CFS Battle Plan
Battling CFS involves identifying what molecules, minerals, proteins, vitamins, enzymes, cofactors, neurotransmitters, and systems have gone down. Below is a list internal systems that the CFS warrior must study. Expect to find multiple problems, since one can cause another. Don't skip any of the following steps. Assume you have each condition, until proven otherwise. Not making this assumption is why it takes people so long to get well. Yes, this is hard work. Recall that we mentioned that one needs to do many tests (5 to 20) and must drop thousands of dollars to get out of this box. There is no other way. For details on CFS/FMS medical tests, please click here. For information on how to locate a CFS/FMS Doc, click here. One can purchase a number of tests without a Doc at reasonable prices from BodyBalance.com -- for details, click here.
A) Review the recommended treatment approach, described here.
B) Review your main battle plan, described here.
C) Review the treatment approaches used at Dr. Conley's CFS/FMS clinic, noted here.
D) Learn how the brain works by clicking here. The following text assumes you have read this.
E) Review the information at Great Smokies Labs on CFS, by clicking here, here, and here.
F) Review the information contained at this web site, noted here.
2) Check Your Noradrenaline
Check for a noradrenaline neurotransmitter problem, as described here.
3) Check for a Sulfite Problem
Check for a sulfite problem, as described here.
4) Check For Hypoglycemia
Check for a sugar regulation problem, as described here.
5) Heal Your Gut
If you have IBS (irritable bowel syndrome, which is unreliable digestion), you need to heal your gut since it may be dumping digestive juices into your blood (e.g. gut fungi and bacteria), which can adversely affect your internal biochemistry. Also, a problem gut is likely to have trouble providing your organs and with the nutrients they need. For details on how to heal your gut, please click here.
6) Look for a Problem Synthesizing Chemical Energy
Check for a problem synthesizing energy, as described here.
7) Check for Heavy Metals
Heavy metal molecules in the body (e.g. mercury from dental amalgam and salt water fish) can inactivate the part of the immunity system that is responsible for killing fungi, can inactivate enzymes in the liver used to filter the blood, can inactivate enzymes used to make blood, can inactivate enzymes used to make brain chemicals, and can inactivate the areas of nerve cells that communicate with other cells. The Great Smokies Lab sells a relatively low cost Rx-not-needed test to the general public that checks for heavy metals in hair. For information on how to check for mercury, and detoxify if found, please click here. For information on how mercury molecules can cause CFS/FMS, please click here. Please don't think, "This is too bizarre." and ignore the heavy metal issue. Assume you have it until proven otherwise.
8) See a Shrink If you Are Depressed
If you are depressed, read the book, "Feeling Good, The New Mood Therapy" by David Burns, MD; and go see a psychiatrist or psychopharmacologist. Burn's Chapters 17 and 20 in the 1999 edition of his book are the most helpful (Ch17, In Search For the Black Bile, and Ch20 Guide To Antidepressant Therapy). This book has sold over 3 million copies and is possibly the best book in the world for depression. To see a shrink, you may need to tell your primary care physician you are "depressed". If you want service, you've got to use that word. If your depression does not correlate in time to difficulties that occur in your life yet correlates in time to food and other physical parameters (e.g. more depressed when get less sleep than usual; more or less depressed with changes in medications), then you probably have a brain chemistry problem (i.e. stop thinking it has to do with something that happened in your past -- everyone has things that happened to them in their past). For more information on how to approach depression, please click here, here, and here.
9) Check Your Glands
As noted in the main CFS/FMS books, problems with glands (e.g. thyroid, adrenal) can cause fatigue; and glands can be tested. And some tests are not very good (many false negatives), whereas others are better, yet more expensive and more invasive. Start testing your glands. What you test for first, and how much you spend is up to you. Yes, this is not easy, since it can involve thousands of dollars and much time. Yes battling CFS is very difficult. Focus on the adrenal and thyroid glands first, and the prostata for older women.
Good tests for thyroid are TRH stimulation, TSH blood measurement, and T4 blood measurement. Thyroid problems are common in CFS patients. A simple low cost home test is to measure your under arm temperature during 5 mornings, when you first wake up, and before you get out of bed. Leave the thermometer under your arm for 6 to 10min before taking the reading. Temperatures below 97.2 degrees F are indicative of low thyroid.
A good test for the adrenal is the ACTH challenge test. The following can cause adrenal disregulation: heavy metals such as lead/mercury, sulfur toxins (e.g H2S hydrogen sulfide from gut fermentation), and excess NAC. Also, if one has hypoglycemia, the low blood glucose levels can tell the adrenals to pump excess adrenaline in an effort to raise blood sugar levels.
10) Check Your Liver Detoxification
Cells in the body take in nutrients and put out waste products. These waste products are dumped into the blood and are then (hopefully) filtered out with the liver. The liver does this is in two stages. The first stage, called cytochrome P450 phase 1, converts the toxins into an intermediary toxin (e.g. free radicals) that is passed to the liver phase II stage, which converts it into something that can be passed to the kidneys and then excreted out of the body. If something goes amiss, excess toxins build up in the blood, the immunity system goes into high gear dealing with them, and these toxins can damage the body's enzymes (e.g. oxidation), and wreck major havoc. One can check their liver filtration process with a Liver Detoxification test (click here for details) or check the amount of free radical toxins in the blood with an Oxidation Stress Test (click here for details). Typical causes of excess toxins in blood are liver enzyme impairment (e.g. by "bad" molecules as noted here), a shortage of chemicals used by the liver to filter the blood (e.g. due to a bad molecule or a problem with digestion), or the dumping of excess toxins into the blood causing liver overload (e.g. due to an inflamed small intestine wall not adequately containing digestive material). It is suggested that you check for a problem here and correct it if found.
11) Check Your Melatonin
The Melatonin hormone controls the sleep/awake states in the body. If it is on, one should be in the sleep state; if it is off, the awake state. It is recommended that one test their Melatonin levels. One can buy a Melatonin test (send saliva samples to lab) online without an Rx by clicking here. If Melatonin is on during the day and when you are most fatigued, then your fatigue could be directly related to Melatonin hormone disregulation. The hypothalamus, which is reset by light in the morning, controls the Melatonin hormone in a 25Hr cycle. This cycle gets goofed up in something called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which can make someone wasted during the day -- this can be seen with the Melatonin test. One therapy for SAD is to look at a special bright light for 20min when one first awakens. For more details on sleep and how it can be affected by heavy metals, please click here. For more information on Melatonin and sleep, please click here, here and here.
12) Check For Viruses
If you always feel like you have a cold, you may have an impairment in your immune system that does not allow your body to control viruses, and therefore several could be activated in your body. A common type of virus with CFS is called Rnase L. This is killed with a drug called Ampligen, which is expected to be FDA approved soon. For a summary of research on Ampligen, please click here. For labs that offer tests that look for viruses and an impaired immune system, please see www.antibodyassay.com, www.immunoscience.com, and The Antibody CFS Immune System Test. Viruses may be involved in the assault against your body, yet it is likely they are not the root cause and likely that the thing that initially impaired the immune system is closer to the root cause.
13) Consider Lyme Disease
Lyme disease (bacterial infection contracted from a tick) is a another possibility, especially if one lives or frequents wooded areas. For details on Lyme Disease, please see Bock's Book, "The Road To Immunity".
14) Check For Oxygen Deprivation Via Blood Coagulation
To see if increased blood coagulation is causing oxygen deprivation to the point of inducing symptoms, one can take a blood decoagulatant such as Halperin for 5 to 14days to see if symptoms significantly reduce. For details on how this works, click here and see http://www.hemex.com/.
15) Check for Other items Noted in the Main CFS/FMS Books
The last step is to look for all other items referenced in the primary CFS/FMS books. This includes things likes Lyme disease, Celiac Disease (if your food allergy ELISA test shows allergy to wheat, then suspect Celiac), etc. Yes, this is hard work.
BeatCfsAndFms.org proposes that research be done to better understand CFS/FMS. For details, please click here and here.
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