Chronic Fatigue and Inflammation

Chronic fatigue syndrome is an autoimmune disorder that Time magazine in 2004 chronicled as a link between heart attack, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. This syndrome is included with other autoimmune diseases such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Fibromyalgia, and Parkinson’s disease. The common symptom of these diseases including chronic fatigue disease is inflammation.  The assumption is inflammation is an underlying cause of heart attack, cancer and Alzheimer’s and if you can control inflammation you can control those diseases.

With autoimmune diseases inflammation becomes chronic. The human body uses inflammation as a defense against invading virus, bacteria, and injury to tissue and in most cases once the biological threat is distinguished the inflammation subsides. This is not the case with chronic fatigue syndrome.

The body’s use of free radicals instead of healing the body becomes invaders to healthy tissue. Free radicals are an aggressive type of oxygen-based chemical that attacks virus and bacteria. They are programmed to do this. In chronic fatigue causes the free radicals do not stop once the invading biological threat is gone. The free radicals continue to invade healthy cells as if they were a threat to the body resulting in damage to blood vessels, tendons, cartilage, cell membranes and nerve endings.

The body’s defense against free radicals is anti oxidants. These are chemicals looking for a free oxygen body or free radical. In a healthy person this balance between free radicals and anti oxidants is maintained. In an individual with chronic fatigue syndrome the body has become depleted of available anti oxidants and chronic fatigue disease results with an abundance of free radicals.

For the individual with chronic fatigue disability it is crucial to control the inflammation that is attacking the body. The strategy should be to avoid those influences that promote inflammation and include those influences that diffuse it.

Risk factors that promote inflammation are poor diet, poor intestinal health, stress, environmental pollution, and obesity.

An example of a poor diet would be one that is high in white sugar, low in natural nutrients, and high in processed foods. Poor intestinal health results from an intake of a poor diet. An individual with chronic fatigue  is already depleted of necessary healthy bacteria needed to keep them healthy so a healthy lower gastrointestinal tract is critical to offset the symptoms of extreme fatigue. The way to do this is to increase the healthy bacteria that are needed for a healthy gut. Foods such as fresh fruit, vegetables, pro biotics, and sufficient water will increase the likelihood of nourishing the intestinal tract.

The influences that diffuse inflammation in an individual are to eat a diet high in anti-oxidants, and foods that are anti-inflammatory. These would be foods high in omega 3 such as tuna, salmon, anchovies and sardines.  Walnuts, turmeric, rosemary and cayenne are anti-inflammatory additives. Try to avoid a bombardment of environmental pollutants such as exhaust fumes from cars, cleaning solvents, and pesticides.

Stress stimulates free radicals in the body and an individual with chronic fatigue diagnosis should try and reduce those triggers because stress increases the body’s production of cortisone. While it is impossible for an individual with chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms to eliminate all of these risk factors completely, it is important that they balance them in order to achieve the best quality of life possible for them.

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