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Post Viral Syndrome / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

by June Sayer(more info)

listed in homeopathy, originally published in issue 267 - January 2021

 

In my early twenties I suffered with a nasty virus that left me feeling so debilitated that I was unable to work for a while.  I recall falling asleep during a conversation taking place about 7pm and being totally unable to control this overwhelming sense of tiredness and fatigue and complete indifference to anything going on around me.  I was not one to take to my bed easily and do not ever remember being diagnosed with anything other than a virus and its resulting exhaustion.  My GP signed me off work and told to rest until I felt well enough to return.  As I write this I wonder if the extreme tiredness and malaise that I experienced was in fact what is now known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)[1] did not gain recognition until 1988 and along with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis is classified as disorders of the nervous system.  Its umbrella term is ME/CFS.  Other descriptions that were used were Yuppy Flu[2] and TATT[3,4] (tired all the time). 

The symptoms of ME included, amongst others, sore throat, tenderness of the lymph nodes and pain.  In 1970 it was concluded that ME was more psychological in nature, especially as the incidence seemed to affect females more than males.   A report by Dr Ramsay[5] in 2002 recognises that it is not psychological. 

CFS symptoms include headache, muscle aches and pains that gave way to the debilitating fatigue and initially was linked to Epstein-Barr virus although this was ruled out. There have been several attempts to update the definition. (Fukuda et al., 1994). Chapter 3[6]

Fast forward to 2019 when the first case of Covid-19 was reported.  Since then we have been in the throes of a global pandemic and our Government has had to react in a range of ways that included lockdown and changes continue to occur on a regular basis.  Difficult decisions had to be made and I am not writing this article as a way of entering into any discussions about what should or should not have been done. 

Lockdown has affected so many people in so many ways.  I offer my sincere condolences to everyone who lost and those who may lose a loved one during these dreadful times as the battle against the virus continues.

 

Sayer 267 Gelsemium

 

As we entered the period of lockdown, we had no idea that our lives would be disrupted for so long.  Initially with the weather being so glorious, many were able to enjoy the sunshine by sitting in their gardens and in doing so absorb the benefits of Vitamin D.  To some it felt as if they were on a long holiday, but for others it became a challenge of how to carry on working if at all possible.  Those that were able to work from home began to discover the necessity of engaging in technology that they had previously not used so that some semblance of order could be put back into their daily lives.  For those that lived alone or had chronic health conditions it was a much harder challenge. 

Once restrictions began to be relaxed, I heard from my friends and clients that the fear of the virus had impacted on them so much that they did not want to resume their previously ‘normal’ life and today they are just as fearful yet there are many homeopathic remedies listed in the homeopathic repertory and materia medica that can help with fear and anxiety.

We have been advised that the majority of people who succumb to Covid-19 experience very mild symptoms and their recovery is estimated at 2-3 weeks.  For others their recovery is taking much longer[7,8,9] with symptoms such as ‘brain fog’, extreme fatigue, recurring headaches, limb pains.

If I now refer to my earlier mention of ME/CFS a lot of the symptoms are similar.  The NHS[10] is responding by offering help at specialist centres for sufferers of what is being termed ‘long Covid’.

As a homeopathic practitioner with over 25 years of experience, I have worked with many clients of varying ages exhibiting the debilitating symptoms of ME/CFS who have made the decision to seek the help of homeopathy to aid their recovery.

My training as a homeopath, as other homeopathic practitioners will attest to, is that we do not treat a medically diagnosed condition.  Our aim is to ask the client to fully describe their symptoms and then seek out the homeopathic remedy that matches what they have described.  With a term such as ‘chronic fatigue’ a ‘one-size fits all’ remedy will not be appropriate due to the fact that as individuals each of us can be affected in differing ways.

My own personal experience of fatigue all those years ago included, amongst other symptoms, drowsiness coupled with the overwhelming need to close my eyes.  If I had seen a homeopath at that time the remedy that would have matched my symptoms is indicative of the homeopathic remedy Gelesmium Sempervirens. [11,12]  

 

Sayer 267 Eupatorium

 

  • Gelsemium Sempervirens is derived from the yellow jasmine plant. It is, like many others in the homeopathic materia medica known as a polychrest, meaning that it has many uses.    The symptoms of Gelsemium include anxiety, debility, chronic fatigue, muscular weakness, tremors, heavy drooping eyelids, mental dullness, mental exhaustion, dull headache, deep seated aching in bones and joints, insomnia from exhaustion, dizziness and blurred vision.  As a practitioner I have found this remedy invaluable in alleviating the symptoms of fatigue when matched to the symptoms the client describes.
  • Kali Phosphoricum (Potassium Phosphate)[11,12] is another remedy that I have found useful when the client presents with symptoms that include ‘brain fag’ from the slightest mental exertion. The left eyelid appears droopy.  They don’t have much of an appetite but would prefer to eat sweets.  Headaches are accompanied by a feeling of emptiness in the stomach.   They experience insomnia from worry or excess studying. Any physical or mental exertion, anxiety and worry makes the person feel worse.  This remedy was particularly useful for a client who was trying to study for exams but was suffering with the effects of viral exhaustion.
  • Phosphoricum Acidum (Phosphoric Acid)[11,12].  Another homeopathic remedy that could match the symptoms of chronic fatigue and nervous exhaustion.  The person feels drowsy, depressed and apathetic and is unable to get their thoughts together.  Indifferent, listlessness and with an aversion to talk to anyone preferring to be left alone and a loss of interest in the things he/she used to enjoy.  Headaches that feel as if the temples were being crushed.  Pains in the limbs.  Emotionally they experience doubt that they will ever recover and this then leaves them feeling a sense of hopelessness and despair.  Sleep is difficult because they tend to be sleepy during the daytime and then wakeful at night.  One of my clients who was a student living in halls was also suffering from homesickness that exacerbated the symptoms.
  • Eupatorium Perfoliatum (Bone-set) [11,12] This homeopathic remedy could be selected as a match for the symptoms of bone pains.  Aching pains in the back, headaches with soreness of the eyeballs or of a sensation of a weight on the head after lying down.  Their symptoms are worse from 7am to 9am.  There is anxiety and despondency.It is a remedy that the eminent British homeopathic practitioner John Henry Clarke 1853-1931 found most useful in epidemic influenza.[11,12,13]
  • Zincum Metallicum (Zinc Met).[11,12] Restlessness is associated with this remedy. Headaches and brain fog make them so forgetful that they cannot remember what they have done during the day.  They can be anxious and irritable, sad when they are alone and suffer with periods of depression.  They are extremely sensitive to noise and easily offended.  They experience burning pains along the spine and the soles of their feet are sensitive.  Severe fatigue, nerve or muscle fatigue.  Neuralgic pains.  Their symptoms tend to be worse between 5-7pm. 

These are just some of the remedies that I have used over the years with clients who have sought the help of homeopathy.   I can only stress once again that in order to find the most closely matched homeopathic remedy a full in-depth consultation must take place to identify any other causative factors that could be exacerbating the symptom picture the client presents with.

In these days where social distancing is in place, I am able to continue to help my clients with the aid of technology.  Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, or other social media has been an asset to my practice. 

I sincerely hope that when this pandemic has run its course, we will be able to socialise, interact with our friends and enjoy life once again.  In the meantime, I am grateful that I took the plunge and studied the fascinating art of homeopathy and have been able to help so many clients with different ailments over the years. 

Homeopathy [14] may have been ‘born’ in 1810 with the introduction of Samuel Hahnemann’s Organon of the Healing Art but it is still going strong today.

Homeopathy is gentle, non-toxic and non-addictive and can safely be used by all ages and does not interfere with any prescribed medication.

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK284897/
  2. https://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Yuppy+Flu
  3. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sleep-and-tiredness/
  4. https://patient.info/news-and-features/what-it-could-mean-if-youre-constantly-tired
  5. http://www.erythos.com/gibsonenquiry/Docs/CMOreport.pdf
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK284898/
  7. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-53269391
  8. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/08/19/long-covid-real-patients-suffer-debilitating-symptoms-months/
  9. https://meassociation.org.uk/2020/05/researchers-warn-covid-19-could-cause-debilitating-long-term-illness-in-some-patients-washington-post-30-may-2020/
  10. https://www.england.nhs.uk/2020/10/nhs-to-offer-long-covid-help/
  11. Murphy, Robin ND, Homeopathic Clinical Repertory 3rd Edition
  12. Murphy, Robin ND, Nature’s Materia Medica 3rd Edition
  13. https://www.sueyounghistories.com/2008-08-01-john-henry-clarke-and-homeopathy/
  14. http://www.wholehealthnow.com/bios/samuel-hahnemann.html

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About June Sayer

June Sayer DHom (Med) MARH MRHom DNTh DIridol Homeopath Nutritionist Reiki Master/Teacher became fascinated by homeopathy after seeking treatment for her children and herself some 23 years ago; this dramatic change in their overall health led her to train as a homoeopathic practitioner. She qualified from the Hahnemann College in 1992 and has been in practice since that date. She is one of the founding directors of the Alliance of Registered Homeopaths and has a practice in Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex where she enjoys training individuals in the art and practice of homoeopathy. She may be contacted on Tel: 01621 730664;  june@betterhealthnow.co.uk  www.betterhealthnow.co.uk   www.homeopathinessex.co.uk   

 

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