Dr Hilton Lowe
CFS: A Nutritional Perspective
Chronic fatigue syndrome is the end result of multi-system dysfunction. There are probably multiple aetiologies. The nutritional approach to correct physiological function is aimed at the digestive tract, liver function, inflammatory control and adrenal dysfunction. Assessment and optimization of physiological function at these integral areas show a predictable benefit using nutritional supplements combined with minimal use of synthetic pharmaceuticals. The approach is wholistic.
Blood tests are used to exclude recognised diseases and to assess liver status, vitamin status, immune function, allergic inflammatory status and intestinal absorption; three day faecal fats to reflect digestive ability; urinary indican for intestinal dysbiosis; hair mineral analysis to reveal mineral imbalances and reflect on adrenal function. The interpretation of these tests is critical.
Discussion of physiology and biochemical pathways is incorporated in this article to support the use of nutritional supplements. The information is resourced from recognised medical texts, as well as, the latest research articles. For example, adrenal cortex insufficiency leads to sodium, hydrogen, ammonia and magnesium loss via the kidneys. Increased sodium excretion and potassium retention leads to muscular weakness, acidosis, hypotension and decreased cardiac output. These patients react poorly to chemical or physical stress and are less able to tolerate nutritional deficiency, infection, sensitising agents and noxious chemicals.
As the precipitating factors may be multiple, individual cases of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome will have varied therapy around the main therapeutic regimen. Although depression may be an important symptom, the successful nutritional treatment of these patients supports the hypothesis that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is the result of selective nutritional deficiencies.
Two case presentations of patients who fulfilled the diagnostic criteria of Holmes, Kaplan, Grant et al, are used to demonstrate the principles of assessment and therapy.
Peter B, a thirty-three year old male with a twelve year history of intermittent exhaustion and progressively more severe fatigue, presented in September, 1997. Having found no previous benefit with the medical profession, Peter had placed himself on a restricted diet with partial benefits. He reported obvious benefits within two weeks of full therapy.
Karen A, a forty-six year old female, presented in April, 1997. She received an invalid pension for five years due to chronic fatigue syndrome. Karen had consulted multiple doctors and naturopaths with intermittent benefits.
After using my nutritional regimen, Karen had progressively less fatigue. Her progress was hindered by the presence of hypersensitivity reactions, reflux oesophagitis, emotional stress and depression. On December 12, 1997, Karen was well and energetic.
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