Monday, September 13, 2010

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is the medical name for a condition of extreme and persistent fatigue. To have a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a patient must meet the following two criteria:
1) have severe chronic fatigue for 6 months or longer with other known medical conditions excluded by clinical diagnosis, and
2) at the same time, have four or more of the following symptoms: substantial impairment in short-term memory or concentration; sore throat; tender lymph nodes; muscle pain; multijoint pain without swelling or redness; headaches of a new type, pattern, or severity; unrefreshing sleep; and discomfort after physical activity that lasts more than 24 hours. The symptoms must have persisted or recurred during 6 or more consecutive months and must not have predated the fatigue. When there is no apparent explanation or cause of fatigue, such as a disease, a diagnosis of CFS is given.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is not entirely understood. What is known is that it is a condition that can be reduced by following a stress reduction and nutrition program. The development of CFS increases when the person's immune system decreases. Usually a person who begins over working the systems of the body goes from an acute state of fatigue to a chronic state. The chronic state is when the body systems can no longer function appropriately. Their production becomes poor. The blood becomes less oxygenated and nutrient uptake decreases. The cellular machinery suffers. Cells slowly regenerate and recycle causing overall fatigue of the body. Vitamin deficiencies can play a role in CFS. In order to have healthy cells, each cell must have the right amount of energy. Cellular energy is derived from ATP (adenonsine triphosphate). In order to synthesis ATP in the cell a five carbon atom carbohydrate -D-Ribose is needed. When D-Ribose levels are low this could result in lower production of ATP. ATP is the high energy compound necessary for all cellular life. The more ATP that is produced the greater energy production the body has. If ATP production is poor then fatigue is eminent.

Another factor that could affect CFS, is low levels of Coenzyme Q10. CoQ10 is a fat soluble compound found in every cell in the body. Co10 levels naturally decrease with age. This could be the reason for why older folks get tired so easily. Supplementing with COq10 has been found to improve the symptoms of CFS in people that had it.

DHEA is an adrenal hormone that is the precursor for the steroids estrogen and testosterone. DHEA levels naturally decrease as we age. There is a link between low levels of DHEA and the production of anabolic hormones. When DHEA levels are low the body goes into more of a catabolic state. The catabolic state is when the cells break down without be recycled. This can, over time, produce a fatigued state. Eating red meat can help boost the natural production of DHEA and help reduce the catabolic effects of aging and CFS.

Fats; Lipoic acid and Omega 3 oils (fish oil) are essential fats that can drastically help reduce CFS effects. Cells of the body require essential fats to function properly. When a person goes through stress the oxidative properties of the cell increase. This increase results in the production of free radicals in the bloodstream. Lipoic acid is an antioxidant, in that it fights against the free radicals in the blood, restoring the synthesis of glutathione, which plays a big role in energy production.

Lastly, magnesium is a mineral that is necessary for proper bone growth and production of proteins and fatty acids. Magnesium also plays a role in ATP production. Eating foods rich in magnesium can help keep levels high in the blood, helping in the manufacturing of ATP in the cells.

Overall, CFS in my opinion is nothing more than a nutritional deficiency. Eating a diet that is rich in essential fatty acids, coQ10, DHEA, D-Ribose, Adenosine, Creatine Phosphate, Omega 3 and Lipoic Acid can dramatically reduce CFS.

It is important to note that if you are over the age of 35 and are not eating a healthy diet rich in nutrients, you are at a high risk of developing a weakened immune system. Females that are approaching menopause who are not eating right can develop many problems, CFS is a common among pre-menopausal women. Eating and exercising correctly can help reduce CFS.

tags: chronic fatique syndrome, nutrition, exercise, bodybuilding, Vince Gironda, Ron Kosloff, daryl Conant, diet EARTH, InVINCEable


  1. Thank you so much for posting this. I am definitely in need of a diet change. Do you recommend any of these much needed vitamins and minerals in supplement form?

  2. I have ME/CFS. Every day I take 200mg Co-Q10, 2 grammes omega 3 fish oil, 250mg magnesium, 2400 iu Vit D3..... anti-virals, oh, you should see my pharmacy bill.

    I also have a banana at least once a day, eat lots of fruit and veg, organic meats and fish, wholemeal grains, nuts... and I always have. I've never eaten much in the way of sweet stuffs, now I cannot tolerate a teaspoon of honey on my toast.

    I'm sick. According to you I should be well. I'm not. I am housebound, in pain, with screaming tinnitus and cognitive issues, heart and balance problems.

    There is more to ME/CFS than is dreamed of in your philosophy.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. jaceatsea:
    Sounds to me that there are underlying issues within your immune system that go deeper than CFS. You should go to an endrocrinologist and have tests performed. I don't know your health history and my post was a basic generalization of CFS. For most people the suggestions I made seem to help. Everyone is different. Your situation is more complicated than what I wrote about. Please email me at I would like more information about you so that I can help you.

  5. Yup, I have underlying issues. It's a retrovirus (like HIV) called HMRV - Human Murine Leukemia-related retroVirus. It is thought to be the cause of immune dysfunction which is the underlying problem with people with well-categorized ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalomylitis was renamed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in the 1980's)

    The Canadian Consensus Criteria are the best diagnostic tool out there. The definition was watered down by the CDC in the States, and the Psych group led by Simon Wessely in the UK. They widened the definition so far that it diagnosed ten times as many people, and hid a large group of patients suffering from a serious neuro-immune disease, caused by a retro-virus. There are perhaps >a million people with this illness in the States. It's kinda like AIDS's little brother.

    So while my doctor says I have CFS, and while good nutrition and supplements are helpful, neither my doctor nor my nutrition regime can cure me. I need treatment similar to that given to HIV+ people. The politics of medicine and insurance do not yet allow this.

    Thanks for the offer. You have my email.

  6. PS for more information go to

  7. i've been drinking bird nest soup every night (i only get the homemade kind back at home). the only reason why i drink it is because it's supposed to be good for complexion.

    i’ve been taking the store-bought kind online (e.g. of famous branded only of course) which is directly mailed from Hong Kong. this would be at a more affordable price.

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