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome experience extreme
fatigue that can’t be explained by any underlying medical condition. The
fatigue may worsen with physical or mental activity, however it doesn’t
improve with rest.
Typical Causes of Chronic Fatigue
Exposure to Environment Toxins Is Often a Factor
The cause of chronic fatigue syndrome is unknown, although there are
many theories — ranging from viral infections to psychological stress.
Chronic fatigue may be a combination of factors that affect people who
were born with a predisposition for the disorder. Some of the factors
that have been studied include:
Viral infections. Some people seem to develop chronic fatigue syndrome
after having a viral infection, which might trigger the disorder.
Some viruses that have preceded chronic fatigue are Epstein-Barr, human
herpesvirus 6 and mouse leukemia viruses.
Immune system problems. The immune systems of people who have
chronic fatigue syndrome seem to be impaired slightly. This may be a
result rather than cause of the syndrome, however.
Hormonal imbalances. Blood tests of people who have chronic fatigue
syndrome sometimes show abnormal levels of hormones produced in
the hypothalamus, pituitary gland or adrenal glands.
According to When the Body Says No, a book by Gabor Mate, MD,
a person can overtax his / her self, and the body can begin to react by
shutting down in ways that force the person to step away from activities.
In the Old Testament God commanded people to rest one day out of
seven. In fact, this direction can be found in the Ten Commandments:
“…Remember the Sabbath Day (day of rest)…” An inability to rest can
indicate an unhealthy need to feel in control all the time–which in itself
is unhealthy, but which also places tremendous strain on the body.
Oxidative Stress & Chronic Fatigue
Who Is More Likely to Develop Chronic Fatigue?
People in their 40s and 50s; Although chronic fatigue syndrome can occur
at any age, it most commonly affects people in their 40s and 50s.
Women are diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome much more often
than men, however it is possible that women are simply more likely to
report their symptoms to a doctor.
People who are overweight and inactive are more likely to develop
chronic fatigue syndrome.
People who experience more stress, or who feel more stressed.
Complications that Sometimes Accompany Chronic Fatigue
Increased work absences
Medical problems such as anemia, diabetes and underactive thyroid
(hypothyroidism); lab tests are often recommended
Mental health issues; fatigue can be a symptom of a variety of mental
health problems, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and
What Conventional Medicine Typically Recommends for Chronic
Making a Diagnosis
The main criteria is unexplained, persistent fatigue for six months or
more, which is accompanied by at least four of the following signs and
Loss of memory or concentration
Enlarged lymph nodes in your neck or armpits
Unexplained muscle pain
Pain that moves from one joint to another without swelling or redness
Headache of a new type, pattern or severity
Extreme exhaustion lasting more than 24 hours after physical or mental
Conventional Treatment for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Treatment focuses on symptom relief. Three approaches are recommended:
drugs; exercise; counseling
Inactive people are often encouraged to begin with range-of-motion
and stretching exercises for just a few minutes a day and encouraged to
gradually increase the intensity of exercise over time, which typically
brings about an increase of endurance.
Talking with a counselor can help a sufferer find options for working
around some of the limitations that chronic fatigue syndrome tends
to impose. Feeling more in control of one’s life can improve a person’s
Conventional (Drug) Treatments
Antidepressants are given, since many people who have chronic fatigue
syndrome are also depressed, and there are many available antidepressants
Sleeping pills; since many people who suffer from chronic fatigue have
sleep issues, doctors may prescribe sleep aids.
Risk & Benefit Considerations for Drug Therapies
Antidepressants often have side effects. SSRIs, or selective serotonin
reuptake inhibitors, often given for depression, are associated with many
negative side effects, one of which is possible suicide risks.
At any time when one treats symptoms instead of addressing an illness,
the illness likely continues, untreated, beneath the symptoms. Are you
prepared to continue taking antidepressants for the rest of your life, or
would you prefer to consider some natural approaches that can potentially
allow you to recover your health?
Natural Alternatives to Conventional Treatments
Exercise is important to prevent the worsening of fatigue. Many people
report feeling better after undertaking a moderate exercise plan, but,
since most people with CFS are sensitive to overexertion, and since
excessive exercise may lead to consistently worsening fatigue and mental
functioning, exercise should be attempted gradually, starting with very
small efforts. One small study found that intermittent exercise, in which
patients walked for three minutes followed by three minutes of rest for
a total of 30 minutes, was helpful, since that routine didn’t make fatigue
Self care, such as stress reduction, is important. Sufferers can develop a
plan to avoid or limit overexertion and emotional stress, and to allow
time each day to relax. That may mean learning how to say no without
People suffering from chronic fatigue should take care to avoid stressful
situations. Coping mechanisms for dealing with stress can sometimes
be maximized by behavioral therapy, which has been shown helpful for
people with chronic fatigue in several controlled studies.
Salt should not be avoided since some studies indicate that people with
chronic fatigue syndrome who have low blood pressure fare better if
they don’t limit their salt. Increasing salt intake may not be advisable
Improved sleep habits such as going to bed and getting up at the same
time each day can be helpful, as can limiting daytime napping and
avoidance of caffeine, alcohol and nicotine, all of which are drugs that
can interfere with sleep cycles.
Sufferers should pace themselves, keeping activity on an even level. Even
if one feels particularly good on a certain day it is best to maintain the
same level of activities since overdoing may trigger a setback.
Alternative Therapies for Chronic Fatigue
Yoga or tai chi
Audio brain retrainment such as Holosync or Hemisync
What You Might Expect
Exercise can improve stamina and diminish fatigue, when practiced
over time. Holosync and other brain retrainment therapies may help
with accompanying depression, and improve overall sense of well-being.
Acupuncture, massage and yoga may help with pain that often accompanies
chronic fatigue. The following supplements have been shown to
improve energy levels.
Supplements for Overcoming Chronic Fatigue
L-Carnitine 1 gram TID] L-carnitine is an important nutrient for
Magnesium Refer to label instructions Some researchers have reported
that magnesium deficiency is common in people with chronic fatigue
NADH 10 mg daily Supplementing with NADH may help your body
produce more energy
Potassium-Magnesium Aspartate 1 gram of aspartates is taken BID
Potassium-magnesium aspartate has shown benefits for chronically
fatigued people in some trials
Vitamin B12; Vitamin B12 deficiency may cause fatigue, but B12 injections
have had reported benefits even without deficiency; a doctor can
evaluate deficiency and whether B12 injections may help
Asian Ginseng Refer to label instructions; adaptogenic herbs such as
Asian ginseng have an immunomodulating effect and help support the
normal function of the body’s hormonal stress system
DHEA is a hormone that has been found to be low in some people with
chronic fatigue syndrome, and that can be easily supplemented
Eleuthero; “Adaptogenic” herbs such as eleuthero have an immunomodulating
effect and help support the normal function of the body’s
hormonal stress system
Fish Oil; in one study, patients with chronic fatigue syndrome reported
an improvement in their symptoms after taking a supplement containing
the essential fatty acids EPA and DHA
Licorice; a case report described a man with CFS whose symptoms
improved after taking 2.5 grams of licorice root daily
Protandim®, a supplement of five combined herbs, is proven to support
healthy levels of mitochondria, and can serve to improve energy levels
Doctor You: Natural Therapies
for Chronic Fatigue
Learn to be your own doctor: Doctor You
Doctor You, Inc.
Sand 2 Pirls, Inc.
1010 West 6th Street
Benicia, CA 94510
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Copyright © 2011 By Doctor You, Inc.
The information offered in this eBook is based on peer-reviewed scientific studies and patient
testimonials. This eBook is intended for education only. In applying this information
to your specific health condition / s you assume all responsibility for its use. Doctor
You, Inc. is not advising you how to address your health issue / s, but rather providing
you with information on which you may base your decisions.
The point of Doctor You is for you to become knowledgeable regarding how to care for
your own health, and this eBook is intended to facilitate your pursuit of that knowledge.