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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Western Diagnosis

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a long term and recurring condition for which the major symptom is extreme tiredness. Even when the body is getting plenty of rest the individual still feels exhausted.

The symptoms associated with CFS are extremely varied but can include any of the following: anxiety, depression, fever, headache, insomnia, irritability, jaundice, changes in appetite, memory and concentration problems, mood swings, sore throat and/ or swollen glands.

Because the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome so closely resemble those of flu and other viral infections, it is often mistaken for other disorders. When diagnosing CFS there are two main criteria used to separate it from other illness.

The first is that the fatigue is persistent and does not go away, even with bed rest. It must also be severe enough to reduce daily activity by at least fifty percent for a minimum of a six month period.

The second criteria for diagnosing CFS is that the presence of other chronic clinical conditions, including phychiatric disorders, be ruled out.

Eastern Diagnosis

Traditional Chinese Medicine classifies chronic fatigue syndrome into one or more of its organ systems: liver, spleen or kidney. These organ systems cover nearly all of the symptoms experienced by those with the disorder.

According to TCM, the liver governs the tendons, sinews and ligaments, so if the liver function is poor, there will be no energy in the tissues and the motor system will be tired. Perhaps of even greater importance, the liver governs the flow of spiritual, mental and emotional energy, so if something is causing depression or statnation of liver qi, the symptoms listed in the western diagnosis above will result.

The spleen governs flesh and muscle. If the flow of qi to the spleen is impaired, the flesh and muscle feel weak and painful. The spleen is also known as the "middle burner" because it is the center of the digestive system. If it is not functioning properly, it is unable to absorb nutrients from the food and distribute them throughout the body which in turn results in a general qi deficiency.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, when the kidney is strong and healthy, it sends its essence to the brain via the spinal cord, and the mind is alert and has good memory function. Persons lacking in kidney energy experience foggy mental function. The kidney energy must be restored in order to return to clear thinking.

Improving the functioning of these three organs is the key to helping people with chronic fatigue syndrome according to the Chinese system of medicine.



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The information provided on this site is provided for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice. Should you have any serious health concerns, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering any natural remedy.

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