Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
by Lynne Singlewood

A few weeks ago I was attending a lecture on Chronic fatigue syndrome and was surprised that statistics indicated, around one in fifty individuals suffer from chronic fatigue. So I thought I’d have a bit of a chat with you about this subject. In the past, Chronic fatigue syndrome was thought to be a mental disorder, however, in recent years scientific evidence has found it to be an inflammatory disorder and oxidative stress disorder. It has a broad variation of symptoms and causes, therefore your symptoms may be quite different from someone else’s, so you need a practitioner to go carefully through your individual case to help nurture your body back to peak health.

Some of the symptoms are as follows, severe fatigue for a period of longer than six months along with around four of the following symptoms: headaches, muscle pain or multiple joint pain without swelling, depression and exhaustion lasting longer than 24 hours after exertion, tender lymph nodes, short term memory impairment, lack of ability to concentrate, waking up tired and unrefreshed, digestive disorders, mood swings, panic attacks, balance problems, numbness and tingling or immune disorders such as frequent infections, allergies etc. Some other disorders may co-exist with Chronic fatigue syndrome such as Irritable bowel syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Migraine headaches and Anxiety.

You may be wondering what causes this disorder? There are several causative factors, one of which is related to the immune system and pathogenic infections such as viruses, bacteria, parasites and illnesses such Glandular fever, Pneumonia, Herpes simplex virus, Cytomegalovirus or Hepatitis C, just to name a few. This deregulation of the immune system increases intra cellular and peripheral inflammation, which in turn may cause symptoms of fatigue, exhaustion, depression, pain, sadness and/or sleep disorders, etc. It has also been found that strenuous exercise and physiological disorders also raise inflammatory markers which can also cause the above symptoms. Oxidative stress appears to be increased in individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome and can also be due to the increase in inflammatory markers. Auto immune issues may relate to gut inflammation, weakening the intestinal barrier and causing leaky gut something which I see a lot of in clinical practise. Adrenal stress and depletion, may be seen in the Chronic fatigue individual, adrenal glands produce hormones such as cortisol in the morning so you can bounce out of bed, it’s a heating hormone, it’s acidic, to turn on your digestive system in the morning and if your adrenal glands are depleted you feel exhausted and will be too tired to get out of bed and your digestion will be sluggish. It is also interesting to note that zinc levels appear to be depleted in chronic fatigue syndrome and zinc is very important in the role of the digestive system and the immune system. Lastly I wanted to mention the mitochondria, this is the power house of your cell, it is where the energy is produced (ATP) and to support the mitochondria we need adequate Acetyl-L-Carnitine levels, this mineral is produced in the liver and appears to be markedly low in Chronic fatigue syndrome.

What can we do to help? Well there are many beautiful herbs to help support and balance the immune system, turmeric is fabulous in relation to inflammation and it is also an anti-oxidant. Your zinc and vitamin D levels should be checked and addressed. Fish oil is also anti- inflammatory and may be very beneficial, however, you need to make sure you are taking a good quality fish oil. There are many beautiful herbs to nurture and heal the digestive system, also glutamine, which is an amino acid and can be found at your health food store, is fabulous to help repair the digestive system, especially in relation to leaky gut. Your adrenal glands and also the quality of your sleep can be supported extremely well with herbs, Acetyl-L-Carnitine and CoQ10, are two nutrients that are complementary and may yield better results together, also CoQ10 is important for production of energy in the mitochondria and it is a powerful anti-oxidant.

This is a very brief introduction to this complex disorder and my advice would be to find a good practitioner, someone you feel comfortable with and work together to gently bring your body back into balance so you can have quality of life once more.

Lynne Singlewood has taught Iridology and herbal medicine At Endeavour College, she also lectures Constitutional and Emotional Iridology at WEA. She has a passion to help the community with their health and well being. Her deep love of iridology and herbal medicine is infectious. Ph: 0421 618 792 or email Web site: