chronic fatigue syndrome, CFS
By Luc DeSchepper M.D., Ph.D., C.A. reprinted from Alive

Everyday I read articles about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or as it has been called lately, Chronic Immune Dysfunction Syndrome. They all have one aspect in common: they evoke more problems than solutions. In fact they create fear in the reader, despair in the sufferer and disbelief in the health practitioner.

As a physician caring for CIDS patients for more than ten years, I have seen firsthand the devastation this illness can cause. And yet, publicly, patients are subject to ridicule. The medical profession has placed the burden on patients, who must react to this ridicule and attempt to educate the very practitioners whose job it is to help them. On the other hand, a smaller group of physicians finally realize that something of epidemic proportions is going on, and experience frustration at their inability to help these sufferers.

Personally, I am disappointed that these well-meaning physicians are making the usual mistake: they are looking for a single culprit. They concentrate on viruses, and every six months discover another one that is THE likely cause of CIDS: Epstein-Barr Virus, Cytomegalo Virus, Human Herpes 6 Virus, etc. Once the REAL virus is isolated, those researchers concentrate on finding THE antiviral agent and believe the problem to be resolved. Wrong. This is exactly what Western medicine has been doing with cancer. In spite of a billion dollar research, 600,000 people die each year from cancer in the United States. Now they are making the same mistake with this new syndrome, Immuno-suppressed disorders have no single cause, so the dream of a single cure for them is just that, only a dream.

Let me quickly come to the facts: the starting point of this catastrophic illness is the suppression of the immune system. If we are to find solutions and cures, it will only be in the study of the causes of a depressed immune system. I will outline the causes here, not in detail, but elaborated enough to show what a formidable task we have ahead. (More information is given in my new book Peak Immunity.

They are four-fold: Hereditary Factors, Changes in Food, External Factors, and Emotions.

Hereditary Factors

Right now heredity is one of the main means of spreading CIDS. The biggest culprit here is the yeast cell, Candida Albicans. Candida is considered the number one aggressor when our immune system is suppressed. With the increased progesterone in the third trimester of pregnancy, CIDS patients with Candida see an aggravation to their condition. Unrecognized (mistake #1) or insufficiently treated by doctors (mistake #2), yeast cells are transmitted to the newborn who may be born with thrush, but more likely will start showing symptoms of ear infections. And since Candida collects fluid in the middle ear, pressing against the ear drum, imitating a bacterial infection, antibiotics are given in repetitive doses (mistake #3), providing the ideal climate to enhance the growth of the yeast cell. It is not uncommon to see 4 year-olds who have been on antibiotics for almost all of their short lives. The rest is a modern classic. These children crave sugar, become hyperactive, receive Ritalin, demonstrate learning disabilities and are labeled problems (Mistakes innumerable). Those children never get a chance! CIDS is NOT a disease solely of "Yuppies"; it affects children and adolescents in much greater numbers than you suspect.

Changes in Food

Some leading health professionals think we have the safest food in the world. Yet, I challenge them to point out to me any foods in our supermarkets that don’t have sugar, preservatives, artificial colors and artificial sweeteners added. We have processed the goodness out of our foods, increased the fat intake, decreased the dietary fiber with chronic constipation and degenerative diseases as a consequence. But the biggest threat to our health is the enormous intake of sugar and aspartame (Nutrasweet, Sweet ‘N Low). There is also consistent evidence of contaminated poultry and injection of antibiotics and hormones into meat. So what does the American public think? Are they just going to eat this meat anyway? I guess they are. But don’t try to sell me the idea that we have the best food in the world. Is it not ironic that we have a special "health food" section? What shall we call those other foods? "Unhealthy foods"? You know, we should.

External Factors

So far unknown in Western medicine is Dampness or Humidity. This climatic factor will decrease the strength in what the Chinese consider the immune system, the spleen-pancreas complex. As much as a cold is bad for arthritis sufferers, heat for heart patients, dryness for asthma sufferers, so dampness will aggravate any immuno-suppressed condition. This was known 5,000 years ago, and I am sure that one of our Western doctors will "discover" it in a couple of years. Even worse is the continuous air pollution, indiscriminate use of artificial chemicals, disrespectful dumping of tons of garbage into our rivers and seas, and the creation of holes in the ozone layer. Burning of forests has increased the CO2 in our atmosphere causing an increase in termperatuee enough to flood coastal cities and create dryness in productive farmlands, and deplete our supply of vital oxygen.

Another of the external factors is the overuse of medications presently killing more people a year than car accidents. Antibiotics have become a home remedy for anything that looks like an innocent cold, killing friendly bacteria in our gut and allowing yeast overgrowth in increasing numbers. The "pill" once hailed as sexual liberation, has so may side effects (yeast overgrowth one of them) that it is incredible to me that so many women are still taking it. And of course, cortisone, radiation therapy, anti-cancer drugs all suppress the very immune system they are supposed to support!

Emotions

Whereas Western medicine tends to emphasize each individual part of a human rather than seeing the integrated whole, Eastern medicine recognized the relationship between emotions and the damage they do to organs 5,000 years ago. You can easily guess which one damages the immune system, raising the rate of "wear and tear" within the body. Yes, it is worry, STRESS. Blame whatever you will—job, spouse, bills, kids, the complexity of life—stress has become one of America’s most common health problems. In every CFS patient that I have seen in my practice, stress was the ultimate triggering factor, the straw that broke the camel’s back. And most often, it is the single cause of relapse. Only very recently has Western medicine begun investigation stress.

From all of the above, we see that we have no reason to be greatly optimistic. Changes always take a long time. But knowing that the above factors are the causes of a suppressed system and secondarily lead to an invasion of yeast, viruses, bacteria and parasites, we realize that although the problem cannot be rectified by a single medication, it can be controlled by a total approach.

Signs of a Depressed Immune-System

The very first micro-organism to sense the decreased strength of our immune system is the Candida cell, In fact it starts to multiply before the patient exhibits one single symptom. Hence, immuno-suppressed patients present themselves with yeast symptoms. Of course, the reader thinks about a vaginal yeast infection, and indeed, millions of victims show such a symptom. Alas, this is not all. Multiple food sensitivities, bloating, gas, constipation or loose stools, PMS, no menstrual cycle at all, cravings for sugar and carbohydrates, inability to lose weight, loss of short-term memory and concentration, panic attacks, inability to hold chiropractic adjustments, dizzy spell, postnasal drip, moodswings, urination frequency and burning, loss of sexual desire, metallic taste in the mouth and irritability, all are symptoms of yeast overgrowth. Once the patient’s immune system is busy fighting this massive yeast invasion, viruses such as the Herpes Simplex family (like CEBV) have an easy time multiplying an exhibiting their own symptomatology—muscle fatigue, sore throats, flu-like symptoms, low grade fevers and enlarged cervical lymph nodes. Often a hypersensitivity towards sunlight and sound is noted. The patient catches one cold after another, sensitivities towards the environment increase, and the patient feels like he will never recover from an endless flu. As if he does not have enough to deal with already, almost every CIDS is invaded by the ultimate enemy, parasites. They will add their own ailment (loose stools, ravenous appetite with weight loss) but often blend symptoms with those of yeast and the viruses.

What can we do against this army of formidable opponents? Diagnose the patient correctly. Blood tests that should be requested include: a CBC with differential, chemscreeen, a Candida test (CEIA for instance), a CEBV and CMV panel and an immune panel (with T- and B-cell count). Furthermore, a stool purge test for parasites and a basal temperature test to determine thyroid function (take temperature under the armpit first thing in the morning; normal is between 97.8 and 98.2). Once it has been determined which is involved, specific anti-fungals and anti-virals must be prescribed. Which ones work and which ones are to be avoided?

Anti-fungals to be recommended: Niazarol (prescribed medication), Tanalbit and Capryllic acid preparations. Avoid Nystatin

.Antivirals to be recommended: Monolaurin, Lysine and Acyclovir (Zovirax)(only good for Herpes Simplex 1 and 2). Not effective against CEBV and CMV as far as I can determine.

Anti-parasite medications: Par-Qing and Paracan 144.
However, all of the above are obsolete in comparison with futuristic methods: herbal anti-fungals, diluted in homeopathic doses and injected in acupuncture points (described in Peak Immunity). The latter method is non-toxic and works much faster than any of the above methods. They are the medicines of the future since they have no side effects while more and more people start reacting against almost any medication. While you are building up the immune system through acupuncture for instance, other builders are gamma globuline injections, Vitamin C intravenous injections, Liver and B12 intra-muscular shots, AMP injections, Dioxichlor, Beta Carotene, Chlorella, Coenzyme Q10 and exercise!

Another new exciting product Flora Balance containing a specific bacteria, Bacillus Laterosporus, has proven to be a winner. After a couple of days, gastrointestinal symptoms such as gas, constipation and bloating disappear. Other patients show dramatic improvement of food allergies and disappearance of vaginal yeast discharge. It remains potent at room temperature, making travel possible, it is tasteless and colorless and needs to be taken only once in the morning. This product is mushrooming in the U.S. and will soon be available in Canada.

All of the above however must be complemented with a change in diet. I will outline simply what a diet of an immuno-suppressed patient should be. The word diet is misleading. It has a temporary ring to it. It should mean a permanent healthful diet that feels comfortable. One way to protect oneself is to shop in health food stores. At least there one can be assured about the quality of food. When it comes to buying food, we have been simply too nave, forgetful and lazy. We have taken whatever was available rather than read labels and choosing wisely.

Avoid greasy and fatty foods. Shun the number one killer, sugar (fructose, sucrose, corn syrup, honey). I have already mentioned to avoid aspartame at all costs. The diet of an immuno-suppressed patient should be a high protein, low carbohydrate one. Avoid breads, dairy products (except butter and eggs), vinegar, apples, pears, grapes, mushrooms, canned foods, coffee, wine, beer, champagne or anything else that is fermented (miso and tofu). Every CIDS would show 50% improvement simply by following these guidelines.

Obviously, we have to increase the strength of our immune system, and this can be achieved through numerous possible treatments. Acupuncture, germanium, coenzyme Q10, Vitamin C, Beta carotene, Astragalus, Echinaccea, Ozone therapy, Vitamin E and Zinc are just a few that can be tried. By effectively treating the underlying causes of the suppression of the immune system by yeast, parasites, viruses and bacteria, and by avoiding the triggering factors mentioned above, one will allow the immune system to restore itself. More than ever in this world, this is a must. If you are not going to start today, when will you start? And if you don’t do it for yourself, who will?

 

Books by Dr. Luc DeSchepper

Candida, the Symptoms, the Causes, the Cure
Peak Immunity

Luc DeSchepper, M.D., Ph.D., C.A. is in private practice in Santa Monica, CA. He is the author of two books on Acupuncture, and a renowned lecturer in the field, and formerly clinical assistant professor at UCLA Medical School, Pain Centre. He is fluent in four languages.


These products have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This is provided for informational use only and is not intended to replace the advice of a licensed professional. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, disorder, pain, injury, deformity, or physical or mental condition This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

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