Chronic Fatigue SyndromeChronic Fatigue Syndrome

By Dr. Mao Shing Ni, Ph.D., D.O.M., L.Ac.

There are many moments or days in our lives where we feel tired, fatigued, or even exhausted, and we go to bed early or sleep in a little later and feel better by the following day. What happens when this sense of exhaustion doesn’t get better by the following day, and is instead accompanied by headaches, a sore throat, muscle aches, and recurring colds? The person who experiences this perpetual state of exhaustion may be suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and because there are no definitive tests for diagnosis, over half a million people in America may have this condition and not know it.

It is currently unknown what causes CFS, but speculations in the medical community include emotional and physical stress, trauma, viral and bacterial infections, and an overstressed immune system. The person who suffers from CFS may not seem sick, but they’re not healthy, either. This becomes a consistent source of frustration for them, as they’re unable to pursue the active life they desire.

How can I treat Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Traditional Chinese medicine believes CFS to be a result of a depleted vital essence from the kidney-adrenal network. This network maintains the immune system, and traditional Chinese Medicine’s treatment of this condition centers on restoring the vital essence and helping the body to heal itself.

This can happen with a balance of the right foods that help to regenerate blood and energy, including squash, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, black beans, pearl barley, carrots, and fresh fruits such as strawberries, cherries, and figs. It is also good to consume spices such as ginger and garlic and to eat organic proteins such as chicken and deep-sea fish. Also try taking a 20-minute bath in Epsom salts each day, always going to bed before 11 p.m. every night, and practicing a light to moderate exercise such as tai chi or qi gong.

What should I avoid in my lifestyle for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

To restore the body’s vital energy, it is important to avoid dairy products, simple sugars, white flour, processed foods, oily and fatty foods, coffee, alcohol, and nightshade vegetables, such as tomatoes and eggplants. Avoid eating late in the evening, as well as excessive exercise, stress, and anxiety.

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