Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

What Are CFS and Fibromyalgia?
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a group of symptoms associated with severe, almost unrelenting fatigue. The main symptom is fatigue that results in constant and substantial reduction in your activity level. Oddly, despite their constant exhaustion, people with CFS typically find that they can't sleep.

CFS can begin gradually, usually following a period of severe physical or emotional stress. It can also begin suddenly, feeling like a "drop dead flu" that you can't fully recover from. Other common symptoms may include:

  • Insomnia
  • Achiness
  • Forgetfulness
  • Brain fog
  • Increased thirst
  • Bowel disorders
  • Recurring infections
  • Easily exhausted
  • Weight gain
  • Low libido

Cuss’s sister illness, fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS or FM), is characterized by muscle pain — sometimes all over the body, or sometimes only in specific areas. These painful areas can be transient or persistent. FM pain is caused by a shortening, or tightening of the muscles. These muscles need sleep and nutrition, among other things, in order to heal. Since CFS/FM sufferers rarely sleep well, their muscles stay knotted and painful. For most sufferers, CFS and FM are the same illness. However, some people have fatigue without pain, whereas others have pain without fatigue.

What causes these Illnesses?
Hypothalamic dysfunction plays a major role in these disorders and is weakened by long term exposure to physical, and/or emotional stress. Many systems are connected to the hypothalamus (thyroid, adrenals and hormones), as well as the autonomic nervous system (regulator of ADH, blood pressure and temperature) and the sleep center. Sufferers from CFS and FM experience a variety of issues, including:

  • Infections (viral and bacterial)
  • Insomnia
  • Hormonal problems
  • Immune system dysfunction
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low blood sugar
  • Iron deficiency anemia

Where do I go from here?
Naturopathic medicine is a complex system of primary health care, suitable for treating any illness or disease. The fundamental principle is to treat the underlying cause of the disease. All patients presenting with CFS and FM undergo a specific intake process that clearly defines the underlying issues. A treatment schedule is developed for the individual based on their presenting issues and testing. Treatments include:

Intravenous therapy: Chronic infection and system imbalances can value greatly from intravenous therapy. Some vitamins, minerals and herbs are more readily utilized in the body when delivered by injection. This ensures absorption is not an issue.

Diet Therapy: “Let your food be your medicine and let your medicine be your food”; Hippocrates stated this over 2000 years ago and it rings true today as this is the simplest way to get back to the basics of a treatment program is with proper nutrition. Knowing what foods to avoid and embrace can make all the difference while promoting optimal health as well as thriving while receiving treatments that can be extremely draining on the body. Vegetables should be eaten in abundance, fats can be embraced, healthy fats that is. Grains can be very protective as well with their high fibre and nutrient count. Every patient receives a diet plan that suits them, and their diagnosis.

Nutrients, Herbs and other Supplements: Depending on the diagnosis and underlying factors, specific supplementation can be very valuable in treating both CFS and FM.The benefits of proper supplementation can:

  • Increase energy
  • Decrease fatigue
  • Stabilize sleep patterns
  • Balance hormones
  • Kill chronic infections
  • Decrease pain levels
  • Boost the immune system
  • Help anxiety & depression

What do I do next?

Dr. Kipfer has extensive experience with CFS and FM patients. He has dedicated much of his professional life to finding treatments and helping patients with these illnesses. If you suspect you have CFS or FM please contact Dr. Kipfer’s office for a free 15 minute consultation to look over your options.