Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Stress - A New Frontier for Treatment?
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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Stress: A New Frontier for Treatment?

by Kelsey Kinney, RD

Published on

istock.com/Purestock

If you or someone you know suffers from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), you know how devastating this condition can be. While some may function well, others can have their lives practically ripped out from under them – unable to work, go to school, or engage in many of their favorite activities.

CFS is a somewhat controversial disease due to its lack of objective findings in patients. Through the course of its history as a known syndrome, its definition has changed dramatically, but it is currently diagnosed when a person has (1):

  • Clinically evaluated, unexplained, persistent or relapsing fatigue that is of new or definite onset; is not the result of ongoing exertion; is not alleviated by rest; and results in substantial reduction in previous levels of occupational, educational, social or personal activities AND
  • Four or more of the following symptoms that persist or recur during six or more consecutive months of illness and that do not predate the fatigue
    • Self-reported impairment in short term memory or concentration
    • Sore throat
    • Tender cervical or axillary nodes
    • Muscle pain
    • Multi-joint pain without redness or swelling
    • Headaches of a new pattern or severity
    • Unrefreshing sleep
    • Post-exertional malaise lasting over 24 hours

Chronic fatigue syndrome is most commonly found in young to middle aged adults, and it is about twice as common in women than men. The prevalence of this syndrome is estimated to be under 10 percent of the population. (2,3)

The most common conventional treatment options include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and graded exercise therapy. While some patients experience relief with these therapies, there is always a hunt for better therapies that provide more relief. The role of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis may be an important new treatment approach that should be explored.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and the Hypothalamic-Adrenal-Pituitary Axis

The HPA axis is the body’s control center for reactions to stress, and in turn regulates many other body functions like digestion and immunity. When we interact with a stressor, the body releases a cascade of hormones which eventually reach the adrenals and stimulate the production of other hormones like cortisol (the main stress hormone), dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and aldosterone. These hormones work to keep blood sugar elevated and helps the body retain sodium and fluid so that blood pressure stays high and blood sugar levels can keep up with the fuel demands of the brain and other vital organs during times of stress. This process is important in maintaining life in a true “fight or flight” response, but in the modern world we constantly activate the HPA axis for small stressors like traffic or missing our train. With constant activation, the adrenals can become “worn-out”. Someone with hypoadrenalism will experience fatigue, depression, and low cortisol levels – all markers that are similarly found in chronic fatigue syndrome.

HPA axis dysfunction is not currently evaluated in potential chronic fatigue syndrome patients as  part of the diagnostic process, as evidenced by the CDC criteria listed above. However, looking at recent research, it is clear that HPA axis function is an important part of the symptoms experienced by CFS patients.

Hypoadrenalism (low or “worn out” adrenals) in its most severe state presents as Addison’s disease, which in industrialized nations is most commonly caused by an autoimmune attack of the adrenal glands. In Addison’s disease, some or all of the adrenal hormones are not produced in sufficient amounts, which as you can imagine, causes many problems including fatigue, anorexia and/or weight loss, nausea/vomiting, hypotension and/or postural hypotension, muscle and joint pain, salt cravings, sexual dysfunction, and psychiatric symptoms.(4) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Addison’s disease have many overlapping symptoms, the most important of which is fatigue.

Both Addison’s disease patients and CFS patients show low cortisol output. Morning cortisol levels measured in the saliva have been shown to be low in CFS patients (5), and 24-hour urinary free cortisol is also lower in CFS patients than controls. (6) CFS patients are likely to have undergone early trauma (7), which, even in healthy adults, is associated with lowered HPA axis reactivity. (8, 9)  The lowered HPA axis reactivity often found in CFS patients with history of trauma is associated with having increasing symptoms compared to CFS patients without a history of trauma. (10)

Despite this research, it’s still not clear whether HPA axis dysfunction is a cause of CFS or if it comes as result of the condition. Nonetheless, it has been proposed that HPA axis dysfunction in CFS is a vicious cycle, meaning HPA axis dysfunction may be involved in the genesis of CFS, but it also propagates ongoing symptoms once the syndrome manifests. (11)

Whether HPA axis dysfunction is the chicken or the egg in CFS may be determined by future research, but for those of us trying to deal with it today, it’s important to determine whether normalization of the HPA axis improves symptoms. Treatment with replacement doses of hydrocortisone have been shown to be helpful but at the expense of adrenal suppression, (12) while treatment with low dose hydrocortisone (5 or 10 mg daily) was shown to be effective without associated adrenal suppression. (13) Another study showed that symptom responders to low dose hydrocortisone (those whose fatigue levels were reduced) showed significant increases in cortisol to human CRH, which reversed the previously observed blunted response compared to non-responders. (14) Though there are limited studies on hydrocortisone treatment of CFS, these studies show that improving cortisol levels is likely important in reducing symptoms.

Improving HPA Axis Activity Naturally

Because there seems to be a connection between HPA axis functioning and CFS symptoms, it is important to make sure that your adrenals are working their best. Pay special attention to the lifestyle factors like sleep and stress reduction with mind-body activities for the best results. These are perhaps the most important (and most overlooked) factors for recovery of adrenal function and improvement of CFS symptoms.

Adrenal Testing

If you have been diagnosed with CFS and don’t know how your adrenals are functioning, it’s an excellent idea to do a salivary adrenal panel which will measure your cortisol output over four different intervals during the day. This is different from having your cortisol level tested at the doctor’s office, as that is a one-time test and doesn’t give you the picture of what the adrenals are doing the whole day. In some states, you can order your own test kit from directlabs.com. Otherwise, you’ll have to have your healthcare practitioner order one for you.

Diet

A healthy whole foods diet that minimizes food toxins and emphasizes nutrient dense foods (such as the Paleo diet) is an excellent start. A diet like this will be high in many of the nutrients important for the CFS patient which help the HPA axis function including Vitamin C (15,16,17) magnesium, (18,19,20) pantothenic acid, (21) and pyridoxine (22).

Patients with CFS who are on a Paleo diet may want to consider increasing their sodium intake. It can sometimes be difficult to consume a lot of sodium, and those with CFS and/or hypoadrenalism should be sure to get a fair amount of it so as to minimize the symptoms of low blood pressure. If low blood pressure is a concern it may also be a good idea to supplement with licorice root which potentiates the action of cortisol. (23) Note that licorice root supplementation is contraindicated if you have high blood pressure.

You’ll also want to consume foods (or supplements) with probiotic bacteria, such as kombucha, kefir, yogurt, and sauerkraut. It has recently been shown that the gut flora of rats has an effect on the HPA axis. Rats that had no exposure to microorganisms (germfree; GF) had significantly higher ACTH and corticosterone responses to restraint stress than did rats with normal gut bacteria. (24) Another study in rats showed that those exposed to endotoxin (like that which a human would be exposed to if they acquired a pathogen) displayed altered HPA axis activity. (25)  Stress is known to alter the gut microbiota, and in turn this change alters the HPA axis. (26) It seems that normal gut flora is required for proper HPA axis activity and that clearing of pathogens and replacing lost beneficial bacteria with probiotic supplementation will likely benefit those suffering from HPA axis dysfunction.

Mind-Body Medicine

It has been shown that those of us who are highly neurotic and who experience depression and self-consciousness have blunted responses to stress tests. (19) When we work to change these thoughts and behaviors, we can start to re-train the HPA axis and feel better. Mind-body medicine techniques can help to re-train the HPA axis. Yoga, in particular, can help to reduce anxiety, depression, and perceived stress. (20) In a study on mindfulness-based stress reduction, 40% of participants had abnormal cortisol secretion patterns before the intervention and afterwards there was a change to a more normal cortisol rhythm. (21) The important thing is to find a mind-body medicine technique that you enjoy and will do on a regular basis. The more consistently you practice, the more benefits you’ll receive. Some examples include tai chi, meditation, deep breathing, biofeedback, the Feldenkrais method and more! Try them all and find out which one you like best.

Sleep

If you have chronic fatigue syndrome, don’t overlook sleep! Sleep deprivation and disordered sleeping cause HPA axis hyperactivity, (22) so make sure to get to get at least 7-9 hours nightly, and try to go to bed at the same time each night. Chris has some great tips about sleep in his upcoming book, Your Personal Paleo Code (published in paperback as The Paleo Cure in December 2014), so be sure to check that out! You can also read more about better sleep on this site here.

Time Management

Another successful strategy that helps a lot of my patients is practicing time management skills. A lot of us tend to run around like chickens with our heads cut off, trying to do everything at once but actually accomplishing very little. With proper time management, you can find time to fit in proper sleep, mind-body medicine, and make delicious, healthy meals and you’ll probably find that you get more done in less time. Check out both of Chris’ podcasts about time management here and here for more information. When we know exactly what we should be doing at any given moment, we spend a lot less time procrastinating. Plus, when we’re getting things done our stress level goes way down, helping the HPA axis to function more appropriately.

233 Comments

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  1. Hello,there is a program by Ashok Gupta”Amygdala retraining” guptaprogramme.com ,which is specifically designed for CFS , (or ME in UK). He had it for 4 years himself. I purchased the program and attended 10 live 1hr long online sessions. Nobody ever explains CFS better than Ashok.. And it works 100% if you follow the instructions to the tee.

    • Hi Sam,

      Due to your initial comment about the Gupta program, I looked into it and signed up for the 3 free hours of the program on Youtube. It’s awesome and it makes so much sense. Now I’m even more convinced that this is the key to reversing CFS and other chronic health issues. I’ve tried all the nutritional/supplement/right diet stuff for the past 7 years, and it’s helped a little bit, but not that much.

      You said you did the live course and purchased the DVDs?
      I’ve read great things about the DVDs and was wondering if they are as effective as the live course. Also, have you heard of Annie Hopper’s Dynamic Neural Retraining System? It looks a bit similar but maybe more geared towards multiple chemical sensitivity.

      Thanks so much for introducing this.

      • I am glad I could help. I have not heard of Annie. I purchased the course, and ALSO participated in live webinar (12 sessions) . When I first was listening to Ashok, I cried, because nobody ever understood what one has to go through with CFS, as Ashok did. I don’t think that $300 or so is such a high price to get back to a normal life. One also have to remember, the program is not an easy fix, it requires discipline for the entire 6 months.

        • hi sam,

          i don’t know if you’ve subscribed to the comments for this post, but if you have, i’m wondering if i could somehow get in touch with you to ask you some questions about the gupta program, because it’s one the options i’m thinking about. thanks.

    • Ashok Gupta ”Amygdala retraining” is a joke. He is simply going down a dead end for people who really have CFS. He also include FMS in his theory. Gupta doesn’t know much about the CFS or FMS disease.

      The hallmark symptom of CFS is neuro cognitive dysfunction.

      The governments has attempted to weakened the definition of CFS in order to dilute the CFS population with non CFS people.

  2. I would define my CFS as post viral. I had glandular fever as a teenager which hospitalised me and then can trace various symptoms that appeared post the flu on a number of occasions.

    One day after a gym workout I was totally exhausted and drained for days. Sleep then started to become unrestful and I had a lot of pressure build up in my head.

    CBT was very helpful particularly the behavioural aspect(filling out time sheets etc) this helped to break the minds obsessive fixation with the cause and effect of CFS and symptoms.

    It diminished over time but never fully left. One interesting effect is how in my case exertion could trigger fatigue. For example simply the action of the exertion of using a screwdriver with some pressure for a short time could trigger, after a short time delay, a massive dizzying and wiped out fatigue that could then last many hours.

    Sometimes it seemed as if it was purely psychological but at other times it would feel very physiological and due to some hormone depletion or the like. The adrenal information presented here is interesting.

    I also tried supplements such as 5htp and modafinil as many reported benefits from their use. I actually found them to be totally intolerable and they would cause me to be in an unbearable state of mind intensity.

    • You are absolutely right about the origin of CFS. Please listen to Ashok Gupta on guptaprogramme.com. He had it himself for 4 years and now treating people with CFS in UK and all over the world. Good luck.

      • I really doubt that Ashok Gupta ever had CFS.

        This is his explanation of CFS. He ignores the finding of very high levels of ciguatoxin. I doubt he tests his patients for it either. He is essentially helping non CFS people.

        “The Amygdala is the part of our brain that is responsible for the “fight or flight” response, or the stress response. It is also known as the response of the sympathetic nervous system to threats. From our published research which you can view here, it seems that this part of the brain gets stuck in a chronic state of hyper-arousal, quickly using up all the body’s store of energy. It also causes lots of secondary issues which contribute to a whole host of symptoms in the body such as brain fog, difficulty concentrating, muscle pain, and exhaustion”

        I really doubt that Gareth had CFS either. I know people who are post viral type and they are still not cured after over 30 years.

        “Simone Wesley discovered that by combining cognitive behavioural therapy and light exercise a third of patients make a full recovery.”

        Simone was the information gatekeeper on CFS. In order to get published in any scientific journal, he had to approve it. He shut down alternative views of the subject in scientific journals. No doubt that Simone is a puppet for the powers that be. There have been some calls by people to have Simone Wesley tried for crimes against humanity.

        CBT was used to keep the disease a psychological one and let the people with CFS twist in the wind. Even suggesting CBT treatment for CFS is a disgrace.

        • Simone Wesley was the UK / European gatekeeper of scientific journals for a long time who essentially censored research that didn’t agree with the governments view.

        • Why to trash someone you know nothing about? How can you discredit a program you have not tried? I took his course and 3 mo webinar and a living proof that if you devote entire 6mo to the program you will succeed. Besides you get your money back to the penny if it did not work for you. I have not met anyone nicer than Ashok in his desire to help people. Also, how do you know what is primary and what is secondary? Many other programs work on the same principal- BeSetFreeFast, Vipassana retreat. Change your thoughts and your psychosomatic disorders disappear. Ashok Gupta is guiding you step by step.

          • I have the disease for 55 years so my knowledge trumps his just on experience alone.

            I have lived through all the political history and research on the disease. Unlike most people with the disease, I have paid attention to what takes place on a larger scale. There are all sorts of theories that people have proposed that have had no results.

            I’ll bet Gupta never got the ciguatoxin test either so we don’t know if he really had the disease.

            People have to take a path to dead ends to accumulate experience and knowledge.

            This disease involves a microbe infection. How does Gupta address this.

      • I disagree with her post too, but it might help some people. In my case, it’s adrenal insufficiency (from trauma/extreme chronic stress), EBV, leaky gut, and who knows what else. I had SIBO, but I think the colonoscopy cleanse (PEG and electrolytes) killed it or at least knocked it down, removed the biofilm maybe. With all that going on, no amount of nutrition alone could have fixed me.

  3. At the beginning of your article you said:

    “CFS is a somewhat controversial disease due to its lack of objective findings in patients.”

    This is false. There are over 5000 published studies that show physiological abnormalities in people with ME/CFS. Here’s a brief overview of some of the research:
    http://www.cfids.org/about-cfids/research.asp

    There is a real lack of understanding in the medical and wider community of this disease, and it’s a common misconception that there isn’t any physical evidence of it. There is plenty. Unfortunately these kinds of misconceptions lead to real problems for people with ME/CFS, as we suffer discrimination and mismanaged medical treatment because of it. I’d appreciate it if you’d correct this error in your article.

  4. Great article everything you’ve mentioned is critical for recovery from CFS , I’m trying to recover after 7 years and tested + for 667t a mthfr gene malfunction and need to supplement with activated forms of b12 & folate to support the detox cycle, a big part of recovery…

  5. Kelsey … Happy New Year,

    Thank you very much for the article on CFS. Perhaps THE stymying problem with CFS and a host of neurological difficulties is that because of trauma (instilled once because of accident or repeatedly due to chemical imbalance like heavy-metal poisoning (amalgam fillings)/CFS and/or Friedreichs Ataxia/multiple sclerosis). Neurotransmitter production is shifted to an unbalanced state where only excitatory neurotransmitters are produced and so that lack-of-recovery-rest, cortisol-alteration/tension/anxiety that are ‘normal’ responses to events become fixed/locked. Symptoms remain unchanged because the balance between excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters is never restored, even though much needed.

    An article in Life Extension magazine on Brainshield http://www.lef.org , points out the critical nature of this natural balance. An accidental assault like a brain injury from a car accident just might shift this balance, so that instead of the accident occurring once, to the brain the event becomes actual … and it is continuously-repeated over and over. Perhaps, we should re-look into this disruptive pattern in neurotransmitter production as a key feature in brain/spinal-cord injuries and brain-assaulting chemical attacks like allergies/CFS/fibromyalgia/… cystic fibrosis/FA/multiple sclerosis.

    There is little doubt that such use is experimental, but MAY be worthwhile.

  6. I thought the papers by Maes about LPS translocation found in CFS and depression were an interesting avenue of research for causes of CFS. I’m not diagnosed because I’ve become slightly skittish of doctors, but eating and drinking loads of cranberries and fermented dairy products is very normalizing for me. (Given the success of the cranberries, I do suspect H. pylori at this point). I also benefited from selenium (I have rather obvious hypothyroid symptoms). Anyways, it’s fully possible that people labelled with CFS have different diseases with different causes. So maybe some have Lyme, some have SIBO, some have a mito disorder, etc. Therefore, different treatments will be more or less effective based on whether they address the actual cause of the CFS symptoms. Time management skills, vitamin C, etc. are helpful while trying to deal with the underlying issue, I think.

  7. How the heck does one get diagnosed with CFS? I’ve been struggling with it for years and it has progressed to the point where I have chronic insomnia. My sleep disorder doctor checked my CPAP machine and literally said that the machine is doing its job so you shouldn’t be having these symptoms. I’ve been seeing a naturopath for about 6 months and she administered the salivary adrenal test kit and my cortisol is very low in the morning and then it flatlines between 5pm and 10pm. I’ve taken an MBSR course and joined a local meditation group. Should I see my GP, or will an endocrinologist be able to help?

  8. I had chronic fatigue for 10 years, to the degree that most days I could go to work but do nothing else other than come home and go to bed.

    Tests showed EBV, OAT axis problems, vitamin deficiencies, digestive non-absorption, etc. I spent many thousands of dollars on every kind of natural therapy and traditional and alternative healers with never more than temporary relief.

    Then a very smart alternative chiropractor who I had gotten to know quite well told me I wasn’t improving because of the stress of my unhappy marriage. He was bang on – within 48 hours of leaving my husband I was completely healthy again, rollerblading and biking many kms each day.

    • That makes total sense to me. I had chronic asthma until I was 21. The day I moved away from my monster of a mother… within 3 days my asthma was gone never to return unless I went back to see her or if I eat way too much dairy or foods I test allergic to.

      I did the raw food diet/vegan diet, TM meditation, you name it up to that point, but leaving the toxic world of my mother was the big kicker for me.

      Ironically years later I realized that I was still stuck a lot in how I related to women and my dating life. That was what lead me to do psycho/emotional growth work that resulted in my experiencing directly how how I was raised and the repressed rage I carried being a key to reclaiming my power that no diet/cleanse/supplement could do justice to.

  9. by using the american definition you missed one of the main symptoms that distinguishes “chronic fatigue” from other types of ongoing fatigue – an inability to recover from exercise.

    http://chronicfatigue.about.com/od/diagnosingfmscfs/a/cfs_canadian.htm

    graded exercise is favoured by conventional doctors, but not by patients

    http://curetogether.com/chronic-fatigue-syndrome/treatments/ae/

    (hint- it’s at the bottom)
    and most of the experts in the field counsel against it as it destroys muscle and mitochondria without the catabolitic response everone else enjoys.

    But as your article is more about the adrenals , I will add that my own take is that by trying to function without some essential, if still undefined, energy means I flip into adrenaline just to do normal regular stuff – like get up -which does burn them out – but it does not seem to be the cause or cure for the cfs, but you have to watch them for sure.

    anyway, as you can see by the link above, a lot of treatments have been tried by a lot of different people. it’s complicated by the fact that they may have different underlining conditions!

    • I agree. At my worst, exercise for any length of time felt very wrong, like whipping a dead horse. Now that I’m at 65%, however, I’m having a hard time getting my stamina and strength back, and it seems like a mighty uphill battle. so tired.

  10. Excellent article on CFS! One of the best I’ve read… easy to understand and well put together.

    I discovered I have low adrenal/thyroid function {chronic fatigue} after my last relationship ended. This was the trigger that pushed me into seeking help and getting some tests done.

    I’ve had some success with the paleo autoimmune protocol, doing it mostly keto without fruit/carbohydrates and starchy vegetables often works best unless there are other factors like reduced income I’m facing now for the winter. No matter how “on” my diet is, that makes my anxiety and depression loop come on strong which then makes me want caffeine/sweets/alcohol.

    I take DHEA, licorice, skullcap, siberian ginseng, maca, ginger, rhodiola, and ginkgo to support the HPA Axis and also Thorne’s Basic Nutrients IV to cover the vitamin/minerals that hair analysis showed to be extremely low, along with extra vitamin D3 and Nature Thyroid to support the thyroid.

    In all honesty psycho/emotional growth work unpacking repressed rage helped me more than anything I’ve ever done! Ironically my x-girlfriend had the shadow side of my mother which is why this triggered the relapse on that level. I gave up my energy and lost my center if you will… by going into her world.

    My truth is that unless one is working through the root cause for their CFS then supplements and diet only go so far.

    • I agree with you, but the illness may be as much about chronic stress triggering CFS in the first place as it is about underlying psychological issues sapping your energy. Chicken/egg. Since I have so much time on my hands (now that I can’t do much else), I have spent a lot of time unpacking baggage and untying deep emotional knots. Maybe it’s helped, but sometimes it is good to “get out of your head” and stop thinking too much about past hurts. Give it up to god and let it go, if you can. =)

      • Different type of Trauma can trigger the damage from the vaccines. I know of a young couple that got hit from behind in an auto accident. They both came down with CFS at same time and became permanently sick. One idea is that trauma can shutdown the immune system for short time allowing a window of opportunity for the infection to take hold.

  11. I have had chronic fatigue for about 4 1/2 years. It has been debilitating at points and I have had a number of ups and downs as I have learned more and more about what the root cause was. I’ve had many symptoms including adrenal exhaustion, sleep issues, leaky gut, hypothyroid, immune disfunction etc. About 2 years ago (after working with some major dr’s) I was tested for mycoplasma pneumonia and tested positive for an active infection. I have since been diagnosed with additional infections from babesia, and EBV. As I get the microbes under control (which involves dissolving the biofilms) I get stronger. Although extreme stress and exposure to mold were the initial triggers for my illness, the key to my health has been about managing the microbes.

    • Jennifer, as per Lori’s comment above, you might consider exploring whether or not you have been exposed to Lyme. The Babesia you have been diagnosed with is a tick-borne infection and is often transmitted at the same time as Lyme (as well as others like Bartonella). Many Lyme patients have EBV as well as other viral issues (HHV, etc.).

  12. I am very surprised to see Chronic Fatigue Syndrome discussed on Chris Kresser without any mention of Lyme. In case anyone missed this point in the article, no one has definitively found what causes Chronic Fatigue! It is a list of symptoms. And these symptoms could be cause from many different origins. Finding the many different origins is quite possibly the only key to getting well for some.

    An original CFS diagnosis is quite prevalent in those who eventually are diagnosed with Lyme. Think Lyme is a rare disease? The CDC recently raised its’ estimates of yearly cases of Lyme disease from 30,000 a year to 300,000 a year! And I would say many of us concur that information from the CDC is lagging behind cutting edge research, so I can only imagine the real numbers of untreated Lyme out there.

    I ate 80/20 Paleo for 13 years prior to getting sick, even taught classes on it. After becoming ill, I transitioned to GAPS for 2 years and STILL only became sicker and sicker. Used natural treatments for my thyroid, leaky gut, adrenals, depression, insulin resistance, severe insomnia, fibromyalgia, heart palpitations,arthritis, cognitive dysfunction, saw over 35 practitioners/doctors, including a neurological chiropractor from the Carrick Institute, and while these treatments may have helped me feel slightly better in the short term, overall I was very, very ill. ALL while being told I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Only after losing the ability to work, drive, or leave my house unassisted, one amazing practitioner saw past the Chronic Fatigue label, had me tested for Lyme, and finally I am on the long road back to recovery.

    Of course, not every single person with CFS is going to have Lyme, as I stated earlier that CFS can have many different origins and Lyme is only one possible origin. But I can assure you, that the Lyme community is rife with people who lived with the CFS/Fibro diagnosis for years, while their lives literally crumbled around them, and the untreated bacterial infection of Lyme opened the door for many, many other nasty viruses, parasites and other problems to invade their body. The earlier you treat Lyme, the BETTER. And while I am extremely happy to read this post about CFS and its connection to the HPA axis, I strongly believe Lyme deserves a mention. Unfortunately, its too far-reaching and devastating not to.

    • Lori, SO glad you commented because you took the words right out of my mouth. Folks, please consider Lyme if you have been told you have CFS, particularly if: 1) you live in a tick-endemic area; 2) you are at high risk (you’re an outdoors person; a hiker; a gardener, or spend lots of time outdoors; 3) you’ve ever been bitten by a tick and ESPECIALLY if you’ve had a bulls eye rash (as this is actually diagnostic for Lyme).

      If you are going to be evaluated for potential Lyme infection, please see an LLMD (a Lyme-literate medical doctor) since Lyme is not well understood by the conventional medical system and the CDC Western blot you will likely be given has a high rate of false negatives.

      • I concur. Lyme and other tick-borne infections are far more ubiquitous that we realise.

        These infections have to be properly ruled out before anyone should be defined as suffering from CFS. Unfortunately tests for Lyme and other tick-borne infections are extremely unreliable which makes it extremely difficult to definitively rule out (even when one has a negative result – false negatives abound). This is why many people are clinically diagnosed by Lyme Literate doctors.

        Microscopy is worth looking into. And it is vital to educate oneself as much as possible about Lyme/tick-borne infections and the reliability of the tests.

        On a second note – Histamine intolerance/mast cell disorders can cause or exacerbate symptoms. I would recommend reading about histamine intolerance and trying a low-histamine diet as a trial, anti-histamines (only as a last resort when symptoms are extreme), and investigating whether any medication one is prescribed is histamine-releasing/DAO enzyme blocking (with the guidance of medical practitioner of course).

        This is of course a sticking plaster: Histamine intolerance/secondary mast cell disorders may be caused by tick-borne infections which stimulate excessive mast cell degranulation, and antibiotics may contribute by creating gut dysbiosis leading to inflammation in the mucosal lining which could result in increased mast cell degranulation and interference in the production of the Diamine Oxidase (DAO) enzyme which reduces histamine levels.

        I suspect many people suffer from histamine intolerance (to one degree or another – from panic attacks and anxiety, to chronic headaches, dizziness, acid reflux, rosacea, acne, eczema, and asthma ) because so many of us have been exposed to antibiotic treatment and have never been able to correct our gut dysbiosis. .

    • If one looks at CFS, Lyme, Severe MS, Gulf War Syndrome, Lupus, FMS etc, they all have mostly overlapping symptoms. The only different feature between Lyme and CFS that I could find is tendency for Bells Palsy Syndrome. Lyme is difficult to diagnose.

      Lyme didn’t exist until around 1960s. Like other diseases, there is a cover up going on. Many doctors got their medical license taken away when they tried to treat Lyme patients with alternative protocols and antibiotics.

      I would get the ciguatoxin test if I got Lyme diagnosis.

  13. Hi. You mention salivary Adrenal testing from Direct labs, but I see that 4 are listed (under Hormones). Which do you recommend? I have a 24 year old son w/ severe depression (+ anxiety, easy to anger, & Incredibly sensitive emotionally: For example, I’m hearing now that he felt “traumatized” that I said he wasn’t allowed to read one particular book out of 4 he had brought home back in middle school because it wasn’t appropriate then: Disclosure by Michael Creighton). He sometimes has severe vomiting episodes lasting 12- 24 hours when he feels a situation is out of his control. The only other oddity is that his hands are Always shaking, with a mild to moderate tremor. Good childhood, no abuse, so I think there is an underlying medical issue here. He mostly eats Paleo (by default, because we do) since moving back home 7 months ago. He has only had one vomiting episode since then, where typically it had been 1 -2 X per month. Any ideas? Also, if we order an adrenal test (which one?) & see he has a problem, where do we go from there? I have only found one Paleo practitioner in our area to take him to (A chiropractor who immediately used “applied kinesiology”- I am Not convinced). I would So appreciate a response, your thoughts. Thank you so much!!

    • I believe your son probably does have an adrenal problem with all the emotional stress he’s been under but it seems to me that you must first fix why he’s having so many issues. Find that out first, then the adrenal glands. Even if you did the adrenal testing, you probably already know that it will show that his adrenals are out of whack. Did something happen to him as a kid or a young adult that you don’t know about? Has he gone for therapy? It almost seems like he has suppressed something, something he doesn’t want to deal with. See if he’ll try meditation and Tai Chi. It’s great that he’s off the carbs now, but I believe some carbs are good, people with low serotonin levels need some carbs. Is he gluten free? If not, I would give this a try for 3 weeks, just watch the carb intake though with gluten free. People that are gluten intolerant or have a sensitivity can have headaches, depression, fatigue, joint pain, migraines, anger issues and anxiety. He could have many different intolerances to foods or even allergies that could be causing a lot of his symptoms. You can also try a food elimination diet. I’ve had all my testing done with a Naturophatic doctor. He will help him with the diet, (food allergies) the testing for the adrenal glands and any toxins he may have build up in his system. Also check to see if he has a candida issue. You can print out the questionnaire that Dr. William Crook designed and then take it from there. But I suggest that if he has a candida issue not to do the cleanse on his own, he will need supervision if he has a bad candida issue. He will get pretty sick if he does the cleanse on his own. I had systemic candidiasis and was dyeing, my body was shutting down. Candida takes on many different faces and sometimes that’s why you can’t figure out why someone is so sick. Your son definitely needs professional help, I don’t know if you can tackle this just on your own. I wish you and your son the very best and wish him a speedy recovery. Take care.

      • Lizette, thanks So much for commenting. I think seeing a Naturopath is a great suggestion, since they have med. training & so much more. He has been seeing a wonderful psychologist, which does help.

        We have always been very close, so I know that he went through the typical, painful “stuff” most of us go through in middle school, early high school, like feeling that he didn’t fit in. But his internal Reaction to that stress is so much higher than I’ve ever experienced or heard of. He has a very high I.Q. & is very intuitive, like many women are, but his intuition gets derailed by negative assumptions. He told me a couple of years ago that he has been depressed since middle school, & I was stunned, because he hid it completely. He can’t come to grips w/ a break up w/ his girlfriend 2 years ago, & he feels tremendous guilt over the $ we spent to send him to a top tier university. His degree is in a creative field where jobs are hard to find. But, he isn’t even Trying to find anything now; If something falls into his lap, he takes it. Academics were a breeze for him, so I think he’s not used to having to scrabble for anything; (You can’t fail if you don’t try)! So, here we are with a depressed, amazing young man who doesn’t seem to have much if any emotional strength or “survival” ability.

        Part of me feels like I need to be the mama bird that forces him out of the nest to get off his ass. Or, see if we can afford to have him go back to college in a field that he can actually get a job in. The problem w/ taking a hard line approach is that he has said if he can’t get his head straight, he doesn’t see himself being Alive 3 years from now. So, I’m torn, living w/ feelings of anger/ disappointment, & helplessness. I have told him that gluten can be associated w/ severe depression, & he reacted strongly, saying going gluten free would be one more loss, especially giving up beer. He Is willing to get tested, finally, so it will be interesting to get the results.

        He doesn’t exercise but says he wants to, so we just found a great gym & will get him a personal trainer for a few sessions. (We have a weight set @ home, & he could walk outside, but he just doesn’t do it. When it is warm enough, he will at least lie out in the sun to get vit. D).

        Paleo physicians network… doesn’t show any Paleo Naturopaths in our area, but I bet many Naturopaths would be onboard. w/ Paleo.

        After so much effort put into parenting, I never thought I would be in this position. I think we tend to be only as happy as our least happy child. Thanks for reading and commenting.

        • Your very welcome! I’m glad to hear that your on the right track with your son. I believe any Naturopath with do, I don’t think you would need a Paleo Naturopath. At least with a NP you will be able to get him the herbs that he needs. I take a number of things. I like Rhodiola for depression and stress and I take Ortho Adapt made by AOR for my adrenal glands along with a number of other things. Your son could take Vit D drops at this time of year instead of waiting for summer and not taking anything. When you described that he was intuitive and has a high IQ, I did think of that the last time I sent you a comment. You should see if you can find anyone in your area that knows about intuition or mediums. Do you have a metaphysical store around? They might be able to direct you to the right people. A good friend of mine owns one and she knows a lot of people in that area of expertise. I’m very intuitive also but not like your son. He sounds like he needs grounding and needs to meditate and needs to learn how to use and control his gift. There are a lot of kids out there that are born now with these gifts, they’re called Indigo children or Crystal children.
          Being gluten free is not that bad, at times I find it hard. Yes, he would have to get off the beer! LOL! It has a lot of yeast in it and that concerns me if he has a yeast overgrowth. Please look into his gifts, there is a lot that he can do to help himself. There is plenty for you to look up on the internet also. Good luck! Keep me posted!

  14. Although it’s not quite CFS but I do feel exhausted from time to time. Some days are good and some are bad. From some of the tests I have found that my stress coping mechanisms are not that great.

    My question is what are the mind body techniques that can be done regularly? Is it mindful meditation? How can HPA AXIS get back to normal? I see that I get stressed for small things which was not the case earlier before all this started.

    I am doing the saliva test – that will give some idea. The whole day I was at home and relaxed though.

    • Have you tried Tapping ( EFT) ? I’ve been meditating daily for over 35 years and I do find that an important mind/body/spirit technique.

      I have found tapping is a great technique that I can do myself to help me deal with some of the utter frustrations and negativity of dealing with a chronic disease and chronic pain and fatigue.

      ( Mercola and others have a bunch on youtube that you can start with or learn from if you want to check it out.)

  15. Interesting reading! I have been helped tremendously by working with an amazing nutritionist ( who also could read my blood work better than any of the endless top MD’s on 3 continents I have seen and worked with) and being on a very strict GAPS/Paleo/WAPF primal template diet for many years.

    BUT the key that has helped me most is the SOMA from Dr Joseph Da Cruz ( and Dr Diamond) who also works together with a specially trained cranial sacral therapist to heal the cranial issues and restores cranial rhythms.

    The difference is immediate and astounding ( worth flying to Australia for!!) More people with CFS or any chronic illness should look into this. Truly profound ( from someone who has tried everything).

    Interestingly, a few other things that have helped me have been Diatomaceous earth, Dr. Peak’s natural progesterone, NAC, TCM in China and Asia ( not so much in USA and Europe), castor oil packs, magnesium oil or epson salts compresses, iodine and L-tyrosine, B vitamins, and free daily Lajin!

    http://www.soultravelers3.com/2013/10/cheap-self-healing-the-tcm-chinese-way-lajin-stretch.html

    • For those who want to know more about the Soma, this article is a good place to start:

      http://www.lifeenergyfoundation.org/category.php?id=38#williemay

      ( about Dr Willie May and Dr Joseph Da Cruz)

      I found out about Dr Da Cruz through Ramiel Nagel ( author of how to cure cavities naturally via diet) who highly recommended him and who also has had great experiences with healing via the SOMA.

      Dr Da Cruz has had amazing results with chronic fatigue with the SOMA as well as many mysterious and chronic conditions from diabetes to rhem. arthritis.

      Sadly few know about this, but I will be writing more on this topic as it is a key that is missing. The SOMA also seems to really help with getting a deeper sleep and help absorb nutrients and supplements.

      As someone with perfectly straight teeth, I never, ever would have guessed how powerful this could be or that I could benefit from palate expansion at 60! It will take time, but what is fascinating is how it works immediately…even as the healing process continues.

      B/P, blood sugar, cranial rhythms etc rates change immediately when it is in or out.

      My 13 year old daughter and I ( with very different issues) have had amazing results and I have talked to many others who also have had these kind of miracles.

      • Is this treatment in Australia? I’m in Sydney so would love to know more about local practitioners.

        • You are lucky Allison because the best people in the world at this are in Canberra.

          He (and his website) is very humble, but what he does is mind blowing! ( make sure you schedule it with his cranial sacral specialist Namja too as they work amazingly together…both bringing different and complementary unique skills).

          http://www.wholisticdentistry.com.au/index.html

          He has also had amazing success with healthy Olympic athletes ( flying in from many nations) who break their own records while using the SOMA.

          I’ve done a ton of research on this area of dental innovation ( interviewed all the top people) and this guy is doing the best work by FAR in this area…the ONLY one who invented it with a holistic MD, works with cranial sacral experts and chiropractors when needed….and ONLY one who is doing cranial work, NOT orthodontia and in the least invasive, natural way.

          He is also well trained in nutrition, Qigong and healing as voltage in the brilliant Dr Jerry Tennant energy kind of way. ( Tennant was a brilliant surgeon who healed himself from a chronic disease that almost killed him and a must-read for anyone with a chronic condition or interested in health).

          This stuff is so powerful, I wish there were teams like this all over, but lucky you…live near the best one!

          I didn’t know if I would survive my long flight there, but I got immediate relief and thrilled I took the risk.

    • This is amazing info Jeanne! Canberra is where I grew up, and I’m only 2hrs drive away from it now, so I’m pretty excited right now!
      I’ve also been looking into Chinese herbalism. Restoring the Jing. I’ll be trying Jing City and Adrenal tonic put together by Truth Calkins and David Wolfe, soon! You can find info on it on the Longevity warehouse website.
      Has anyone else tried it?

  16. I have had CFS for 10 years now and am making a slow recovery. I had a salivary adrenal panel which showed my cortisol was normal but my DHEA was on the low side with a reversal of when you would expect it to be high and low over the 24 hours.
    Other tests showed my mitochondria to be badly compromised and functioning at less than 20 % of the bottom end of normal. I also have nickel toxicity which is proving difficult to shift because of severe reactions to detox protocols. The one thing I have been able to tolerate is kefir made with raw milk which I am hoping is aiding in detoxing.
    Although my tests showed my adrenals not to be in too bad a state, I cope with stress poorly and have a history of depression and low self esteem as you said.
    I also suffered from severe eating disorders in the past and then became a vegan. Both these no doubt added to the stresses on my body and contributed to the CFS.
    Along with working on my diet (now a meat eating paleo follower), learning to manage stress and anxiety has been key for me. Getting out of that chronic stress state and into a state where I can heal has been a long process.
    Thanks for this article, it’s very much appreciated.

    • Kelsey and Nickey, What are the best tests to determine mitochondrial dysfunction, & which kind of doctor do I go to for this? Mito dysfunction is on my suspicion list for my depressed son who sometimes has vomiting issues (Please see my post below). Thanks!

      • I can’t say that this is the best place to go to as I have no way of judging. However, I live in the UK and my tests were arranged via Dr Myhill http://www.drmyhill.co.uk/ She does make the mitochondrial function tests available to overseas patients. I think similar tests are available in the US but I don’t know for sure. Have you looked up Dr Cheney in the US? I’ve come across his name a lot.

    • I strongly suggest getting your zinc:copper balance assessed – by looking at the ratio between plasma zinc and serum copper. Eating disorders and poor stress tolerance can both be linked to poor zinc status. There are many doctors who now treat this problem and Chris K covered it in an old podcast. Good luck 🙂

  17. Hello Kelsey,

    Great article !. My wife has long suffered from CFS, I have taken it upon myself to research the potential therapies to help her over the past 7-8 years since mainstream medicine has been of no help at all.

    I had sometime ago made the correlation between the symptoms of CFS and the symptoms of adrenal fatigue. In response we have been using Rhodiola Rosea. there is a wonderful product made by Nanton Neutriceuticals here in Canada called Rhoziva (www.rhoziva.com).

    I am in no way related to the manufacturer of the product, I should say that first. I went with this particular product because of the high standard in product and production. I can say without a doubt that it has been by far the best treatment I have found to date.

    My wife is now able to go almost all day without the normally inevitable decline coming after the first few morning hours. She is better able to cope with mental stress as well as the physical. As your interested readers will know the two are the same for a CFS sufferer – they exact the same toll.

    Her mood is elevated and even, and she is generally ‘stronger’. It is night and day truly.

    Nanton states that one should take a month off after 4 months of usage, perhaps this is a question more for the manufacturer but, if you are familiar with Rhodiola do you agree with that statement and if so why ?. I ask because once off the Rhoziva my wife is quickly back to the original CFS state.

    Yes, one is still dependent on the product for relief of symptoms and it is not a cure but, my belief is that if the body is able to use the adaptogen in such a dramatic fashion it will allow the body the needed time and resources to seek out and correct the CFS cause. Perhaps a bit of wishful thinking but, so far it is the ONLY treatment that has given her mind and body a chance in 15 years.

    I should note that the brain fog also vanishes with the treatment and it has helped immensely in her ‘coming off’ the addictive poison Effexor.

    Although this treatment my be very personal and having differing results for different people I hope our research and experience goes some way in assisting others with this horrible illness. I would welcome any questions or comments also.

    Warm Regards,
    Cliff

    • Hi Cliff – I’m not sure of the reasoning behind the take one month off statement. I’d ask the manufacturer why they say that. Of course I can’t really give you advice over the internet but I will say that if it were me and that supplement helped me function then I’d likely stay on it. Hopefully your wife is doing mind-body exercises to help her HPA axis as well!

    • It is pretty common for herbalists to recommend giving your body a “break” from your herbal supplements every so often. I’m not sure if this is based on a long standing tradition or is a more modern idea.

    • I’d assume the idea behind taking a break from it every 4 months it’s to maintain one’s sensitivity to the substance. This is what is recommended with phenibut which is a pure form of GABA, but in that case it may be more about preventing dependence.

    • Hi Cliff,

      Have you ( or anyone else) tried rhodiola in a combination product? . Ive heard of better success with combination adaptogenic products such as the Energy Xtra. ( I haven’t tried it yet). It contains rhodiola rosea, cordyceps sinensis, ashwagandha and eleuthero (all potent adaptogens)

      I am just wondering if any one has tried both and what was their experience. ( As I may try one of these but am not sure which one to try).

      I don’t know if this applies to your situation, but I was told to not take my NAC one day a week ( likely on the same principal reason…giving the body a rest, even though it helps). Perhaps you could look into doing something like that?

    • I can only speak from my personal experience and the good
      fortune I had to discover the late great endocrinologist
      William Jefferies. He usually prescribed a form of low-dose cortisol (hydrocortisone) for a two-week trial to his patients with CFS or “unexplained chronic-fatigue.” Clearly, this condition is usually a stress-hormone issue that needs to be dealt with properly.

  18. Good article. I had chronic fatigue from the ages of 14-15 to about 23-24. It really does a number on your mental health as well as not physically being able to do much. Once I cut the grains out, and I mean all of them, it was a night and day difference. Probably took a bout 3 days and I felt amazing. Even now if were eat a plate of pasta or a decent amount of bread, I will feel the symptoms come back and will usually affect my sleep and they will persist into the morning. Grains act as a huge suppressing factor on my body.

    • Jesse, so glad to hear that changing your diet was a night and day difference for you! Sadly, I don’t think this is the case for many CFS patients – usually they have to go above and beyond diet changes. You’re one of the lucky ones! 🙂

    • Hi Jesse,
      I am on the same page as you. I first had CFS in 2000 and then again in 2009 along with fibromyalgia. For me, eliminating grains, sugar, cheese and eating totally whole foods with the addition of supplements, I overcame the worst of my symptoms in about 3-4 months. The last time I had it I also tried acupuncture which seemed to hasten my recovery. It’s funny, I knew I was going to have relapse in 2009. I was so stressed from work working the night shift. My resistance was down and I picked up a virus (it is still un-named) and I was out. I also forced myself when I could to walk. Even walking a half block was hard but I did it when I could. In late 1999/early 2000 I thought I had the flu and it turned out to be CMV. In the 1980’s I came down with mono/Epstein-Barr. Definitely watching my diet and not trying to overdo it keeps me functioning. Because of all this, I’m now studying nutritional therapy. I am also a nurse and and studying for my nurse practitioner degree. I want to help those who suffer from illnesses that can be corrected or at least partially alleviated through proper nutrition and lifestyle.

      • You are a dear, sweet soul for making your lemons into sweet lemonade by becoming a nurse in order to help others. THANKS!

    • Chronic Fatigue and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are two different things. The former is a waste basket diagnose that could have many different causes.

      The primary symptom marker for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is NOT fatique but neuro cognitive dysfunction. It can have secondary health conditions like FMS.

  19. Hi
    This is very interesting. I was diagnosed with CFS / ME after a bout of glandular fever (adrenals pumped to try and combat virus and never quite got back to normal). It then disappeared and returned with a vengeance after a root canal treatment, which I am convinced was triggered by a huge shot of adrenaline pre-treatment. The CFS brought with it a whole host of other problems (immune dysfunction and depression.) All these were SYMPTOMS of adrenal dysfunction, rather than being a trigger of the CFS, which I believe is the most common misperception of the illness. Physical symptoms manifest as a result of body being on constant fight or flight, normally post virus.

    I read somewhere about being caught in the ‘adrenal loop’ (adrenals not working properly which then triggers dopamine to plummet and anxiety levels to rocket, hence triggering even more adrenaline; as you mention in your piece.)

    I used the Lightning Process to break the adrenaline loop. It worked after a week. (I was doing it about eighty times a day at first.) I have since come across loads of people who have used the same treatment – in fact a friend wrote about it for The UK Times. If anyone reading this has ME and haven’t heard of this treatment, please take a look. I haven’t looked back once.

    Unfortunately the UK doctors aren’t really aware of this so am thrilled you have written about it.

    Thank you for your piece.

    • Hi Rachel,

      Did you do take the LP course in England, or did you just read the book? I looked it up and it looks really interesting. I live in the US and it would be too much to travel to England to take the 3 day course. I was wondering if the book is just as effective. Thanks and I’m glad you are doing well.

      • Jackie – I believe LP seminars are held world-wide, either by a local practitioner or one that travels around. I live in Sydney and we have a few LP practitioners here in Australia and also ones that travel here from the UK.

        I know someone in Singapore who recovered from CFS with LP. I’d like to try it but the cost is a little high for me right now.

        Best wishes.

        • Thanks Allison. You’re right – I found 2 people in the US. I’ll look into it more, because I’d love to try it. I think diet/supplements/nutrition/lifestyle are all important, but the more I research chronic health issues, the more I’m convinced that there are both conscious and subconscious emotions at the root of them, and that energy medicine or mind/body medicine is what will truly heal.

        • One can have some things for 4 years but not CFS. Many things mimic some of the symptoms of CFS so it can be mistaken for CFS. Many doctors diagnose it with little to no evidence. An upregulated immune system is part of the profile. CFS is a systemic infection just like so many chronic diseases.

    • Many people who don’t have CFS get diagnosed with the disease. Please read my post below on how to get diagnosed.

    • I don’t usually comment on threads but I couldn’t resist on this one because there is a cure for CFS and it is the Lightening Process as an earlier thread mentioned so if you really want to be cured then there is a way.

      A close family member of mine sufferered from CFS for 7 years we came across the Lightening process by Phil Parker.

      To be honest we were a little unsure at first if it was just a scam as it was priced at about £700 and we didn’t exactly have cash like this laying about. However we were recommended it by somebody we knew who’s son had been cured by this process and we were so desperate to end this horrendous condition that we went for it.

      Before the process began the practioner made several telephone conversations – the core of this is that you MUST BELIEVE it is going to work – if you truly want to recover then you will take the chance and believe it is going to work – and I promise – it will work.

      The NHS in the UK does nothing but try to alleviate the symptoms through tablets and through consultation sessions – they say it can’t be cured. Well I have living day proof that it can be cured.

      Google The lightening process Phil parker of follow the link below– give them a call, get a consultation and recover- the money is worth it and if you don’t have the money you will find it if you really want to recover http://www.lightningprocess.com/live-a-life-you-love/

      • The Lightening system is derived from osteopathy, neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and life coaching.

        This is essentially making CFS a psychological problem.

        So how does this address the ciguatoxin and infection ?

        Did the person who had CFS checked for the Ciguatoxin ?

        The problem with people announcing a cure for CFS is that they likely never had the disease in the first place.

        • I Totally agree with you… after 25 years experience & having RBC’s confirmed with high Cup shaped Red cells (highest ever recorded at NZL’s Dunedin med school , in an early Lancet paper recorded pioneering study , Immune picture of CFIDS ( T Cell & Helper cell counts & B cell after initial infection down to those of a full-blown Aids Patient ) + underlying IGG Subclass deficiency , ) …
          + other Scientific tests by empathetic researchers & Dr’s/MD’s ( Effamol Marine , Co-Enzyme Q10 , Vit B15 , Vit B12 Injections 1M weekly – biggest improvements in symptoms via this, + pain management , repeats oral candiada treatment ) – most interesting change & something I researched years earlier before a trusted knowledgable & pro-active visiting UK Immunologist ordered a trial of IVIP (intraveous intragram – IGG white cells replacemnt) which after the 1st 2-3 infusions had a “restting ” of ” Immune disfunction” & could feel finally the body catching its breath & although repeated tests showed a slow steady decline in IGM & IGG Subclass levels to point of liver inflammation & now , after a chest Xray , an enlarged heart .

          If any suffer is in Australia – I recommend reading Professor John Dywers book : * Th body at war* & was last at prince of wales hospital ? Sydney . Another enlightened specialist is a scottish Professor Campell Murdoch . I got hit with Tapanui Flu after an orally transmitted glandular fever type virus in a mini epidemic (not known at the time) on top of the undiagnosed igg subsets disorder (Hypogammaglobdemia) SP + general low iron repeatedly from mid teens , with symptoms starting to wane about 7-8 yrs into it & testing no early of late antigens for Epstein Barr Virus/Mono I contracted this circa 95-97 (on retesting) & it was like a bad cold compaired to a heavy flu in comparison for th original infecting virus (My Dr at the time was a VD specialists as well as family Dr & he thought I’d originally contracted Aids)
          Now my main caregiver , my ever loving stuck through thick & thin with me, with doubting drs & hospital/s , has just died a week ago of a heart attack 1 hour of me getting home from early too soon hospiyal disc harge for high blood sugars – not investigated after 2nd hospitalizing for same & now I’ve a lonely fight.
          Colour therapy, good music & negative Ion generator has helped , but when the (NZ) medical profession have come double circle from “its in the mind” to accepted 10 years ago , to ” its in the mind, Malingerer” it damn hurts , in the face of discoid (not donut) & cup shaped Red cells & multiple lowered white cell count & diminished HPA axis function to chronically low testosterone levels, high uric acind (to point of multiple kidney stones & “white calcifications in testes (5) ) & High lipid levels & High Urine Calactermines (sp)…

          It would be nice to hear from the opposite sex GENUINE sufferer, or another male needing help (as I’ve forgotten have of what I’ve learnt through cutting edge research & Practical experience, before others with a vested ‘Study’ Interest , caught up

          Like those in a wheelchair find: its not being in the chair, but others (often naive & unfeeling) response to it.
          Goodluck all .
          T , New Zealand.
          PS I can give a list of whats worked for me over the years,
          I loved ya Dad 1.2.28- 23.6.2014

          • There are already natural remedies for many of your health problems. I’d also recommend magtein.

            Why are you in a wheel chair.

            btw i am male

            • If thats in referance to me , ‘am not currently in a wheelchair , but have been as sometimes, don’t have the muscle strength to walk more than 50-100 meters.
              There’s natural remedies & then there’s natural remedies , asprin is natural but then so is poison ivy….
              Can’t tolerate most Herbs …. but thanks for the input.

              Antihistamine has been a big improvement

              What annoys is some who self-diagnose (out of lack of options I guess) that they then take along their latests net download talking of + & – voltage energy channels etc & stuff it up for the genuine when it comes to shaping many so-called specialists attitudes , that the truely ill wear in the way of a scoffing blow-off etc., like Fibro – ” All in the mind” and/or psychogenic based

              Cheers