WHENEVER I hear of any -one suffering from CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME (CFS), as I did of two cases  last  week, my mine raises immediately to Dr. RAYMOND STRAND, his wife ELIZABETH, and to the Editors of Alternative Medicine Digest. Dr Strand, a medical doctor who could not help his wife with her CFS, is the author of the book WHAT YOUR DOCTOR DOES NOT KNOW ABOUT NUTRITION MAY BE KILLING YOU. Elizabeth suffered from  such CFS has denied her the energy to get up from bed in the morning or to  brush her teeth until a lay woman like herself gave her some food supplements which made her to not only   get up  but made her the horse riding woman that she was all over again.

As for Editors of the alternative Medicine Digest, they offer us the fabulous book titled CHRONIC FATIGUE, SYDROME, FIBROMYALGIA and ENVIRONMENTAL ILLNESSES.

No one should pray to encounter CFS. it is a composite of many  illnesses in which energy loss trends to dominate and the other terrible conditions seem to enjoy being overshadowed to go on silently wreaking their havoc’s. These other  conditions are fibromyalgia and environmental illnesses of all sorts. Fibromyalgia refers to muscle disease and pain in which the connective tissue of muscles fibers tighteneds and thickened, and causes pain. As it is described, FIBROMYALGIA, also called FIBROSITIS, ” shares many of the same symptoms as CFS, including debilitating fatigue, muscle and joint pain, sleeping disorder, depression, anxiety, mental confusion and digestive problem”.

Environmental illness, also called multiple chemical sensitivities, is about inability to cope with molecules in the environment, such as the effervescent fumes of petrol at  filling station, the smell of orange at a grocery shop or even the smell of disinfectants in an hospital outpatient ward.

For about three months now, I have been speaking on the telephone with a Nigerian woman who lives in New York. She is fifty-something and worked as a care giver before her troubles began. The company she  worked with sent her to a home where she care for a woman aged about 90 who lived with her Daughter of 70. She was to see to their feeding, laundry,clean their apartment and call the ambulance whenever she smelled a rat about their health. The older woman was coughing hard. It turned out that she was suffering from tuberculosis, a disease which, before  other nations, . the United State beats its chest it has conquered. The Nigerian woman was sent to the hospital for tests to determines if she had picked the bacteria. She had, indeed, but was not coughing as yet.This did not mean she  was free of attack.  Tuberculosis attacks not only the lungs in all cases.(Two of my cousins were hit in the spinal bones from where the bacteria spread to their livers and killed them).

So, this woman was place on antibiotics for six long months. This must have  been how and why her problems began . Surprisingly, her  doctors did not place her on probatics after the antibiotic treatment was stopped.Antibiotic kill unfriendly bacteria and friendly  bacteria alike in the intestine as elsewhere in the body. Remnant  unfriendly bacteria recover faster than the friendly bacteria which survived the ant- bio onslaught. In the end, this would means an overgrowth of  unfriendly  bacteria which manifests in various forms such as headaches, constipation, aches and pains, fatigue etc. For ease of reference, I would like to call  this Nigerian woman Mrs A.

She dropped by my house sometime last year when she came to Nigeria for the funeral of her brother who died in New York of heart attack. She had been having persistent headaches and other body pains as that time. Crossing a road without help had, also,  become a challenge, as she sometime fail. She was losing weight dramatically, a sign of some diseases, including diabetes, tuberculosis,  intestinal damage, HIV and cancer .  But I thought these were  challenges she would easily overcome with the barrage of medical attention  at her disposal in the United States . For there was hardly any week she did not see one “primary doctor” or a consultant who gave her medicines and then sent her to  a “specialist! When one of them suggested cervical Spondylosis has the cause of her body pains, but said the condition had become inoperable and that  she would have to live on pain killing injections, the side effects of which were terrible, I  linked her up with a member of my Nigerian Alternative medicine health  chat group.

This gentleman suffered from a similar condition for which the success or failure of surgery was a 50/50 chance. He  came out of the theater in Nigeria, smiling. They spoke. And she returned to the U .S after,  only for her condition to continue to deteriorate. Any primary doctor or consultant she saw look only at the condition at the top of order conditions on the table, not at those below it as well. Does, she got treated for migraines and not also for what were causing them as well. When she began to loss weight, she was offered protein shakes and not investigate for what made her body lack protein from her protein rich diet. Lately, she came up with signs of anxiety and depression, and the doctor wanted to start her on anti- depressant. I advised her about the dangers, and suggested she see an holistic physician.  When she sent me a photograph of herself about two weeks ago by WATHSAPP, I almost broke into tears. She was looking about 40 years older than her age. Ahead of another visits to yet  another specialist doctor again this week, this time for a check on her digestive system, I asked her to again check her tongue in the mirror… it was all white or grey, a sign that CANDIDA or other yeast forms may have overgrown their population  in the intestine. If this  is the case, digestion and assimilation of food  nutrients into the blood stream would be hectic, weight loss may become gradual or  dramatic, food would begin to decay in the stomach and belching will occur even when water is sipped. Food decay in the intestine would produce not only an over population of unfriendly germs which would  torment the tissues and organs but all sorts of gasses as well. In the brain, this gasses would cause irritation, inflamation and the pains of all sorts of headaches. With not enough nutrients in the cells, their energy output would decrease, muscles would be compromised  along with other organs, the doctors would bring the sledge hammer drugs  down on the various systems, without seeing an holistic picture of this problems and dealing with it as such. In this case, we may be dealing with unfriendly bacteria and yeast overgrowth of the intestine, allergic reactions and environmental illnesses  which an already compromised  immune system could no longer deal with.

Such was a sutuation , also, of Mrs Elizabeth Strand, which her husband could not successfully tackle, being not a holistic medicine physician, despite help from even his superiors and formal teachers medical school and  in the profession. But Dr Strand was a humble doctor. And in humility lies greatness. The recovery of his wife on food supplements and not on magic bullet pharmaceutical drugs got him thinking. He research many folks medicines and double blind, peer -reviewed studies on them,discovered that herbs and food medicines really work and  wrote his popular book WHAT YOUR DOCTOR DOES NOT KNOW ABOUT NUTRITION MAY BE KILLING YOU, grateful his wife condition took away his ignorance about other forms of medicine which he gave no room in his practice. One of the favourite herbs of Dr Strand , GRAPE SEED EXTRACT, for confronting challenges as  these,  also favoured by the 50 Alternative Medicine physicans assembled by the Editors of ALTERNSTIVE MEDECINE DIGEST for their opinions in their book project which features about 20 case studies. The Editors of ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE DIGEST deserved our  gratitude for the book CHRONIC FATIGUE, FIBROMYALGIA and ENVIRONMENTAl ILLNESS…. for the opinion of Dr Murray Susser who tells us: “CFS develops as a result of a combination of nutritional deficiencies; acquired toxicity (from environment, food, dental amalgams, dental infections, and/ or drugs); poor stress_coping abilities; acquired systemic infection ( often due to excessive use of antibiotics causing Canadianism and parasite over growth); and a vicious cycle of lowered immune function, allergies, more infection , and further depleted energy reserves ..

” It is essential to understand the factors that went into creating CFS in each person because CFS is never caused by one thing olone and no two people have the same causal factors”.  Dr  Susser suggests care in the diagnosis of CFS which he says shares sysmptoms with multiple sclerosis and Lupus, in which the immune system wages war or the body.

Dr. Jessey Stoff M.D .suggests a wide range of options for reversing CFS. In  1987, he wrote the book titled CHRONIC FATIGUE  SYNDROME: THE HIDDEN EPIDEMIC.  Dr Stoff runs a clinic which tests the blood, urine and stool for a variety of  what happen in the patients body. For example, is the patient’s immune system hurting him or her, as in rhematiod arthritis, diabetics melitus, multiple sclerosis.et.c? Is Chronic thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid gland) Present in the scenario? Almost every month, Dr stoff discovers that about two patients among those who consulted with him had been misdiagnosed with CFS by other phydicans, were as they were beset  with cancer.

In PAUL, Stoff has an interesting case history. Paul, was a missionary worker with a demanding physical job, who skipped meals, he was 39 and was suffering from CFS, had difficulty getting out of bed in the morinings and of keeping his eyes wide open thereafter, suffered from sore throat and swollen glands, had recurrent low grade fever, muscle and joint aches, chronic indigestion, sleep disorders, depression and memory challenges, poor concentration and focus. He was always tired and needed many nape to keep going during the day. Blood tests revealed no parasite in Paul’s  body. So did urine and stool tests .He did not also have high levels of Epstein Barr virus which features often in CFS. But he was grossly deficient in many amino acids and essential fatty acids because of his of dietary inadequacies. His biological and hormonal profiles were waracked, out of balance. His ACTH, for example, was undetechable. ACTH is Adreno-corticotropic  Hormones produced by the pituary gland in the brain for the up keep of the adrenal glands. Everyone has two adrenal glands, one situated on each kidney, to help the body to cope with stress and to perform other functions. Adrenal exhaustion and  Adrenal burn -out are  major reasons many people  succumb to stress, cancer and other degenerative diseases…. and even  death. Paul’s DHEA, another hormone, was negligible. The cortisol levels were abnormally high.  Pancreatic enzymes defficiencies made it difficult for him to absorb nutrients from foods and food supplements.

Dr Stoff says: Paul’s immune system was not working properly because his body could no longer regulate  this rational, deep-set cycles”. Dr. Stoff prescription for Paul naturally were multi- faceted. Paul got anthropologic remedies, to start with. These were to stimulate the immune system, and include Echinacea Argentin Next was APIs Belladona to moderate  and reverse inflammation. There was  Cardus  Marianus for liver detoxification. A multi vitamin and an Acidophilus to help regulate biological cycles and promote sleep, Melatonin joined the league. Melatonin is a sleep -regulating hormone  produced by the pineal gland located inside the brain. There was an amino Acid supplement and immune boosters from multi-nutrient formulas. For depression, restful sleep and get Serotonin levels up, 5- hydroxy- Tryptophan,a form of the Amano acid L-Tryrophan”. To bring up suppressed levels of Dopapmin, the Happy hormone which makes us happy and a deficiency of which is linked to depression, Catamin, a form of the amino acid L-Tyrosine was included in the list. Besides, these was Activated Vitamin B6. The aim of Dr Stoff here was to balance ” two vital brain chemicals, the neurotransmitters, Serotonin and Dopamine, which , in turn, would reset Paul’s biocycles”.Paul also received medication  to  improve his enzymes situation and make him absorb more nutrients.

Paul’s health  began to improve in three days as evidence that  his body’s systems were resettling, a job which CBD oil is performing  nowadays.

Paul recovered within 18 months much later  than many of the 1,500 patients Dr. Stoff has successfully treated because his nutritional profiles were worse than theirs, it is reported.

Dr. Murray Susser

He tell us parasites, candidiasis , viruses and other infections are seen often in patients with CFS. Many physicians still wounder if the infections, appearing in combinations, cause CFS or are merely opportunistic  occurrences allowed by compromised  immunity. Whatever it is, there is no disagreement that  weakened immunity ” is a central feature of the syndrome and the infections involved perpetrate and deepened immune dysfunction  by further tasking an already overloaded system”. This call for strengthening of the immune system in any alternative medicine CFS therapeutic protocols. In contract, conventional medicine tends to focus  on single viruses such as  those of the Herpes family which many includes Epstein  Barr virus”.

Dr Susser says: ” The most common  infections we find are yeast ( candida abicars) and parasites. We also find hidden bacterial infections such as Lyme disease ( Borrelia burgdorfueri) and absecesses in the teeth and sometimes chronic prostatitis, chronic sinusitis, and chronic gastritis”.

The Editors of Alternative medicine  Digest report on other view of  Dr. Susser:

“In addition to the well- known symptom of CFS, Murray R. Susser, M.D.  of Santa Monica, California, notes that, unlike in healthy people brain circulation  in CFS patients gets worse after exercise. Therefore, as part of getting a complete symptomatic picture, he tests patients after excercise  for decreased blood circulation  in the brain. He also tests the Cortisol level in the blood  which ( unlike in healthy people) decrease in CFS patients after exercise. The low levels of these hormones ( Vital for dealing with stress) suggests the likehood of CFS,

The Lesson

There are morals in every story told. What lessons are there in this CFS story for Nigerian consumers  if Alternative medicine?  One of them is this… A care giver often approaches a condition as serious as CFS from multi laterial perspectives and designs therapy objectives or goals accordingly, searching for the best plant medicines available for each activity. These supplement may not be the ones chosen by doctor Stoff for example, CBD oil the mster systems reseter, has only just caught the world’s atttention. There is always a very long list to choose from. The Nigerians recipient or consumers or patients,who are very much like pual, do not eat well, do not rest well and grumble that the list of medicines for their therapy goals is too long. Their budget worries in their country’s mangled economy I’d understandable. But medicines cannot but be medicines, mangled economy or not. We all must learn to budget every for our health as we do for motors cars and parties, eat well, include anti viral, anti-bacteria, digestive and immune boosting foods in the diet. We must learn to rest and relax and avoid stressors which put down our health.