blog by Megan Rodden
Over the next few months’ I will be focussing my blog posts on some common conditions that are seen in clinic. I decided to start with this one because it was something that I have been diagnosed with myself and worked over the last 10 years to resolve with natural medicine.
What is this syndrome?
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Fibromyalgia are conditions that are regularly diagnosed together and involve a set of similar symptoms; ongoing extreme tiredness and pain all over the body. They are both complicated and difficult to diagnose because they mimic other illnesses in their symptoms.
People with these syndromes often also have symptoms of Raynaud’s Phenomenon, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety or depression.
What are the most common symptoms?
How is it diagnosed?
I recommend initially seeking help with this from a GP, who can run tests and navigate referrals but generally rheumatologists or internal medicine specialists use a set of criteria involving sites of pain for fibromyalgia and symptom criteria for CFS. It is considered difficult to diagnose and criteria have been debated amongst health professionals.
A holistic approach
Pain and tiredness are natural warning signals in the body telling us that something is out of balance, this may involve looking at all aspects of our health, including the mind, body and spirit.
The true cause for these conditions is unknown however it is believed to involve the brain, muscles, and stress response system.
Central changes in pain detection and response are also considered to be involved and often follows an invasive or environmental factor such as a viral infection, a stressful event, another syndrome or condition such as arthritis and HIV.
Changing our diet, lifestyle and habits have been found supportive, using a holistic approach including the following techniques and therapies:
Herbs -prescribed by a naturopath they may reduce symptoms and encourage healing processes in the body. My top 5 supportive herbs are Rhodiola, Liquorice, Cayenne and St John’s Wort.
Relaxation Massage – regular individual programs may be helpful to manage pain and improve sleep.
Reduce toxin exposure- eat organic, remove amalgam fillings, swap chemicals for natural products. Some studies have shown heavy metals such as mercury could be linked to fibromyalgia and cause damage to the body leading to fatigue – more research is needed fully understand this relationship.
Exercise that is restorative such as Yoga, Thai chi and Pilates may help improve energy and relieve pain as well as being known to boost your mood.
My favourite food tips that I use for fibro:
Food to increase-
Food to decrease-
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Disclaimer: This article is not designed to diagnose or treat any conditions and readers are strongly advised to always seek professional help with their health symptoms. It is purely designed for information purposes only.
Photo by Anete Lusina from Pexels