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CONCLUSION: Create an Individualized Treatment Plan

Prousky M.Sc. N.D., Jonathan E. Basic Health Publications ePub

CONCLUSION

Create an Individualized Treatment Plan

If you have chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and want to obtain a better and more enjoyable quality of life, it is important that the recommendations in this book are used in conjunction with a comprehensive holistic treatment plan, which includes lifestyle and dietary modifications, along with the vitamin and other treatments. To help you prioritize your symptoms and then implement treatments, I have created a step-by-step approach—the Prousky Plan—to assist you. This approach has been successfully used with many of my CFS patients. It should allow you to more effectively and precisely treat your own symptoms and overcome chronic fatigue.

The Prousky Plan

Step One: Incorporate many of the suggestions in Chapter 2: Lifestyle Modifications. These will help you create a more balanced life, and teach you to “pace” yourself in your daily activities. Pay special attention to the type and intensity of regular exercise and look for ways to make your home more ergonomically sound.

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CHAPTER 7: Treating Mental Health Problems

Prousky M.Sc. N.D., Jonathan E. Basic Health Publications ePub

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is strongly associated with both depression and anxiety-related symptoms.1 The mental anguish and physical toll that anxiety and depression impose is tremendous, especially since people with CFS are already burdened by the inherent difficulties of their illness. Even though chronic fatigue is often misdiagnosed as depression, many sufferers do in fact suffer from low moods. I have also observed that there are a sizeable number of people with CFS who suffer from anxiety and feel further incapacitated by being chronically stressed, nervous, and tense.

Since it makes little sense for those with chronic fatigue to suffer needlessly from debilitating mental health symptoms, they should undergo a therapeutic trial using several of the numerous vitamin and other treatments that are available. These natural treatments usually improve quality of life and significantly reduce symptoms of chronic mental health problems.

In Chapter 3, I recommended that people with chronic fatigue consider following an oligoantigenic (elimination) diet followed by a challenge phase to pinpoint dietary intolerances (food allergies). Once all implicated dietary items have been identified, they should be strictly avoided or ingested only once every four days to limit ongoing allergic reactions. Since food allergies can be responsible for mental health symptoms like anxiety and depression, removing ongoing allergic reactions is a vital component of an effective plan to overcome CFS.

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CHAPTER 3: Treating Allergies

Prousky M.Sc. N.D., Jonathan E. Basic Health Publications ePub

Dietary modifications can play a major role in improving quality of life for those with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). There is emerging evidence suggesting a link between adverse reactions to foods or diet-derived compounds (food allergies) and the development of CFS.1 An elimination diet can help provide relief, as can vitamin C and other nutrients.

One investigator reported less fatigue in 73 percent of CFS patients who implemented dietary modifications.2 This finding is important since fatigue is the central problem in CFS. Other research demonstrated a reduction in the inflammatory compounds called cytokines when food intolerances were eliminated by dietary modifications.3 When individuals with food intolerances were challenged with dairy and wheat, cytokine levels were significantly elevated. This can cause a myriad of symptoms that mimic the features of chronic fatigue, such as headaches, muscle pains, joint pains, and gastrointestinal disturbances.

When CFS patients eliminated wheat, milk, benzoates, nitrites, nitrates, and food colorings and other additives from their diets, 90 percent experienced symptom reduction in fatigue, recurrent fever, sore throat, muscle pain, headache, joint pain, and cognitive dysfunction.4 There was also a reduction in irritable bowel symptoms, which is particularly relevant since the prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome is high among those with CFS.5 In another study in which CFS patients eliminated food intolerances, there was complete alleviation of chronic fatigue in twenty patients.6

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CHAPTER 6: Restoring Balance to the Immune System

Prousky M.Sc. N.D., Jonathan E. Basic Health Publications ePub

Poor nutritional habits (such as eating too much junk food and sugar) or having specific nutrient deficiencies (vitamin A, vitamin C, and zinc) will impair the immune system, making us more susceptible to infections. When immune status has been compromised by poor nutrition, the infections we actually succumb to become much more virulent and damaging. This is perhaps one of the central reasons why so many individuals that develop chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) have an immune system that is chronically over-activated.

Not only are people with CFS vulnerable to the deleterious effects of a triggering agent like a virus, but it is highly probable that a virus or some other infectious agent causes more significant immune system damage as a consequence of inadequate nutrition. This is a vicious cycle: inadequate nutrition increased the vulnerability to infection, and once the infection triggered the immune system, inadequate nutritional status allowed the infection to persist longer, leading to a state of chronic immune system activation and the eventual development of CFS. Key symptoms of immune system dysfunction among CFS sufferers include: general malaise; being chronically fatigued; having a chronic sore throat or sinus congestion; experiencing daily muscle aches and pains; and potentially having abnormal skin, hair, and nail changes.

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CHAPTER 4: Optimizing Autonomic and Central Nervous System Function

Prousky M.Sc. N.D., Jonathan E. Basic Health Publications ePub

People with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) suffer from nervous system impairments as a result of abnormalities in both their autonomic and central nervous systems. The autonomic nervous system (ANS) abnormalities lead to blood flow problems and even drops in blood pressure when standing, which can be responsible for symptoms such as light-headedness and fatigue. The central nervous system (CNS) abnormalities may involve alterations in brain blood flow and brain metabolism, which are presumed to be responsible for cognitive deficits involving concentration, attention, and short-term memory. I would also add mental fatigue and fogginess to the list of cognitive deficits that those with CFS experience. To remedy these nervous system disturbances, a number of nutritional options are available that can optimize the functioning of both the ANS and CNS.

In the previous chapter, I recommended that people with chronic fatigue consider following an oligoantigenic (elimination) diet followed by a challenge phase to pinpoint dietary intolerances (food allergies). Once all implicated dietary items have been identified, they should be strictly avoided or ingested only once every four days to limit ongoing allergic reactions. This is a vital step when trying to recover from CFS.

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