The Causes of Chronic Fatigue Your Doctor May Not Have Ever Considered
Do you remember how years ago, millions of Americans were being diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? Where did it go? Did everybody get cured? Did the Epstein Barr virus (associated with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) become extinct?
Perhaps Chronic Fatigue Syndrome was upstaged in the medical-pharmacological world by fibromyalgia? We must consider that there isn't really anything in traditional Western (pharmaceutical-based) medicine to treat viral conditions. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has been long associated with the Epstein Barr virus. It seems to me that when a diagnosis can’t be capitalized upon with obscenely profitable prescription medications; it tends to silently disappear… in favor of something new—which by some odd "coincidence" has virtually the exact same symptoms.
Do you find it peculiar that the "new" disease had several FDA approved prescription drugs available to treat it? Lyrica, for example, became an acceptable treatment for Fibromyalgia, but NOT Epstein-Barr virus. Does this sound “fishy” to you?
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is yesterday's news. In fact, its name has been changed several times over the years. Did you know that it was renamed Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)? But don't worry about it because it was renamed again! What was once called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is now called... Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disorder (SEID).
REALLY... I'm not kidding. This is actually a thing!
Back to the viruses:
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is one of the most common human viruses. They report that as many as “95% of adults between 35 and 40 years of age have been infected.” The CDC also states that EBV is indistinguishable from other childhood illnesses. It is of course, associated with infectious mononucleosis, which they report “remains dormant or latent in a few cells in the throat and blood for the rest of the person's life.”
In my opinion, this is taken shockingly lightly, considering that EBV has been implicated in several autoimmune diseases, as well as some forms of CANCER! T
he causes of chronic fatigue syndrome have been debated by doctors and researchers for years. Some don’t believe such a condition exists. The causative microbes have also been debated. A paper published in the Journal of Internal Medicine suggested re-naming it myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) because it is a better name for the condition since it involves dysfunction of the immune system, metabolism, cardiovascular, and cognitive function. Sadly, in the 12-page paper, no mention of anything of curative value!
Woo-hoo... a fancier and harder-to-pronounce name for a long-existing!
Dr. Donald Liebell, DC, BCAO
477 Viking Drive #170
Virginia Beach, ViA 23452
Traditional medicine continues to be baffled at why one person contracts a virus, bacteria or fungal infection… and gets well with no complication, while another develops chronic illness. Perhaps this is because the focus is almost always on the disease, the germs and the symptoms—not the PERSON.
With natural and holistic medicine, the PERSON is the focus. At the Liebell Clinic, we never, under any circumstances directly treat viruses, bacteria, or fungi. That is strictly the domain of the traditional medical doctor. We do however provide patient-oriented treatment, which is geared towards eliminating toxins, restoring structural and neurological balance and supporting one's immune system... which in turn, improves patients' focus to naturally fight infection.
The CDC states that there is essentially no effective treatment offered by orthodox medicine for chronic fatigue or its known infectious triggers. No antiviral or antibiotic drugs make any difference in the course of the disease. Treatment of symptoms is the only option.
As a whole-body oriented doctor, I do not view the matter of treating chronic fatigue as one about chemically killing viruses or preventing their reproduction. The Liebell Clinic's approach is about helping your body to handle it on its own, and in our experience (as well as many colleagues), it can do it beautifully.
We ALL have viruses, bacteria and fungi in our bodies—but not everybody suffers illnesses. A healthy immune system can usually handle the situation. Like it or not; we are all, in fact full of disease causing organisms.
The key is how well your body acts upon them to keep you healthy and prevent them from causing disease in your body. In fact, it is virtually impossible to be alive and not be infected with some pathogenic organisms. What is important is how your body responds to remain healthy.
Even though its causes and diagnosis are still somewhat indefinite, there is hope for people with chronic fatigue syndrome to lead vital, happy lives with proper prevention and effective natural treatment, combined with any necessary conventional medical treatment. When doctors of all disciplines wake up to the fact that health care is not about any single treatment approach, we will be a healthier nation.
There can be multiple causes for chronic fatigue. It is my opinion that Epstein Barr virus, which has long been associated with chronic fatigue syndrome" is part of the symptomatic picture for those who are afflicted with some form of fibromyalgia type syndrome. There is a mountain of scientific evidence (old and recent) that Epstein Barr virus is a major cause of chronic fatigue and many other problems.
However, I pulled out of medical journals and countless articles that reveal this list of microorganisms (and others) that have been documented to be involved in chronic fatigue:
Borrelia (Lyme Disease)... Bartonella... Bornaviruses... Brucella... Campylobacter... Candida... Chlamydia... Coxiella Burnetii (Q fever)... Coxsackie virus... Cytomegalovirus... Endogenous retrovirus... Enterovirus... Giardia... Helicobacter pylori... Human Herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6)... Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)... Influenza... Mycoplasma... Parvovirus... Pneumococcus... Ross River virus... Streptococcus... Toxoplasma... Xenotropic MLV-Like Virus... Yersinia enterocolitica.
The bottom line is that your IMMUNE system is responsible for dealing with fatigue-causing microbes. Supporting it to do so is the key.
We accomplish this at the Liebell Clinic through supporting the immune system through bioenergetic supplementation, whole foods nutrition, (and We don't mean taking a fortune's worth of vitamin pills), sensible exercise, structural correction (including Atlas Orthogonal chiropractic adjustments), ear acupuncture, and other do-it-yourself advice, such as mini-trampoline rebounding lymphatic exercise.
Many natural & holistic methods are proven to help, and are represented in medical journals
If you have a hard time getting up in the morning… you need coffee , Coke or Pepsi to rev yourself up in the morning (or to pep up during the day)… if you’re struggling to cope with stress… if you feel tired for no good reason… if your sex drive has decreased… and if joy in life has gone away… If you suffer from any one or more of the above…you are quite likely suffering from a condition known as Adrenal Burnout.
It is also called adrenal exhaustion or fatigue. I suspect since chronic fatigue syndrome got burned out as a medical term or focus; it needed a replacement, even in the holistic and natural health care world!
Located above your kidneys are the adrenal glands. These are glands that are critical to your health and wellbeing because they secrete the hormones that help your body deal with stress and regulate many bodily functions.
It’s urgent to understand that your adrenal glands respond to the input from your nervous system. Adrenal burnout is when your adrenal glands’ function is low.
These days, it is shockingly common. Adrenal burnout is not simply fatigue, which can be handled by a few decent nights of sleep. It’s better described as profound exhaustion of your body’s energy-making systems. Fatigue is merely one symptom. You may actually sleep very well, but your body is not energized by sleep.
Adrenal burnout may be triggered by an accident, injury or emotionally traumatic event, or series of events—but not develop symptoms for many years later. The great news is that adrenal burnout can be treated using natural methods (hormone treatments are in my opinion, rarely necessary.
Determining Adrenal Burnout
It seems sadly, that most physicians are not adequately determining if people are suffering adrenal burnout. Millions of prescriptions for anti-depressant drugs and sleep medicine are testimony to this. The harsh reality is that the majority of doctors won't even acknowledge that it exists... that it's one of those alternative health care phenomena. Perhaps this is because adrenal burnout is not a condition for which a little white pill can be prescribed. Plus, there's no billable medical insurance code either. Unless you're diagnosed with Addison's disease, a very severe form adrenal dysfunction, you may likely never have your adrenal function considered, and you'll quite possibly continue to suffer needlessly.
Fortunately, with a little effort, we can fairly easily determine adrenal exhaustion, beginning simply with symptoms. Low blood pressure is an example of a common symptom, along with fatigue (regardless of sleeping fairly well). However, since so many people use coffee, tea and soda as “energy” boosters, fatigue can be less noticed. Other common symptoms include depression, joint pain, back pain, as well as craving for salt and sugar.
Traditional laboratory testing may not provide evidence of adrenal deficiency. Fortunately, the blossoming field of bio-energetic medicine may provide you with health information beyond traditional medical testing. This form of testing is covered in a separate article on this website.
This is must-read information. In addition, if your adrenals are troubled, we must consider if there are toxic metals in your system. This is important because the presence of toxic metals like mercury, aluminum, and others can affect your mineral balance and adrenal function. The great news is that there are many natural ways to detoxify your body.
The adrenal glands sit above the kidneys
The most likely causes include chronic Infection, emotional stress, chemical and electromagnetic toxicity, structural Imbalances, poor nutrition, and energetic blockages. Since more people come to the Liebell Clinic for help with the chronic effects of tick-borne illness (Lyme disease, alpha gal allergy, etc.), we see loads of folks who have adrenal burnout from tick-borne infection.
Working too hard, stressful family problems, and too much mental stimulation are huge factors in burning out the adrenal glands. Our lives can be overloaded with fear and stress. Just watch the news! I believe it adds tremendously to the problem! It’s no wonder people are such a mess. Our adrenals are overloaded like no time in human history. We are all exposed to heavy metals and chemicals. They’re in the air we breathe, as well as the food we eat and the water we drink. They’re in many medications too. Also, poor digestion can contribute to metals building up in your tissues. If you are healthy, your body is better equipped to get rid of these toxins. Toxic buildup makes your adrenal glands weaker.
Another giant factor is the stress of electromagnetic pollution. Electric fields generated by cell phones, microwave ovens, power lines, computers, etc. are easily dismissed, but monumentally significant threats to our health. My patients combat electromagnetic pollution through specialized bio-energetic immune system support, based on the principles of homeopathic medicine.
Poor nutrition may seem obvious, but there’s more to it than just taking an extra multi-vitamin. When your stress is high, you’ve got to eat better. Your adrenal glands need better nutrition.
Stimulants May Damage Your Adrenal Glands
Coffee and tea are proven to have health benefits when consumed in moderation (and without added sugar and other chemical junk). However, excessive usage of coffee, colas and caffeinated teas can be damaging to your adrenal glands and contributing to exhaustion, as well as chronic fatigue and pain.
Too much or too intense exercise can even contribute. While it may feel good short-term, excessive exercise can have a negative effect on the adrenals. I advise most of my patients to stop vigorous exercise for a while. This gives the adrenal glands a fighting chance to recover.
Your emotions, particularly rage, hatred and anger play an important role. Taking control of the emotional component is a critical factor in overcoming adrenal exhaustion. In my practice I provide support for this aspect through specialized ear acupuncture and bio-energetic supplementation. Becoming able to deal better with stress is a critical factor in overcoming adrenal exhaustion. Many emotional and psychological symptoms can be present with adrenal exhaustion. If you feel apathy, hopelessness, despair, irritability, anxiety, anger, resentment, or feel a loss of faith in people… you could be suffering from adrenal exhaustion.
Low blood pressure, blood sugar, or low body temperature are common symptoms. Food and chemical sensitivities and allergies may result from adrenal burnout, as a result of low levels of the hormone, cortisol. Thyroid imbalances can develop as a result of, or a contributor to adrenal burnout. The thyroid and adrenal glands share a close relationship, thus a problem in one affects the other. When your adrenals are weak, you are susceptible to toxic buildup of copper. This negatively affects your emotions. When your energy is low, your body loses its ability to eliminate toxic metals, which also can cause countless physical and psychological symptoms.
Is it “all in my head”?
Adrenal burnout is a biochemical problem; not psychological. It most certainly does affect you emotionally. However, it’s scary to realize how many people are treated for psychological disorders with prescription medications. In my opinion, adrenal exhaustion must be taken seriously and naturally treated, as a primary approach. People are going through their lives with adrenal burnout. They’re so busy that they don’t realize how exhausted their bodies actually are. Many people appear to be healthy, but they’re actually highly stressed.
Blood tests are NOT the means for determining adrenal burnout or fatigue. It is a clinical picture
Overcoming adrenal burnout of exhaustion is not a quick fix. It can take years to recover, so it requires a serious commitment to your health. This means following a strict support regimen. I advise my patients to stay away from stimulants and chemicals that mask symptoms (creating an illusion of well-being). In my opinion, adrenal exhaustion/burnout is tragically under-diagnosed. Many physicians blow it off because it doesn't show up in the blood, regardless of a person's clear and obvious condition.
The challenge is that there’s no miracle drug for it. suspect that if you could take a pill that could mask the symptoms of it; everyone would know about it. Sleeping pills won’t cure it (they’ll make it worse). Stimulant drugs and anti-depressants may make it worse too. If you’re waking up without feeling rested—odds are good you’re in a stage of adrenal burnout.
In my treatment programs, I often take people OFF of exercise for a while.
The first step in overcoming adrenal burnout is working with a doctor who even acknowledges and understands it in the first place. Your doctor must understand all of the challenges of recovery. Family, friends and co-workers may very well not understand what you’re going through. Adrenal burnout can contribute to damaged relationships because of this. It is a complex and demanding problem to overcome… but tremendously rewarding once properly evaluated and treated.
We live in a quick fix health care society. This is one of reasons adrenal burnout is so rarely discussed. There is absolutely no instant recovery from it. Your body must go through a healing process over time. There are no shortcuts. It takes energy to recover. That’s why it’s a must to have a doctor who understands the steps that must be taken. Recovering from adrenal exhaustion is like “rebuilding” your body. It’s not a minor repair. Improper adrenal function can lead to other degenerative diseases and must be taken very seriously if you really want to get healthy again.
Action Steps to Recover
There are several important steps to take. Together, we must create a program of lifestyle changes and appropriate wellness supporting treatment. If you do indeed show evidence of adrenal burnout, we design an approach specific to your needs using many of the treatment methods described in articles on this website. The Liebell family advocates a natural approach. However, we take NO involvement whatsoever in the prescription, advisement, or removal of medications of any kind. Medications are an issue for you to ONLY discuss with your prescribing physician, if applicable. If you feel you may be suffering from adrenal burnout, make sure you find a doctor who understands this condition, too.
Sheila knows! Overcoming adrenal fatigue is no short walk in the park!
477 Viking Drive #170, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23452, United States
The Liebell Clinic has office hours one Saturday each month for special evaluations. Times and dates are variable month-to-month.
Copyright © 2021 The Liebell Clinic - All Rights Reserved. Donald Liebell, DC, BCAO. The information and statements contained in this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The content of this website is for informational purposes only; it is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Your reliance on any information provided by Dr. Liebell’s website, any referenced parties is solely at your own risk. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard medical advice, or delay seeking medical advice or treatment, because of information contained in this website. This website expresses Dr. Liebell's health care views, and describes wellness-based, natural treatment methods, and must not be misconstrued as direct treatment advice—it is information only.