Acupuncture Treats Chronic Fatigue


 

Posted by Joe Downer |  | Posted in Acupuncture, Chronic Pain, Fatigue, Pain Management.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) [also known as Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction (CFIDS), and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)] is a difficult condition to diagnose.  It’s symptoms, in addition to profound fatigue and un-refreshing sleep, vary greatly and may include:

  • Poor concentration
  • Short-term memory problems
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Tender lymph nodes
  • Headache
  • Word-finding problems
  • Impairment of speech
  • Blurring
  • Sensitivity to light, sound or odours
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea and/or constipation
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Personality changes
  • Mood swings
  • Dizziness
  • Sensitivity to heat and/or cold
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Chest pains
  • Muscle twitching
  • Ringing in the ears

The symptoms experienced will vary from person to person and typically fluctuate in severity.  Individual symptoms mimic a variety of diseases and may come and go, making diagnosis and treatment more difficult.

There is no clearly definitive cause although there has been some indication of an immune system weakness, particularly involving B cells, which produce antibodies when functioning normally.   This immune system weakness may possibly be triggered by a reawakened previous viral infection such as Epstein-Barr.

Many doctors still believe this condition is psychological.  Yet their patient’s low energy often can be traced to an inability of the heart under stress to increase blood pressure and a resulting inability to recover rapidly.  Heavy metal toxicity has been proposed as a causative agent.

Some studies have observed hormone imbalances in CFS patients.

Frequency and intensity of attacks can vary over time, sometimes appearing to have ended but CFS, for many people, is a debilitating cyclical condition whose symptoms can continue to return for years.

How is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treated?

Without a known cause CFS treatment consists primarily of relieving symptoms.  Thus, a wide choice of drugs, both over the counter and prescription, can be called upon to address the many observed symptoms.

It has been noted that many CFS sufferers have an unusual response to medications, probably due to the likely impairment of the immune system.

Increased rest is almost universally recommended.  Reduced stress, avoiding spicy or allergy-producing foods, and counseling to improve coping skills often have been suggested by doctors.

Acupuncture Treats Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms Safely

Acupuncture is well known in the West for treating pain.

Studies have shown that acupuncture treatments can cause the release of pain-easing endorphins and other hormones.  Brain scans have documented increased blood flow to the thalamus, which directs pain messages to the rest of the body.

Acupuncture is known to help strengthen the immune system and reduce inflammation, directly addressing two common CFS conditions.

Energy blockages in the body’s organs are recognized by acupuncturists as a contributor to many symptoms of disease.  This is particularly true for CFS patients, who experience multiple, seemingly unrelated symptoms.  Acupuncture helps reduce CFS symptoms by restoring energy balance to the adrenal (endocrine) system, the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland and the immune system.

 

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Sources

http://www.acupuncture.com/newsletters/m_may07/chronic_fatigue_syndrome.htm

Arzneimittelforschung. 2006;56(6):399-404: Clinical activity of folinic acid in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome; Lundell K, Qazi S, Eddy L, Uckun FM.

http://www.dfwcfids.org/cfids/index.shtml

http://www.cqs.com/immunedisorders.pdf

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) [also known as Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction (CFIDS), and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)] is a difficult condition to diagnose.  It’s symptoms, in addition to profound fatigue and un-refreshing sleep, vary greatly and may include:
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