Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is well-treated using naturopathic medicine.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complicated disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that does not improve with rest, and which may become worse with physical or mental activity.
The cause of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is unknown, but it often begins following infection or a stressful episode. Theories as to its cause include depression, immune system dysfunction and hormonal imbalance.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) can result in a decrease in quality of life and possibly depression.
Seek professional healthcare if your fatigue prevents you from fully participating in work, school or other activities.
Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
Possible symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) include:
- Persistent fatigue lasting more than six months
- Extreme fatigue lasting more than 24 hours following physical or mental exertion
- Poor concentration and memory
- Disturbed sleep
- Painful, swollen lymph nodes at your neck or underarm
- Muscle soreness
- Joint pain
- Gastrointestinal symptoms
- Chills and night sweats
- Anxiety or depression
- Sensitivities to foods, odours, medications or chemicals
Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine
At Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine, the goals of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) treatment are to reduce or eliminate symptoms, and prevent recurrence episodes.
Conventional treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) may include psychotherapy, and a variety of medications, including antidepressants, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antihistamines, anti-anxiety medications, low blood pressure medications, psychostimulants and corticosteroids. These treatments may have short- or long-term side effects.
For this reason, you may choose to try natural treatment to possibly avoid use of conventional medications, or together with conventional medications in order to decrease dosages of conventional medications required to manage your chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms (CFS).
Naturopathic treatment of any chronic health concern must be recognized as a process that involves:
- Identifying specific treatment goals
- Development by your naturopathic doctor, of a thorough understanding of all factors affecting your health, including physical, psychological, emotional and lifestyle factors
- Development of a comprehensive treatment plan
- Implementation and maintenance of that plan through periodic monitoring and adjustment
At Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine, a typical approach to treating chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) may be to:
- Identify and address underlying factors in your lifestyle (e.g., stress, sedentary lifestyle, poor sleep, generally unhealthy lifestyle) or general health (e.g., depression) that may be contributing to your chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms (CFS) symptoms
- “Balancing” of hormones using metabolic detoxification protocols or botanical (herbal) medicines
- “Balancing” of immune system function using botanical (herbal) medicines
- Management of mood symptoms using relaxation (meditation) training or botanical (herbal) medicines
Where appropriate, a number of therapeutic options are available, to be used alone, or more often in a complementary fashion, including:
- Nutritional counseling
- Nutritional supplements
- Metabolic detoxification protocols
- Botanical (herbal) medicines
- Bowen Therapy
- Exercise prescription
- Relaxation (meditation) training
- Lifestyle medicine and counseling
Treatments provided by naturopathic doctors are covered by most extended healthcare plans.
Chronic fatigue syndrome [Internet]. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; [cited 2009 Feb 18]. Available from: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/chronic-fatigue-syndrome/DS00395.