Sunday, October 17, 2010

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Couple of days back, a customer was asking me for supplements to help with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). CFS which results in impaired daily activity, is a very complex disorder that can encompass many signs and may requires multiple approaches to overcome it. Just a simple supplement alone might not be sufficient to alleviate it.

It is stated in the CDC website that the cause or causes of CFS have not been identified and no specific diagnostic tests are available. Moreover, since many illnesses have incapacitating fatigue as a symptom, care must be taken to exclude other known and often treatable conditions before a diagnosis of CFS is made.

Treatment options may include:
  • Professional Counseling
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Graded Exercise Therapy (GET)
  • Symptomatic Treatment
  • Alternative Therapies
  • Support Groups
  • Pharmacologic Therapy
  • Sleep Hygiene
  • Pain Therapy
  • Orthostatic Instability Treatment
  • Antidepressants

Nutritional supplements and vitamins are frequently used by people with CFS for symptom relief. There have been few clinical trials on nutritional supplements and vitamins, and these products are unregulated, and information on potency and side effects is frequently unknown. However, many CFS patients report symptom relief with use. Therefore, health care professional and patients need to talk about supplement use and OTC products to determine safety, effectiveness and possible negative interactions with prescribed medications and therapies.

CFS Patients should be advised to avoid herbal remedies like:

  • comfrey
  • germander
  • licorice root
  • ephedra
  • chaparral
  • yohimbe
  • kava
  • bitter orange
  • and any other supplements that are potentially dangerous.

Nutritional supplements can't take the place of good diet and nutrition, so a well-balanced diet is encouraged. Some people with CFS report sensitivities to various foods or chemicals, including refined sugar, caffeine, alcohol and tobacco.

More about it at http://www.cdc.gov/cfs/general/index.html

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