Over the past few months I have seen several clients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and each had their own unique symptoms and story to tell about their journey with the condition.  For some, their condition was the end result of a long chain of stresful events that led to burn-out and severe fatigue.  For others, an illness preceeded their symtoms, as if the infection never really left their system and instead mutated into the symptoms of CFS.

The main symtoms they all spoke of was the unrelenting fatigue, always there no matter how much sleep they had.  The fatigue was accompanied by a mixture of:

–      Muscle & joint pains

–      Swollen lymph glands

–      Headaches

–      Insomnia

–      ‘brain fog’ – difficulty in concentrating and memory recall

–      Sensitivity to light, sounds and smells

–      Food intolerances

–      Digestive symptoms similar to Irritable Bowel Syndrome

–     Low mood & depression

Each client had felt ill for a long time as a diagnosis of CFS is generally made by a process of elimination; once other possibilities such as hypothyroidism, adrenal problems and anaemia are ruled out, CFS may be confirmed.

So, why come for Nutritional Therapy?

What we eat, how we eat and when we eat affects every function in our body.  As soon as disease occurs it is crucial to look at how we are fuelling ourselves and whether foods can be used in a more supportive way, to support energy production, energy stability and mood balance. 

Nutritional therapy can:

–      Investigate potential food sensitivities and intolerances that may be unnecessarily stressing the immune system and causing inflammation

–      Optimise digestive function; we are what we absorb!

–      Reduce nutritional ‘stressors’ – alcohol, caffeine, refined foods and sugar: simple, rapidly absorbed sugars not only mess up blood sugar regulation, they can suppress the activity of our neutrophils (white blood cells forming part of the first line of defence in the immune system) for up to 5 hours! http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/26/11/1180.abstract

–      Introduce foods rich in magnesium, B- vitamins, vitamin C, D3, zinc, and essential fatty acids – all crucial for energy production, nervous system support and healthy metabolism

Look out for Part 2 of this article for tips on foods and  techniques to help manage symptoms…