ME/CFS, Fibromylagia

Having narrowly avoided a full crash, I understand the antecedents, mediators and triggers of chronic fatigue conditions such as CFS and ME.

Whilst in college, I helped many sufferers of these debilitating conditions through specialised diets and supplement protocols. I have continued to work with clients with these conditions, and decided to further my knowledge through undertaking a specialist training programme with the Chrysalis Effect. Their founder and my personal mentor Elaine Wilkins, lost 6 years of her life to ME and set up the Chysalis Effect on-line recovery programme and training programme to ensure support for others with the same condition. Elaine has done incredible work and continues to do so, very recently negotiating with the NHS to make changes to the way ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia are treated or not, as the case may be.

I feel passionately that everyone deserves the right to the best possible treatment available and need not lose years of their life to chronic illness, being told by the NHS that there is no cure!

My passion also covers the field of prevention. I help clients deal with the impact of stress on the body, guiding them to create optimum health through an integrated approach. I use a combination of nutritional therapy, which includes specialised diets and supplement for optimal nutrition, diagnostic testing to rule out thyroid and adrenal issues, healthy lifestyle choices, gentle detoxification, as well as well-being coaching to help clients uncover what has caused their CFS/ME, and set a path to recovery. To find out more about either nutrition therapy or well-being coaching, please refer to the sections within my website, or give me a call to discuss.

There is no one cause or one-size-fits-all treatment for chronic exhaustive conditions, but it is important to address the following as part of a comprehensive treatment plan:

1. Support the stress response and adrenal function
2. Assess thyroid function accurately
3. Optimise nutritional status and diet, including detoxification
4. Ensure the gut and digestion is working optimally
5. Support immune function
6. Address mitochondrial function for energy
7. Consider toxic load and heavy metal levels

The Chrysalis Effect On-line Supported Recovery Programme is an important part of the treatment. Clients work through weekly sessions at home, whilst attending monthly appointments at the clinic (or via Skype or telephone if traveling is difficult). Email support between consultations is always available, and a Recovery Facebook forum is offered for those people joining the programme.

Fibromyalgia is a very misunderstood condition, and many sufferers get misdiagnosed. Often Fibromyalgia is a musuloskeletal, viral, thyroid or autoimmune problem and not Fibromyalgia at all. Classic Fibromyalgia (FM) is a problem arising from deep within the central nervous system. With new evidence indicating some accompanying inflammation within the microglia of the brain; the cells that act as part of the nervous systems immune defense.

With classic FM the body’s perception to pain has changed, this change in perception is often triggered by a traumatic event or a series of them, a ‘wound’ to the nervous system that causes it to become overly self-protective and on guard.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is often a component of true FM. It’s symptoms may include constipation and/or diarhoea, distention, cramping and bloating. Sleep is generally unrefreshed, and there is generally anxiety and depression. Many symptoms mimic those of CFS/ME.

Fibromyalgia is an incredibly debilitating disorder, encompassing chronic widespread pain and fatigue. Symptoms often include; achiness, pain, fatigue, depression, IBS, brain fog, sleep disturbance. Understanding what you specifically experience is essential to recovery.

The key is finding the route cause and addressing it with detoxification, dietary changes, and movement. Many other diseases and disorders can mask themselves as FM.

It’s unfortunate that our health care system has little to offer until health problems are severe, necessitating crisis management. The current system is a ‘disease care’ system, rather than a ‘health care’ system. This is where functional medicine comes into its own. Functional medicine looks at the person as a whole, how each body system is functioning, and finds ways to make any system function better. Functional medicine is a patient-centered, science-based health care approach that identifies and addresses underlying biochemical, physiological, environmental, and psychological factors in order to reverse the progression of disease and enhance vitality.

Whether you have been diagnosed with FM or not, if you have body wide pain and fatigue it is crucial to understand the route cause before an effective protocol can be established.

If you decide to come into the clinic to help address your FM, we will start by looking initially at your diet. You will be sent a 7 day food diary to complete. We will also review where imbalances are present through the use of a health symptoms questionnaire. You will then be invited to make an appointment to review these in detail. The first part of the protocol will be to a gentle detoxification, this is necessary to reduce any inflammation. It is also important to identify and remove any food intolerance’s which may trigger a reaction. Movement and relaxation techniques will also be discussed as these are paramount to recovery. The next step is to undertake well-being coaching, more details can be found under this heading on the main page.