If you notice that you feel tired all the time and suddenly have little energy for your day to day, you may experience symptoms of CFS. The CFS is the name of a disorder characterized by debilitating fatigue and a variety of physical ailments, constitutional and associated neuropsychological.
What are the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome?
The main clinical manifestations of CFS include:
· trouble concentrating, confusion, memory problems;
· throat pain;
· tender or swollen lymph nodes;
· muscle pains;
· joint pains;
· psychiatric problems (such as depression);
· abdominal cramps;
· weight gain or loss;
· rapid pulse;
· chest pain;
· night sweats;
· changes in appetite
All of these symptoms get worse with the slightest effort.
Diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome
To be diagnosed, you must experience at least 4 of these symptoms for at least six months or more, and the causes of these symptoms must remain uncertain according to Western medicine diagnoses.
Women are twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with CFS. Most CFS patients are generally between the ages of 25 and 45, although there are some cases seen in infancy and middle age.
The cause of this syndrome is unclear according to most Western physicians, often citing chronic stress, viruses, allergies, and hormonal imbalances as the cause.
How to treat chronic fatigue syndrome
Western approaches use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for headaches, pain relief, and fever sensations. Antihistamines or decongestants are used for allergic rhinitis and sinusitis, and non-sedating antidepressants for mood and sleep disorders. But these are mostly band-aid solutions to provide temporary relief. which definitely has its merits, but cannot address the root of the syndrome and produce lasting results.
The traditional Chinese medicine approach
The TCM approach looks at chronic fatigue syndrome from a slightly different angle. Rather than diagnosing through the lens of CFS, we rather look at the specific symptoms that the individual is experiencing and personalize treatment from there.
Each person with CFS will have slight variations in what they are experiencing, some with more heaviness and lethargy, while others have more inflammation or mood symptoms.
When we focus on symptoms, we look for patterns in the body. When we are able to rebalance and treat from that perspective, symptoms subside and people feel better. Long-term.
The great news for CFS is that Traditional Chinese Medicine, which includes herbs, acupuncture, and lifestyle, has been shown to be highly effective in treating chronic fatigue syndrome.
Researchers from the Shenzhen Hospital of Chinese Medicine found acupuncture to be a safe and effective treatment for the relief of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). The results were based on both how the individual felt (subjective documentation) and objective measurements, which included measurements of IgA and IgG blood levels (which are a means of measuring immunoglobulins or antibodies in the blood, our way of fighting the immune system antigens or foreign bodies).
The results showed a 90% total effective rate and a 50% total recovery rate in the use of acupuncture for CFS. Thus demonstrating a definite therapeutic effect on CFS and the improvement of the immune system function in CFS patients.
How Traditional Chinese Medicine Works
There is a saying in this medicine:
"Many diseases, one pattern - one pattern, many diseases"
What this means is that we look for the combination of symptoms that someone is presenting and then we seek to bring balance back to the body (through diet, lifestyle, herbal medicine, and acupuncture). When we can eliminate the things that make things worse (food, behavior patterns, internal conditions) and use herbs and acupuncture to rebalance, the symptoms subside and disappear.
The key is to recognize and understand the various symptoms and patterns to which they belong and then treat from there. Each person will be a little unique and it is that modification of the way we treat the place where power lies. Treat the pattern, not the name of the disease.
So, let's look a little deeper at Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).
The number one pattern seen in chronic fatigue is something we call Dampness.
The physical manifestations of this pattern include:
· Weakness in digestion or loose stools
· Lack of thirst, although sometimes the mouth feels dry, but without the desire to drink a lot
· Heavy head and extreme lethargy
· Heavy and tired limbs
· A sticky taste in the mouth, a swollen tongue sensation, or scalloped edges on the sides of the tongue.
Internal humidity affects the body in much the same way as external humidity (i.e., weather or a flood) affects the external world. Too much water sitting on the body will make things swell and heavy (think of the difference between picking up a dry towel or a soggy one), make things hazy or cloudy, making it difficult to think, easy to easily get confused and slower to respond. This heaviness lowers the mood and depression sets in.
Moisture is the first thing to deal with and is one of the main things to address first with CFS. The following are the key to helping your body deal with moisture.
The second key pattern associated with CFS
Since energy is chronically low, addressing this is obviously the key. Moisture, similar to the way a "wet blanket" puts out a fire, drowns out one's vital energy. It can also deplete core energy over time. We refer to the vital life force or energy as Qi (pronounced chee).
This Qi can be drained from chronic moisture build-up from outside sources (think getting stuck in the rain or camping in humid climates and feeling like it gets stuck in your bones), or from a diet that is full of "cold or cold" foods. wet ”such as frozen or raw foods and lifestyle that depletes energy stores over time.
Overworking or overthinking and worrying can also deplete this energy. Just think how a non-stop talker can exhaust the room at a dinner party, chronic thinking and a restless mind can exhaust the body.
The main way we rebuild this Qi is through our digestive system and our ability to break down and assimilate food. We refer to this digestive system as the spleen / stomach / pancreas system in traditional Chinese medicine.
Keeping this system strong is the key. The main components of diet and lifestyle are similar to those used to prevent and treat damp and are listed below.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Diet
The eating habits and habits of Chinese medicine reduce humidity and create Qi.
Food to eat
1. Cook your food avoiding raw or cold food (it takes the work out of digesting your food and allows you to absorb the maximum amount of nutrients without exhausting your system to break down the food).
2. Try to make sure you have adequate protein (30%) and fruits and vegetables (50%) and a diet low in complex carbohydrates.
3. Eat foods lower on the glycemic index to help stabilize your blood sugar levels.
4. Regularly include barley or “moses tears” (grass) in your diet (it helps to eliminate excess moisture from the body).
5. Try starting your day with a barley lemon drink (soak 1 tablespoon of barley overnight in water, add lemon and drink the liquid - do this at least 2 times a day).
6. Green Tea
7. Add spicy foods and spices (if it's a cool, wet mix) like dried ginger, fennel, cinnamon, turmeric, pepper, cardamom, mustard, or horseradish.
8. Dry roasted foods can be helpful.
9. Herbal teas like hawthorn or fennel are helpful for digestion.
Foods to avoid
· Dairy products.
· Sugar and sweeteners in general (if you need something sweet, opt for natural sweeteners like maple syrup or raw honey which helps to remove excess moisture from the body (in small amounts); there is also organic stevia.
· Avoid raw, cold, or frozen foods.
· Heavy, fried or greasy creams.
· Processed foods of all kinds. Basically, if it's packaged, avoid it.
· Wheat products.
· Fermented products if you are prone to candida (beer, bread, soy sauce, wine, vinegar, mushrooms, blue cheese).
· Excessive salt.
· High-fat meats.
· Carbohydrates like yam, sweet potato, banana.
· Rich foods (dairy products, highly concentrated foods, or foods cooked for so long that they become highly concentrated).
· Stimulants such as caffeine, for example, in coffee or cola
Lifestyle to go if you have chronic fatigue
1. Avoid humid environments and be sure to check for any mold that may be left in damp areas of your home. This includes long soaks in a bath or hot tub.
2. Probiotics can be helpful to add regularly and be sure to add prebiotic foods to your diet, such as asparagus, leeks, onion, garlic, dandelion leaves, Jerusalem artichoke.
3. Chew your food really well. It helps to break down food better, which is essential for digestion and absorption of nutrients.
4. Rest followed by light exercise, followed by rest. And a little more rest. The further we go, the more exhausted we can get in the long run.
3 main patterns traditional Chinese medicine sees in patients with chronic fatigue
Some other patterns commonly seen in chronic fatigue syndrome include:
· Yin and / or heat deficiency
· Yang deficiency or cold
· Qi stagnation
1. Yin and heat deficiency
Signs of yin or heat deficiency include: irritability, insomnia, disturbed dream sleep, hot flashes, night sweats, thinning hair, or hair loss; Back pain; Ringing in the ears; feeling hot or flushed in the hands, feet, and cheeks, afternoon fever, night sweats, a red and possibly chapped tongue body with very little coating.
For this pattern, you need to make sure you don't add more heat to your system. Avoid foods that are hot or spicy, such as ginger, cinnamon, hot peppers, or spices that are heated. Avoid hot environments or too many drainage stimulants like coffee or black tea and alcohol
Yang deficiency or cold
Signs of Yang deficiency include: extreme fatigue, cold limbs or joints, lower body weakness, low libido, shiny white skin, clear and copious urine, spontaneous sweats, cold disgust, weak back, especially in the lower back that may also feel cold to the touch or worse in cold environments, a swollen or enlarged tongue that may also be very pale in color.
For this pattern, you want to make sure you don't add more cold to your system and instead try to heat it up. By heating the foods you avoid in the "hot type" you can add them for the cold. It's really important to avoid cold, raw or frozen foods for this pattern (think colder means colder and we want to avoid this. Try to keep your feeling warm and opt for warm water or a ginger tea instead of iced drinks or things straight from the fridge.
Just as water likes to flow smoothly through a stream, our body's energy pathways like to remain open and clear. When this is the case, we have energy circulating well, our body can easily and effectively detoxify, and our joints and body feel good.
If things pile up, there may be a pile of debris or toxins. This is the way things work in our body. If we have an 'internal jam' so to speak, we will have pain, discomfort, accumulations or swelling in the joints or throughout the body.
We could be grumpy and irritable (think Friday afternoon in an internal traffic congestion) or experience other symptoms such as physical and mental fatigue, headaches, depression, frequent sighing (yes, it is a real symptom), tightness in the chest and hypochondriacal distention, IBS as symptoms of alternating loose stools and constipation, bitter taste in mouth.
A released Qi restores energy
When Qi begins to flow smoothly and freely again, the blockages are removed and the syndrome improves.
Movement helps this system a lot, as does anything that helps us overcome stagnant emotions. Irritability, unexpressed anger, or prolonged stress have an impact on this system. Finding healthy ways to 'clean the emotional house' so to speak is a very important way to keep the Qi flowing well.
The accumulation of moisture in the body is another form of Qi stagnation, so be sure to follow the above wet diet if it is related to any of these symptoms.
Every person with chronic fatigue syndrome has their unique variation on the patterns listed above. The best results come from working with a qualified professional to identify your particular imbalance, and then using acupuncture and a personalized diet and lifestyle plan to help you restore health and vitality to your body. But remember, every little thing helps, so if you identify with any of the above patterns, there are many lifestyle and diet changes that can make a big difference over time!
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