Many people recover from CFS when properly treated. Lack of sleep, poor dietary choices, viruses and bacteria, as well as hormonal imbalances are many of the issues that need to be addressed. Our chronic fatigue doctors and autoimmune treatment specialists in Brooklyn perform a detailed analysis of your symptoms and perform different diagnostic test to find a culprit for your condition. Treatment of CFS in our integrative medicine clinic in Brooklyn focuses on multiple aspects of one’s health such as: Hormonal imbalances, sleep patterns, infections, healthy nutrition often via iv drip, mental and emotional health.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is becoming known by another name lately— myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME or even ME/CFS). Some people are calling CFS systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID).
Wow—for years, many physicians didn’t even believe that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome was even a real condition, and now it has at least three names! Here in this article, we will go by the original name, CFS, because it describes the condition pretty well.
It is believed that over 2 and ½ million people in the US have CFS—but only 20% or so have been diagnosed. It is so important to be properly diagnosed and treated. CFS can be treated, but first you have to know what you have! So, read on and see if the information about symptoms applies to your situation—if it does, please call us!
Symptoms of CFS
The main symptom of CFS is…fatigue. This type of fatigue goes beyond the normal feeling of tired you might have after a long day. The fatigue is CFS feels deeper and more extreme and may last for more than a day afterwards. It is unrelieved by sleep—even after more than 10 hours!
Other symptoms of CFS include:
- Difficulty concentrating on a task
- Difficulty with memory
- A sore throat
- Enlarged lymph nodes in your neck or in your armpits
- Muscle or joint pain that is unrelated to physical activity that moves from one location to another without swelling and redness
- Frequent headaches
- Sleep problems—this can include trouble falling asleep or stay asleep. It can also include feeling as if you never sleep enough.
CFS can appear suddenly after an infection or after delivery in the new mom. More commonly, CFS develops slowly after long periods of stress. The stress that seems to precede CFS can be of any type—it can be physical, mental or emotional stress.
Often, CFS occurs alongside an autoimmune disease like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (which results in an under-active thyroid), lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis. It can also occur after pesticide or other toxin exposure, an infectious disease or many other conditions. This is part of the reason diagnosing CFS can be difficult and take a long time.
What Causes Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Many physicians are focused on constant stress and hormonal imbalances as the ultimate cause of CFS. Its believed that chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) may also be caused by:
- Thyroid imbalance
- Adrenal fatigue
- Toxin exposure (lead, pesticide, asbestos)
- Autoimmune diseases
- Emotional and physical stress
- Nervous system disorders, cancer, obesity
- Infectious disease (tuberculosis, Sexually Transmitted Infections)
- Hormonal imbalance
- Cardiovascular disorders (hypertension, hypotension, anemia)
- Postpartum (post-delivery)
- Post-infectious (Virus, Parasites)
Diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Women are more likely to be diagnosed with CSF and it tends to occur in people over the age of 40. There is no simple test used to diagnose CSF—at this point it is a diagnosis of exclusion or by ruling out other conditions. In other words, CSF is often diagnosed because it no other diagnosis “fits”.
Some of the other disorders that need to be ruled out include:
- Sleep disorders
- Underactive thyroid
- Heart or lung conditions
- Multiple sclerosis
Our Brooklyn chronic fatigue doctors and healthcare providers will take a complete medical and family history, do a series of physical exams and do several different blood tests to get a blood count, thyroid hormone levels, vitamin and mineral levels and several different hormones such as cortisol and DHEA. You may also be tested for viral infections such as mononucleosis (mono)and possibly for Lyme disease and other potential conditions.
We don’t know what causes CFS—there are several theories—one idea is that CFS is the result of an infection with (possibly) Epstein-Barr virus, human herpes virus 6, the Ross River virus, the rubella virus and others. Another possibility is that people with CFS have a weakened immune system—but this can also be an effect of CFS. Many physicians are more focused on constant stress and hormonal imbalances as the ultimate cause of CFS.
Our Approach to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treatment in Brooklyn
CFS is a complex condition—and our doctors and providers take a multi-faceted approach to treatment. There is no single treatment for CFS because different people will have subtle differences in how the condition appears in their lives. Our treatment plan will be designed specifically for you and will address your specific “form” of CFS.
Testing can reveal hormonal imbalances – and our Brooklyn doctors will counsel you about dietary and nutritional approaches that can support proper hormone balance.
We will also investigate ways to improve your sleep and support your immune system. Mental and emotional health issues may need to be addressed as well as stress management techniques that are best attuned to your life and your concerns.
Some supplements, including herbal, vitamin and mineral supplements, can be very useful in supporting your hormonal systems and can act as a sort of whole-body-tonic. Herbs known as adaptogens can act in this way—adaptogens are a class of herbs that support a healthy response to stress and allow your body’s natural balancing system to function as it should.
Dietary and Nutritional Program To Achieve a Healthy Weight
Being overweight can be associated with CFS—our doctors and providers are also equipped to help you achieve a healthy weight. This can be an especially important aspect of CFS treatment because being overweight is an inflammatory state—and inflammation can make the symptoms of CFS worse and make the fatigue you experience worse. Our approach in helping you achieve a more ideal weight include a dietary and nutritional program, an exercise program as well as potentially prescription medications, injectable Vitamin B solutions and the injection of lipotropics—these are substances that can help make you “burn” fat more efficiently.
While people with CFS aren’t going to be running the marathon—at least not right away—a paced exercise program can help you get into better shape. Even more importantly, during the early phase of CFS treatment, these paced exercise programs along with a sleep management program can help you manage your fatigue and help you balance exercise, rest and sleep.
Integrative Evidence-Based Approach to Your Health
This integrative approach—using the best techniques and highly trained chronic fatigue doctors in Brooklyn —can allow you full recovery from CFS. Our team approach, with you and your personal goals and needs playing a central role, offers people with CFS a rational and evidence-based approach for symptom relief—and for long-term health and wellness.