What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?


According to the CDC, Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a “debilitating and complex disorder characterized by intense fatigue that is not improved by bed rest and that may be worsened by physical activity or mental exertion. People with CFS often function at a substantially lower level of activity than they were capable of before they became ill.”

Managing chronic fatigue syndrome can be as complex as the illness itself. There is no cure, no prescription drugs have been developed specifically for CFS, and symptoms can vary a lot over time. Chronic fatigue syndrome may be very challenge for conventional doctors to treat, but a patient has many options in alternative therapies. In fact, integrative physicians, with their broad range of therapeutic options, may be the best-qualified practitioners for these patients.

How will we determine if I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

In particular, Dr. Cohen believes that nutritional therapy may be helpful for certain patients suffering from CFS.
This approach to treating CFS is twofold. It works to strengthen the health, in particular the immune system, and to eliminate any dietary items that might be causing or aggravating the condition. Supplements such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin B5, zinc and magnesium can support the activities of the immune system and adrenal glands, and can help provide relief to patients with CFS. Additionally, Dr. Cohen will complete a thorough investigation of the patient’s diet to determine what foods may be intensifying the symptoms of CFS, and work with the patient to gradually eliminate those foods.

Possible Symptoms

Post-exertion fatigue lasting more than 24 hours

Unrefreshing sleep

Significant impairment of short-term memory or concentration

Muscle pain

Pain in joints without swelling or redness

Headaches of a new type, pattern, or severity

Tender lymph nodes in the neck or armpit

Sore throat that is frequent or recurring