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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition that has become widespread in the U.S. The causes of chronic fatigue syndrome are not well understood. Some experts believe it is associated with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) based on the fact that many people with chronic fatigue syndrome have a high level of EBV antibodies in their blood.

The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a member of the herpes virus family, and it is also the cause of mononucleosis, in addition to being linked to chronic fatigue syndrome. This belief is based in large part on the fact that many people with chronic fatigue syndrome have been found to have high levels of EBV antibodies in their blood, and that many people date the onset of symptoms to a prolonged bout with a viral infection. Moreover, it is now known that many people have high EBV antibody levels without any apparent ill effects on their health, and that many cases of chronic fatigue occur without any known preceding infection.

Currently, not enough is known about this link between the two illnesses to say if EBV is the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome.

Chronic fatigue syndrome, or CFS, is a debilitating and complex disorder characterized by profound fatigue that is not improved by bed rest and that may be worsened by physical or mental activity. Persons with CFS most often function at a substantially lower level of activity than they were capable of before the onset of illness. In addition to these key defining characteristics, patients report various nonspecific symptoms, including weakness, muscle pain, impaired memory and/or mental concentration, insomnia, and post-exertion fatigue lasting more than 24 hours. In some cases, CFS can persist for years. The cause or causes of CFS have not been identified and no specific diagnostic tests are available.

In order to receive a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome, a patient must satisfy two criteria:

  1. Have severe chronic fatigue of six months or longer duration with other known medical conditions excluded by clinical diagnosis; and
  2. Concurrently have four or more of the following symptoms: substantial impairment in short-term memory or concentration; sore throat; tender lymph nodes; muscle pain; multi-joint pain without swelling or redness; headaches of a new type, pattern or severity; un-refreshing sleep; and post-exertion malaise lasting more than 24 hours.

The symptoms must have persisted or recurred during six or more consecutive months of illness and must not have predated the fatigue.

With this said, there are many people who have been told or suggested to them that they have chronic fatigue that do not meet this criteria. When these systems present in a patient and they cannot be explained by another disease or illness patients are told they have chronic fatigue. What is worse, they are told there is nothing that can be done but to medicate the symptoms.

We see chronic fatigue differently and feel that often times the symptoms result from such illnesses as systemic candida infections, allergic responses to foods, and thyroid or other endocrine dysfunctions. While we may run many of the same tests as your other doctors, we interpret what they tell us much differently and can often find a problem that can be corrected with dietary changes and supplementation.

If you have been diagnosed with CFS, don't give up hope. Schedule a consultation today to discuss your condition with the doctors. The chances are very good that we can help you have more energy and less pain, so you can get back to living a normal life.

21316 Davidson Street
Cornelius, NC 28031