Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS / ME) and fatiguing illness
Using Functional Medicine to treat Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
As a medical student, one of Dr Sarah’s rock climbing partners and close friends had previously been a victim of CFS / ME. She had been confined to a wheelchair at school but, amazingly, had cured herself (through her own research), through simple dietary changes.
On becoming a GP, Dr Sarah quickly realised that there was no real understanding of the underlying problems plaguing so many of the (often female), CFS/ME sufferers she saw in clinic. NHS blood tests were generally normal and no-one seemed interested in investigating possible dietary connections, or in understanding WHY these patients became ill. As NHS therapy for the condition was limited to psychological therapies and graded exercise (with little success), this clearly was not addressing the root cause of their problems.
Reading the works of Dr Sarah Myhill (UK expert in CFS/ME), was when Dr Sarah realised there were other Doctors interested in really understanding and treating the true causes of this condition. It was seeing Dr Myhill’s determination to try and understand this condition, researching and reaching out to successfully help thousands of patients which really crystallised in Dr Sarah’s mind what kind of doctor she wanted to be, and led her to study Functional Medicine.
Dr Sarah is immensely privileged to have Dr Myhill as an inspirational friend and mentor and attends regular study sessions with her. For those looking for answers and wanting to understand the Functional Medicine approach to Chronic Fatigue, we advise reading Dr Myhills informative and practical advice in her books and on her website.
The Functional Medicine Approach to Chronic Fatigue (ME):
In the Functional Medicine Approach for fatiguing illness we take pains to search carefully for multiple issues and address all problems we find. However, some need to be prioritised above others. My general approach would be:
- Finding the diet right for you – removing any allergens, reducing inflammatory foods, improving micronutrients and blood sugar stability.
- Checking for and replacing any micronutrient deficits – in particular we find B12 and magnesium helpful in fatiguing illness
- Checking for and correcting thyroid and hormonal problems
- Supporting mitochondrial function – the mitochondria are the key to production of energy within the body
- Identification and treatment of chronic infections
- Avoidance of toxins and assisting patients with safe and effective means of detoxification including nutritional support and the use of Sauna therapy
- Reduction of stress and support for adrenal dysfunction
If you would like to discuss how Functional Medicine can help a fatiguing illness we will be very happy to see you in clinic, or one of our Nutritional therapy team can talk you through our process.