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Chronic Fatigue Immune Deficiency Syndrome

by June Butlin(more info)

listed in cfs me, originally published in issue 36 - January 1999

The clients I love to work with are those who are dedicated to improving their own health and are prepared to do what is necessary to achieve this.

These clients see health as their own responsibility and are usually brilliant at giving constructive feedback between consultations. This feedback is vitally important and acts as a diagnostic tool, to help me guide my clients to recover their health.

Mark is one such client, who came to me in sheer despair. He was suffering from severe tiredness, a racing heartbeat and continuous noises in his head. The doctors and specialists had treated him for tinnitus, labarynthitis, hyperventilation syndrome, depression and menières disease.

There had been very little success with any of these approaches.

Taking Mark's history into account I found that he had a genetic background of poor immunity and had been a very weak child. In his twenties he worked extremely hard to achieve a successful computer consulting business. He also played hard, going out most evenings, drinking alcohol, and staying up late. He swam competitively, raced his mountain bike at the weekends and camped regularly in extreme conditions. On the camping trips he drank water from flowing streams, which as Mark says, was not very clean, and often contaminated. His diet consisted of high meat and dairy, and lots of fast and processed foods of a very unbalanced, nutritional nature.

By the age of thirty Mark's health was in decline and he suffered from frequent infections and colds, and felt under par most of the time.

Finally, his energy seemed to seep out of his body and he began to sleep for 18 hours a day. This lasted many weeks, and when the worst was over, it left him feeling exhausted, depleted, shaky, and suffering anxiety and panic attacks. He was unable to relax, became sensitive to the cold weather, developed tinnitus and an inability to judge distances.

Physiologically the case study revealed major problems in digestion and elimination, hypoglycaemia, adrenal exhaustion, hypothyroidism and macro-mineral imbalance. Psychologically Mark felt depressed and yearned to be in optimum health in order to follow his sporting activities and work full time in his business. He was unable to do any sport except for walking, as exercise left him feeling totally depleted for days afterwards.

These repercussions eventually made him fearful of any exertion.

There were six phases to Mark's treatment strategy each building upon the preceding phase and supporting the proceeding phase. The first phase was to make sure that Mark had adequate nutrients in the diet from protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamins, minerals, oxygen and water This was achieved by placing Mark on a good quality, organic, food regime, and walking in the fresh air each day. A general anti-oxidant supplement, vitamin C, a multi-vitamin and mineral without iron and copper, and a multi B complex were also taken.

The second phase was to target the hypoglycaemia by eating a protein breakfast and five small meals each day, four of which were to contain vegetables. This high vegetable diet would also help to counteract the macromineral imbalance. Once these two phases were established the body was able to start its own healing process and the specific problem areas could then be identified and supported.

Mark's immune system was clearly depleted and the kinesiology test indicated that he was in a post "Epstein Barr" viral state. The Epstein Barr virus is often associated with chronic fatigue and reduced immunity.

So the third phase was to activate the body's immune system to mobilise its natural defence mechanisms, and to clear the body's detoxification pathways. The areas targeted were the skin, colon and liver. Skin brushing was used to remove the dead skin cells, which allowed the toxins to be eliminated from the skin more easily. The colon and liver were cleansed with herbs and a special drink taken each morning made from olive oil, citrus juice, garlic, ginger, milk thistle and dandelion. Two 8-ounce glasses of carrot juice were taken each day. The kinesiology assessment also suggested that the phase 2-glutathione pathway in the liver needed assistance. To support this pathway we added Brassica family foods: cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts, and Limonene rich foods: dill and caraway seeds, and a supplement: N. Acetyl Cysteine which acts as a powerful antioxidant.

Liver problems and high toxicity levels are associated with tinnitus. The detoxification phase therefore assisted this condition and further help was given in the form of a herbal tincture, which constituted the fourth phase in the healing process.

The fifth phase was to add Magnesium EAP to Mark's existing supplement programme. Interestingly magnesium is one of the supplements lacking in most cases of chronic fatigue and also has a role to play in tinnitus.

The final stage was to confront Mark's stressed state. His symptoms always appeared to be heightened in periods of stress and he lived in fear that his symptoms would all return if he exerted himself too much. These self-limiting beliefs were delaying his healing progress. Self-hypnosis tapes were added to his existing relaxation programme of breathing exercises and listening to relaxing music.

The outcome after 6 months is that Mark has recovered approximately 80% of his health. He has more energy, is able to work full time and enjoys leisure activities in the evenings. He has no anxiety or panic attacks, no muscular problems and a steady heartbeat. His immune system is much stronger and recently he was able to withstand any ill effects when his girlfriend went down with the flu. He still has problems with his stress levels, which he is working hard to overcome. The tinnitus has lessened and only becomes a problem when Mark feels anxious. He has also achieved about 65% of his total fitness.

Mark realises that he has to overcome some mental and emotional blocks in order to achieve full recovery. If he applies the same determination and perseverance to overcome this final stage, as he has done throughout his healing, I know that he will achieve his full health and fitness potential.

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About June Butlin

June M Butlin PhD is a trained teacher, nutritionist, kinesiologist, aromatherapist, fitness trainer and sports therapist. She is a writer, health researcher and lecturer and is committed to helping people achieve their optimum level of health and runs a private practice in Wiltshire. June can be contacted on 01225 869 284;  junebutlin@btinternet.com

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