Although technically not an autoimmune condition, Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is often grouped in to the category of illnesses that are considered to be autoimmune. It can be a tough diagnosis to receive – as the average woman suffers anywhere between 7 and 9 years before actually getting confirmation that she has CFS. The exact causes of CFS are not entirely known, although there is a strong tie to unresolved emotional pain. Those with CFS often have severe fatigue coupled with regular and sometimes debilitating muscle and joint pain. Some of the other signs of CFS can include:

  • Memory Loss and Issues

  • Sore Lymph Nodes

  • Muscle and Joint Pain

  • Headaches

  • Waking up Tired

  • No Energy For Exercise

It is very important if you do have CFS that you nourish your body with sources of healthy iodine from various seaweeds, adequate plant based protein, and Omega 3 fatty acids from seeds like chia and hemp. Those are three nutrients that a person with CFS is often deficient in. There are other things you can do to improve your overall well-being. Here are my top 6 tips if you are suffering from CFS:

1.   STAY HYDRATED AND AVOID ALCOHOL: Alcohol is a nervous system depressant and will only increase fatigue. It is also harmful to your liver, making it harder for your body to filter out any toxins in your body. Alcohol also depletes water from the body, and it is vital to stay hydrated when you are fatigued.

2.   AVOID CAFFEINE: Caffeine causes your body’s energy to spike and then crash. It also has a damaging effect on your adrenals, especially if you are consuming it on a regular basis, which will harm your natural rhythms of restoration and replenishment. It affects your sleep cycles which are an important part of your overall recovery.

3.   TAKE A HIGH QUALITY B COMPLEX VITAMIN: Make sure your B complex includes the Methylcobalamin form of B12. Most B supplements contain cyanocobalamin which is bound to a cyanide molecule and is more difficult for the body to assimilate. The B vitamins are crucial to gaining back your energy. Consider a food-based brand like Mega-Foods.

4.   TAKE DAILY MAGNESIUM: Magnesium is considered the “master mineral” in the body, involved in over 300 metabolic functions. In a study published in The Lancet CFS patients were found to have low magnesium levels that accounted for a low red blood cell count. Those who were given magnesium supplements reported increased energy, better mood regulation and less physical pain. Consider a powdered form like Natural Calm.

5.   CONSIDER SUPPLEMENTING WITH RHODIOLA:  Rhodiola can be an incredible help to those with CFS. Studies on rhodiola and fatigue are very promising, showing statistically significant reductions in fatigue, concentration, sleep patterns, motivation, mood, and general well-being.  Improvements have been seen in doses ranging from 100 mg per day up to 576 mg in divided doses.

Overall if you are feeling fatigued and you have been feeling this way for a while, get a nutrition consult and see if your diet can be altered to support you more completely. It would also benefit you to get a complete blood work up to see where your vitamin and mineral levels are at.