While no one can make a definitive case for what causes Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, homeopaths believe that we all come into this world with inherent weaknesses and a predisposition toward certain ailments. Prolonged periods of stress, negative thinking, emotional upsets, and unhealed illnesses, coupled with environmental pollution and toxicity, can all take a toll on bodies and minds. Over time, the end result can be Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) for one person, asthma or cancer for the next.
For those suffering with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, getting an official medical diagnosis can be a long and frustrating process. There has been some improvement in recent years as the dismissive medical attitude “it’s in your head” has started to fade. This is largely due to a 2015 report issued by the U.S. Institute of Medicine (now known as the Health and Medicine Division) which calls CFS a “legitimate, serious, complex, systemic disease that often can profoundly affect the lives of patients.”
The report stipulates the following key criteria for doctors to use in making a diagnosis:
1) Severe fatigue with the inability to engage in pre-illness levels of activity which persists for a minimum of six months;
2) Post-exertional fatigue; worsening of symptoms after the smallest of physical, mental or emotional exertion;
3) Unrefreshing sleep;
4) Cognitive impairment;
5) Orthostatic intolerance, or the inability to stand upright for other than short periods of time.
After a diagnosis has been made, the course of treatment is determined. Conventional treatment generally consists of a combination of antidepressants, anxiolytics, pain killers, sleeping pills, and possibly more, depending on each sufferer’s symptoms and needs.
In contrast, homeopaths don’t need a diagnostic label to find a remedy that heals. Homeopathic treatment can start as soon as symptoms appear. Homeo-paths aim to find a remedy which corresponds with the sum total of all physical and emotional symptoms experienced by an individual. The remedy is therefore personal, and not likely to help the next person labelled with the same diagnosis by conventional medicine.
Homeopathic remedies are energetic stimulants that can nudge the body’s own healing power to re-awaken and start the recovery process. Patients taking homeopathic remedies report increased energy, reduced pain, better sleep and feeling happier overall. Over time, symptoms disappear, and health, vitality and balance are restored.
Case History – Chronic Fatigue
June was exhausted to the point of needing 16 to 18 hours of bed rest each day. She managed to do some shopping and run necessary errands early in the morning. Walking through the grocery store for 30 minutes was enough to render June incapable of doing anything else for the day. The most she could manage was to make sure there was food in the house for herself and family.
Mental exertion was also tiring for June. Reading, conversing, or even watching TV took its toll after a short while. She had also become increasingly sensitive to noise, bright lights and odours. In addition, she suffered from daily recurrent headaches and moderate joint pains in her arms and shoulders.
The 47-year-old was not diagnosed with fibromyalgia as is common in cases of CFS. June also complained about bloating, gassiness, and overall digestive distress.
Needless to say, June felt depressed and hopeless that she would not be able to return to work or be able to have a normal life again.
After taking her case and analysing the data, I prescribed the homeopathic remedy Nitric Acid. During our follow-up meeting one month later, she reported feeling less tired and able to do at least two errands in a day, as opposed to just food shopping. And she was able to read and watch TV for longer periods without feeling exhausted. The daily headaches were now occurring once or twice a week.
Three months later, June reported feeling 75% better overall. She was hopeful and excited at the thought of going back to work in the near future, and reclaiming her life.
The Difference with Homeopathy
Homeopathy proposes that health and disease states are dynamic or “spirit-like” in nature. As an example, when a person has a migraine headache, according to homeopathic philosophy the headache is not the disease. The headache is a symptom or an outward manifestation of an underlying root cause which is not on the physical plane. The throbbing pain, sensitivity of the nervous system, nausea, and the release of chemicals that triggered pain only occurred after the initial energetic blockage. The disease itself is a disturbance of balance on a vital level. This imbalance may have been triggered by overwork, emotional upset, exposure to heat or cold, or a number of other factors.
Homeopaths do not disregard the physical or biochemical changes caused by the headache – they use them as indicators of a deeper underlying problem, an inherent deficiency or weakness) on a more fundamental vital level, that led this particular individual to develop migraine symptoms when the body was subjected to overwork, emotional upset, or exposure to heat and cold. In another person, the disturbance in health due to the same triggers may manifest as an asthma attack, diarrhea, hives, chronic fatigue, or as something else. Homeopathy recognizes our inherent weaknesses and differences, and therefore considers the one-cure-for-all approach to be inappropriate.
While conventional medicine will give a painkiller to diminish migraine pain, a homeopath will find a remedy which aims to restore balance in the organism. Long term treatment with homeopathy will therefore result in restoration of health, where migraines no longer occur.
CFS is more complex than a migraine, involving more symptoms and ailments.
Case History of Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia
In many cases, people diagnosed with CFS are likely to be suffering with fibromyalgia. The two have many overlapping symptoms. The difference between them is that with CFS the chief complaint is debilitating fatigue, whereas in fibromyalgia the predominant complaint is the pain (while the fatigue takes a back seat).
After three years of suffering, numerous tests and visits to medical specialists resulted in a diagnosis of both CFS and fibromyalgia for Melanie. The 53-year-old complained about exhaustion which did not improve with sleep; she woke up as tired as when she went to bed. The slight burst of energy she felt in the evening helped her achieve a few household chores and take care of herself. Melanie was in constant physical pain. She also complained about brain fog and forgetfulness.
During our first session, Melanie and I engaged in detailed discussion about her physical symptoms as well as emotional health, disappointments, fears, and more. She shared unresolved feelings about certain family members, life events, and unfair treatment she received growing up.
I prescribed the remedy Phosphorus, which helped Melanie with many aspects of her health. Her energy and sleep improved, pains diminished, and she felt stronger overall. Over a period of one year, using a few other remedies, Melanie felt like her old self again. And with the support of her doctor, she was able to wean off all medications.
Homeopathy is a natural system of medicine that aims to restore balance and health. If you’re suffering with fatigue, sleep problems, joint and muscle pain, anxiety, depression or any other symptoms of CFS, give homeopathy a try. You may be pleasantly surprised with the results.
 tinyurl.com/CFS-Study; U.S. Institute of Medicine Report