Chronic fatigue syndrome has a wide range of symptoms, especially extreme tiredness.

Lady with Chronic Fatigue resting in chair

Chronic fatigue can also be known as ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) and is characterised mainly by long term tiredness alongside other symptoms such as sleep issues, memory problems, muscle and joint aches and pains, depression and headaches. There are many different underlying causes of CF, so it is important to use functional medicine to get to the root cause and support the body from there rather than just managing symptoms.

What causes chronic fatigue

CF is a multi-factorial disease with viruses quite often being the missing link for many people. Viruses can often be the trigger for CF and can lie dormant for years, re-emerging now and then and causing a new wave of tiredness for sufferers, long after the initial infection has passed. Chemical sensitivities can also be involved, including heavy metal toxicity.

Conventional approach

Approaches usually include exercise programmes to build resilience and speed up recovery from a bout of CF. Medications can also be used to control pain, support sleep and low mood. Therapy can be useful to help people to modify behaviours and old thought patterns.

Things you can do:

  • Eat a whole food anti-inflammatory diet that includes wild fish, Omega 2 fats, purple berries, dark green leafy vegetables, herbs including turmeric, ginger and rosemary.
  • Exercise regularly – that means just keep moving, whatever you can manage
  • Deep relaxation – calming techniques like yoga, deep breathing, massage. Essential daily routine.
  • Sleep hygiene – Essential for reducing inflammation, managing metabolism and preventing many diseases.

What can Functional Medicine do to support?

  • Functional testing for hidden infections – looking at viruses, bacterial, Lyme disease.
  • Functional testing for food intolerances – fatigue, joint pain and brain fog can often be associated with food sensitivities.
  • Functional testing for heavy metal toxicity and liver function – if there are toxins present and there are issues with the ability to detoxify then toxic load can increase causing symptoms to worsen.
  • Functional Testing for mitochondrial health – the mitochondria are the energy production factories of the body situated in every cell. There are many steps in the energy production process, all needing particular nutrients to function. Nutrients are also needed to detoxify environmental toxins like heavy metals.
  • Functional testing for gut health – with 70-80% of your immune system in your gut, having an optimal gut microbiome is essential in regulating your immune system and digesting and absorbing the nutrients from your food that fuel energy production in the body. 
  • Functional testing for adrenal health – fatigue can often be the result of sub-optimal adrenal function. We can see what the health of your adrenals is like and support them through lifestyle modifications and herbal adaptogens.
  • Testing thyroid function – low functioning of the thyroid can often lead to fatigue and ongoing tiredness.

5 Pillars of Functional Medicine

Managing Stress

Chronic fatigue and Functional Medicine

Do you suffer from chronic fatigue and have tried all the usual approaches?

Functional Medicine can help you, simply book an online consultation or arrange a free 15 minute discovery call and find out how we can help.