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 CFS  Holistic-online.com

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Nutrition

One theory holds that a nutritional deficiency may be a contributing factor causing CFS, so it's important to maintain a healthy diet. Diet can be used beneficially to strengthen the ailing immune system of people suffering from chronic fatigue. It is now recognized that a well-balanced diet should be part of the treatment for all chronic illnesses. Chronic fatigue syndrome is not primarily a dietary disorder. But as in other debilitating illnesses, people suffering from CFS fail to consume a nutritious diet. This leads to dietary related complications. 

The following items are important if you are suffering from CFS:

Avoid sugar and sweets. Sweet foods cause dramatic fluctuations in blood-glucose levels, and unstable blood-sugar levels cause fatigue. If sweetener is used at all, choose a natural sweetener like honey, which contains the vitamins needed to digest it. Frequent, small meals help keep blood- sugar levels stable. 
Diet is crucial to building the immune system and conquering CFS. Avoid foods low in nutrients and high in sugar and fat. Instead, eat high-nutrient, high-protein, complex carbohydrate foods such as vegetables, grains, beans, fish, and poultry.
Eliminate all allergic foods. If you are highly allergic, the rotate the non-allergenic foods. Drink eight to ten glasses of pure water and vegetable or fruit juices daily to flush out toxins. 
Eat raw fruits and vegetables, whole grains and unroasted nuts and seeds. Raw fruits and vegetables and whole grains provide fiber. Fiber alleviates constipation, a factor in fatigue. Apples, oatmeal and oat bran are particularly beneficial because the fiber they contain is water-soluble and binds and eliminates toxins. Unrefined, cold-pressed nut and seed oils and cold-water fish provide essential fatty acids which help boost the immune system. 
Flaxseed oil is an essential fatty acid that could help people with CFS. Take up to two teaspoons a day, along with a magnesium supplement of 400 milligrams. Flaxseed oil is available in liquid and capsule form.
Sea greens, such as spirulina and blue-green algae, contain many trace minerals that are missing in the normal diet. 
Sixty percent of people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome also suffer from candidiasis. Avoid all forms of sugar, including milk products (lactose), fruit, caffeine, alcohol, and refined carbohydrates (white flour, white rice). Eat plain, unsweetened yogurt or drink kefir daily to provide friendly bacteria which inhibit the growth of candida yeast. Take a good basic multivitamin/mineral supplement with adequate amounts of trace minerals. Garlic and nutritional yeast are effective against intestinal parasites, another factor relating to chronic fatigue syndrome. 

Vitamins, Minerals, and Supplements

The following supplements are important for CFS patients: 

Beta carotene-100,000 I.U. daily 
Vitamin C - 2,000 mg, three times daily 
Vitamin E-400 to 800 I. U. daily 
Vitamin B-complex-50 to 100 mg of all B vitamins daily (take in the evening) 
High-potency multivitamin/mineral combination 
Zinc picolinate-30 mg daily 
Magnesium glycinate-1000 mg daily 
Calcium citrate or lactate- 1000 mg daily with vitamin D, 400 units 
Manganese-15 mg daily 
Omega 3 EFAs (EPA/DHA)-300 mg/300 mg three times daily 
Pantothenic acid-250 mg two times daily 
Acetyl-L-carnitine-l,000 mg two times daily for three months, then 250 to 500 mg daily 
Coenzyme Q-10-100 to 200 mg daily for three months (an oil/resin-bound form for maximum absorption) 
L-Lysine-1,000 mg, three times daily for three months, then 1,000 mg daily
Malic acid-600 to 1,000 mg daily 
Alpha lipoic acid-100 mg three to four times daily
L-glutathione-50 mg two times daily 
Adrenal extract-one or two tablets three times daily 
Thymus gland extract-one or two tablets three times daily 
Vitamin B-l2 injections, 2,000 mcg with folic acid, 5 mg one or two times per week 
Gamma globulin injections weekly for several months 

Some naturopathic physicians treat CFS with an intravenous solution containing pantothenic acid, vitamin C, and hydrochloric acid (HCl). Many people report remarkable improvement with this treatment.

Magnesium

Magnesium deficiency may also be a problem for CFS patients. Magnesium and malic acid assist in initiating the Krebs cycle, a series of biochemical reactions that transform nutrients into energy. In a recent study, twenty people with CFS were compared with twenty healthy volunteers. The blood magnesium content of the CFS patients were found to be significantly lower. In another study, thirty-two patients with CFS were given intramuscular injections of magnesium. Eighty percent of those receiving the magnesium had reduced symptoms and improved energy while less than 20 percent of those on placebo injections reported improvement. Take a combination formula that supplies 100 milligrams of magnesium and 300 milligrams of malic acid three times daily, twenty minutes before each meal, for six to eight weeks. 

Vitamin B-12

A New Zealand study found that injection of vitamin B 12 in CFS patients helped normalize imbalances in their red blood cells. 

The B vitamins, especially pantothenic acid, B2 and B6, are depleted in stressful situations. They lend the nerves support and help build reserves. Fortified yeast supplements are excellent sources of B vitamins and provide the body with extra energy. 

Evening primrose oil has proven helpful when taken over several months. The gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) in evening primrose oil is anti- inflammatory, reducing the aches and pains and other symptoms associated with the disease. 

Vitamin C is excellent for the immune system and helps to fend off colds and flus, common to chronic fatigue sufferers. 

Vitamin A is essential for the production of antibodies necessary to fight viral infections. 

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, ensuring that vitamin A is not destroyed by oxygen, and improving the supply of oxygen to the cells. 

Chlorella is a replenishing supplement. It contains high amounts of chlorophyll, which detoxifies and helps destroy viruses. Blue-green algae, another green food, focuses on strengthening the immune system. 

Lactobacillus acidophilus and other friendly bacteria are necessary for a healthy immune system and are often lacking in those with chronic fatigue, especially if antibiotics have been taken. 

Bromelain, an enzyme derived from pineapple, and proteolytic enzymes help reduce inflammation. Take 500 milligrams of either of these enzymes twice a day, between meals. 

Digestive Enzyme Supplement: The digestion and assimilation of nutrients is often compromised in people with chronic fatigue syndrome. Take a full-spectrum digestive-enzyme supplement containing 5,000 international units of lipase, 2,500 international units of amylase, 300 international units of protease, plus 500 to 1,000 milligrams of pancreatin, with each meal.

Note: Long-term supplementation with pancreatin is not advised, as it can cause your pancreas to reduce its own production of this important enzyme. Overuse also has the potential to cause nausea or diarrhea. After two months on pancreatin, discontinue use and monitor your reaction. If you find that your problems recur, discuss pancreatin supplementation with your health-care provider. 

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is very useful if the fatigue is associated with anxiety. Take 500 milligrams in the morning and again at bedtime.

Note: If you are taking melatonin in the evening, eliminate the evening dose of GABA. 

Glucosamine sulfate relieves joint pain by assisting in the production of cartilage. Take 500 milligrams of glucosamine sulfate three times daily (if you weigh over 200 pounds, take the same dose four times daily). It may take up to eight to twelve weeks to see results, so don't give up too soon. 

Lipotropics are emulsifiers that help in the digestion of fats. They also assist in the transmission of signals from one nerve cell to another, which is an important consideration if you are experiencing body-wide weakness. Take 1,200 milligrams (or 1 tablespoon) of lecithin twice daily, with meals. Or take 300 to 500 milligrams of a lipotropic complex three times daily, with meals. 

Thymus glandular extract enhances immune function, which is often impaired in people with chronic fatigue syndrome. Take 750 milligrams of thymus extract at breakfast and again at lunch.

Related Topics:  

Nutrition for Stress management

Diet Therapy for Stress Management

Vitamins for Stress Management

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