Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) affects millions of Americans. Symptoms vary amongst individuals and commonly include severe fatigue, sleep disturbances, cognitive problems, commonly called 'brain fog', muscle pain and multiple infections. Unfortunately, many individuals and physicians continue to deny that this syndrome is a legitimate illness.
The medical literature clearly proves that chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a real condition and individuals with this syndrome have measurable hypothalamic, pituitary, immune and coagulation dysfunction. These abnormalities then result in a cascade of further abnormalities, in which stress plays a role by suppressing immunity and hypothalamic-pituitary function.
Pituitary and hypothalamic dysfunction results in multiple hormonal deficiencies that are often not detected with standard blood tests, and autonomic dysfunction, including neurally mediated hypotension. The immune dysfunction results in opportunistic infections and yeast overgrowth, resulting in worsening of symptoms. Neurotransmitter abnormalities and nutrient deficiencies have also been shown to occur with these disorders.
Reactivating viruses combined with suppressed immunity is a common thread amongst CFS patients. The most common initiating cause is a viral infection, which is very commonly Epstein Bar Virus, Cytomegalovirus or HHV6. When specialized testing is utilized, these infections are found in 30-80% of CFS patients. Many people with this syndrome can pinpoint the start of CFS to a viral infection that never got better usually during significant life stressors.
Effective treatment, with 80 to 90%of individuals achieving significant clinical benefits, can be achieved by simultaneously treating the above problems that an individual is found to have. The mix of treatments needed varies from patient to patient based on what abnormalities are present and how progressed the condition is.
A high percentage of individuals with CFS have low thyroid, as well as adrenal insufficiency and growth hormone deficiency. Supplementation with these hormones can often have profound effects. As with thyroid testing, these deficiencies are, unfortunately, usually not detected with the standard screen blood tests and require more specific testing.
Multi-faceted Approach For Effective Treatment
Although a concept that is sometimes uncomfortable and foreign to traditional medical styles of thinking, the need for multiple interventions is required for effective treatment of an illness that affects a critical control center (such as the hypothalamus), which impacts the multiple systems noted above. Unfortunately, there is not a single treatment that reverses hypothalamic dysfunction directly. CFS treatment requires an integrated treatment approach based on simultaneously treating the above problems, like infections, is significantly beneficial in CFS.
The multi-faceted approach followed by medical experts at Holtorf Medical Group includes 5 components that need to be addressed in conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome: Stabilize the Patient, Mitochondrial Enhancement, Balance the Hormones, Treat the lnfectious Component, Address Unique Etiologies and Maintenance.
A 500 patient study demonstrated that this multi-system treatment protocol that addresses the known physiologic abnormalities in conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome resulted in:
- 94% of patients having overall improvement by their 4th visit;
- 75% noted having significant overall improvement;
- 62% reported having substantial overall improvement; and
- Average energy level and sense of well-being for patients doubled by their fourth visit.
The effectiveness of this multi-system treatment approach was further confirmed through the analysis of the cumulative findings of over 40 independent physicians and over 5,000 patients. Prior to the treatment at the Holtorf Medical Group, the patients had seen an average of 7.2 different physicians for the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia without significant improvement.
Individuals suffering from such a devastating syndrome like chronic fatigue can “get their lives back” despite the fact that they were previously told, “There is nothing that can be done,” or “It is all in your head.”