Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients have a persistent tiredness and exhaustion that make regular daily activities challenging. Medical treatments may deal with some of the symptoms; however, alternative care, such as chiropractic, may offer natural relief to patients who suffer from this disorder.
What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) leads sufferers into feeling so tired that they cannot perform normal activities. Women are much more likely to develop CFS, which can last from a month to several years (and may be intermittent). The causes are generally not agreed upon in the medical community, but the symptoms include severe and sudden fatigue (often after the flu), low grade fever/chills, sore throat and swollen glands, joint/muscle aches, poor sleep, headaches, inability to concentrate/memory issues, and mood changes. In general, it is thought to be caused by either a virus or immune system reaction, and the risks increase in patients with anxiety/stress, flu illnesses that persist, depression, and poor eating habits.1
Treatments for CFS
Once doctors rule out other diseases with tests, they may treat someone with CFS with medications, herbs, vitamins, and dietary changes. They may also recommend rest, exercise, and time. Besides cognitive behavioral therapy, there are some drug therapies that doctors may recommend. Doctors may prescribe antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications, antihistamines, anti-inflammatory drugs (i.e., ibuprofen), or acetaminophen (non-aspirin). Aside from traditional medical treatments, there are even vitamin and nutritional supplements a patient can take. Patients are advised to avoid processed foods, saturated fats, sugar, caffeine, and alcohol. They can increase their intake of fresh vegetables, legumes, whole grains, proteins, and essential fatty acids. In terms of supplementation, patients may be asked to take magnesium, NADH, DHEA, vitamin B12, beta-carotene, L-carnitine, vitamin D, Echinacea, ginseng, or other homeopathic remedies (to reduce stress, moodiness, and exhaustion).2
Chiropractic Care for CFS
CFS may be the result of a dysfunctional immune system, an iron deficiency, low blood sugar, low blood pressure, hormones, viruses, adrenal gland issues, heavy metal toxicity, parasites, or candida (yeast). Because there are so many disagreements over the cause of CFS, chiropractors may take a holistic approach to the patient.3 Many patients may see a chiropractor because they have musculoskeletal complaints from their CFS. Chiropractors may examine the patient’s diet and suggest supplements. They may look for food allergies, and recommend detoxification programs, in addition to assisting a patient with achieving a more healthy diet.4 Chiropractic adjustments help a patient become more aligned. This reduces stress on the body and joints, in turn giving the patient more energy. Regular chiropractic care can also boost a patient’s immune system.5 Adjustments can activate the brain and cerebellum and “improve the neurological function and reduce CFS symptoms.”6