Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (or Chronic Fatigue Immune Deficiency Syndrome or Myalgic Encephelatis) is a debilitating constellation of symptoms that turn a person\’s life into a frustrating, unpredictable, and miserable struggle. At least that’s how I felt about my life when I had CFIDS. Before I got sick, I was a college student with a part-time job and an active social life. Once I began suffering from the symptoms of CFIDS, I was forced to drop out of school, I could not work, and I lost my desire to socialize.
It all started when I noticed that I was having trouble focusing and concentrating. I then had a fever for a few days and was very tired. I realized that I had been exposed to the mono virus, and at the college health clinic, I tested positive for mono. So that was it, I had mono. A few weeks of rest, maybe a month, and I would be fine again. End of story.
But that was not the end of the story. I dropped out of school and went home to recover. The problem was, I wasn’t recovering at all. With each passing week, I seemed to get another symptom. First I was tired and couldn’t concentrate. Then I started having night sweats. My throat became constantly sore, and I was constantly producing this stringy, thick saliva. The worst thing, though, was the fact that most of the time, I had this brain fog. A sort of dizziness in my mind, that made it very hard to enjoy socializing and other activities. I also started getting headaches, especially when there was too much noise or excitement. Perfumes, incense, and any other strong smelling substances made me feel ill.
Life was becoming miserable. Then, suddenly, something went wrong with my sleeping. I slept, and every time I woke it was as if I’d never slept at all. Very quickly, I started suffering from roving muscle aches. At the high point of my suffering, I found some descriptions of people sick with CFIDS, and I realized that I too had this mysterious Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Along the way, the doctors that I saw were zero help. In fact, several doctors indicated that it was very possible that I had hepatitis, AIDS, or lymphoma. None mentioned the much more likely diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
There seem to be many ways that people end up with CFIDS. Most of the people that I have met with Chronic Fatigue drove themselves pretty hard and then had a bout of the flu or mono. Some of the people had their sleep patterns disrupted for an extended period of time (through alternating night shifts, for example).
In my opinion, no magic pill is ever going to be able to cure Chronic Fatigue. I feel that people with CFIDS have an exhausted system. To me, CFIDS is just a particular way that people’s systems tend to break down. This being the case, there is really only one approach to “curing” CFIDS. You absolutely must eliminate as many unhealthy habits as you can tolerate, while adding as many healthy habits as you can handle. This will give your system a chance to recover.
The problem is that it is hard to assess your unhealthy habits without help. In B.E.S.T. chiropractic, we look at six essential areas: what you eat, what you drink, how you exercise, how you rest, the quality of the air that you breathe and what you think.
What you think often proves to be of highest importance. Your thinking can be a constant source of stress for your body. The healthiest diet and the best habits cannot overcome a system that is stuck in a state of high stress. A good chiropractor or other practitioner who uses gentle techniques should be able to calm your system so that it can function normally. In addition, if you can understand the role of your thoughts and attitudes, and begin to change them, this will cascade into all kinds of benefits.
When I was sick with CFIDS, I was able to change my thinking. Then I changed my diet. Enough of my other unhealthy habits followed, and my CFIDS, which had lasted for over 6 months, improved dramatically over the next month.
In addition to these changes, I was treated by a B.E.S.T. chiropractor who supplemented her work with homeopathy. Within 2 months, my symptoms were for the most part gone and I was back to leading a normal life. Her treatment was critical in my recovery and my subsequent health. It has been over fifteen years since I was sick, and I have suffered no relapses, though I do at times have recurrences of certain symptoms. I became a chiropractor so that I would have an opportunity to help others as she helped me.
If you are suffering with Chronic Fatigue (or Fibromyalgia) do not lose hope.
Dr. Michael Pinkerton