Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

Are you tired all the time? You could be suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), the name given to a group of medical conditions that commonly result in persistent fatigue that can be severely debilitating. The good news is, we can help.

What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

CFS was formally defined in 1988 as disabling fatigue of at least six month’s duration of uncertain cause. Currently there is no biochemical test for the condition.

Many patients with chronic unexplained fatigue and typical symptoms of CFS may not exactly fit the above definition, and not all symptoms of chronic fatigue show in each individual. A number of viruses are also capable of triggering CFS.

Symptoms vary in severity from person to person. It isn’t clear if these symptoms are due to multiple conditions presenting at the same time, or if they are produced by an unidentified underlying cause of chronic fatigue. What is clear is that someone suffering from chronic fatigue can have a severely compromised quality of life.  Since most scientists cannot agree about CFS, each person should be treated according to presenting symptoms.

Often chronic fatigue presents in waves, with suffers reporting good and bad days. For many people it can take years of intervention before all of the symptoms of chronic fatigue are totally alleviated.

What are the Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue?

  • Depression
  • Melancholy mood after exertion
  • Unrefreshed after sleep as a result of disturbed sleep patterns.
  • Muscle pain and weakness
  • Joint pain
  • Severe headaches
  • Sore throat
  • Difficulties concentrating
  • Mental and physical exhaustion that can be severe and ongoing
  • Sensitivity to light, sounds and smells
  • Discomfort standing
  • Digestive disturbances
  • Painful (and sometimes) swollen lymph nodes
  • Cardiac and respiratory problems

What are the Causes of Chronic Fatigue?

The causes of chronic fatigue syndrome are not well understood, but the fatigue is not caused by exercise of over-exertion, and it is not alleviated by rest or sleep. Although we may not be able to pin-point the precise cause of chronic fatigue, we do know that there are several factors that maintain a state of fatigue and these factors will not apply to every patient. These include:

  • Stress
  • Chronic inflammation or Infection
  • Toxicity
  • ‘Leaky gut’ often described as irritable bowel syndrome
  • Nutritional imbalances or deficiencies
  • Thyroid problems
  • Obesity
  • Insulin resistance
  • Gluten intolerance

How do Naturopaths treat Chronic Fatigue?

Naturopaths take a multi-faceted approach to treating chronic fatigue syndrome.

Starting with a diagnoses process to assess the internal health of your body, our naturopaths will discuss supplemental options with you that can immediately reduce the severity of the symptoms. A reduction in symptoms can provide the leverage needed to enable us to work together to find a long-term solution and to plan an ongoing lifestyle intervention.

  • Correctly prescribed tonics help revitalise the patient and correct immune function.
  • Adaptogens improve the response to stress.
  • Improvement usually occurs with consistent use of prescribed herbs.

Patients are not to overexert themselves when they begin to feel improvement as this can cause a relapse. They should only participate in mild exercise and should not exercise beyond the point of fatigue.

  • Sleep helps to restore the immune system.
  • CFS patients improve with adequate sleep which may be more than  they needed previously.
  • They must avoid stress and emotional crises as much as possible.
  • Appropriate lifestyle measures must be incorporated.

Naturopathic Therapeutic Goals for the Treatment of Chronic Fatigue:

  • Increase energy levels
  • Reduce muscle pain and fatigue
  • Reduce mental and physical stress
  • Reduce oxidative stress and improve cellular functioning
  • Promote a healthy diet
  • Increase exercise

What makes Chronic Fatigue better?

  • Appropriate nutritional and herbal supplements
  • A well balanced diet
  • Graded exercise plans
  • Yoga and other energy stimulating exercises
  • Meditation
  • Support from family and friends
  • Sleep helps to restore the immune system
  • Adequate sleep
  • Avoiding stress and emotional crises as much as possible.


Hear what Taylah has to say

I just want to say a big thank you to you for all your help and guidance in my recovery. I came to you about 3 months ago in a very bad state. Having being recently diagnosed with Chronic fatigue, my future was looking very bleak. I didn’t know how I was going to be able to get back at school to do my VCE but through your knowledge, lots of supplements, change of diet; my whole life has been turned around. Within the first two weeks I felt for the first time in months that there was hope, as I was starting to feel a touch better and this  has continued and each week that passed, I regained more energy, strength and my brain fogginess began to lift.

Thank you so much for all your help and I will continue to update you on my process.


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To make an appointment phone (03) 9879 9596.