Chronic Fatigue (CFS) is the Number One complaint that personal physicians hear from patients. The reason for this should be obvious, but most medical doctors are not trained in human nutrition, so they don’t know what to say.
Doctors mean well. I’m not saying MDs are bad people, but they only know what they’ve been taught. The pharmaceutical industry, through its funding of medical schools, has a lot to say about the curriculum. They have a financial interest in teaching doctors to prescribe drugs, not find cures.
Chronic Fatigue Remains A Mystery to Medical Doctors
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Scientists don’t know exactly what causes chronic fatigue syndrome. It may be a combination of factors that affect people who were born with a predisposition to the disorder.” It’s the same old answer we usually get — “We don’t know; it may be a combination of factors; it’s genetic.”
If they don’t know why something is happening, how can they correctly prescribe a cure? They can’t — and that’s not their job. Their job is to manage symptoms. I’ve found it is rare for an MD to have anything constructive to suggest beyond offering a prescription for a drug or perhaps a referral for further testing.
I have long had growing doubts that our medical profession had much to tell us about how to live a healthy, energetic life. Having seen friends and relatives come to unfortunate ends at the hands of medical doctors, I have been looking for a type of doctor that had a true understanding of how to prevent conditions like chronic fatigue and many others.
Finally, I found the Naturopathic branch of the medical “family tree” and everything I had learned in life about health began to make sense.
Having worked on both conventional and organic farms, experienced many styles of diet, and done a lot of research, it seemed obvious that our food might be the source of both our health and our illnesses. For conventional MDs to overlook this obvious source of our problems, in favor of selling us synthetic but highly-profitable drugs seemed like the wrong approach.
Why are so many of us sicker now than people were fifty years ago? What has changed?
One good thing about growing older is that — if we’ve been paying attention — we can recall that fifty years ago, conditions like CFS were rare. Now, they are common. Obviously, something has changed — and it’s not our genetics.
Infectious diseases were also present in our environment fifty years ago, but somehow more people were able to resist them.
So, What Has Changed?
It’s our food! Specifically, it is the way our food has been grown and processed since mass production methods were applied to farming. This led to major changes in how farmers fed the soil and returned the nutrients the plants took out.
Our bodies need 90 essential nutrients in order to perform optimally. Many farming areas have virtually none of certain minerals in their soil to begin with, so plants grown there may not contain any of the key nutrients necessary for healthy growth and energy production. This can be a problem for people — such as the Amish — who grow all of their own food, but live in areas where selenium, for example, aren’t present.
To compound the problem of depleted soils, we often don’t eat nearly enough of a variety of fruit and vegetables, plus we eat too many processed foods containing added sugars and chemicals, which further make us feel tired.
The result of poor diet is made worse by too little and poor quality sleep, too little exercise (which would have helped us sleep more soundly), and too much caffeine and alcohol which many of us use to compensate for deficits in other areas.
So, What’s the Answer to Chronic Fatigue?
The answer, ultimately, is not more stimulants. The answer is to give your body the materials it needs to build the hormones, neurotransmitters, immune system, and cellular energy fuel to run your body as it was intended to run. Without enough of the raw materials we need to operate & maintain our body, parts and processes will begin to break down.
Infections, mentioned by the Mayo Clinic as a possible cause of chronic fatigue, may take hold because our immune system doesn’t have the dietary and endogenous antioxidants to resist them. In the final analysis, our poor nutritional status is the true cause of why infections take hold — and poor nutrition is simple to correct.
The best solution is to replenish the minerals, vitamins, amino acids and essential fatty acids our body is lacking. It’s not practical to eat 15-25% more than we’re eating now, in hopes of getting enough nutrients from our food. That would add more calories and still might not provide enough of specific nutrients we need.
We require supplements, a comprehensive range of the nutrients that we all are lacking. Our body will excrete what it doesn’t need, so we needn’t worry about getting too much if the products we take are dosed properly and appropriate for our body weight.
It must be very disconcerting to think, “I’m eating a healthy diet, what more do I need to do?”
Here’s the thing you can’t see. The fruit and vegetables we buy look like they’re normal and healthy. Indeed, they appear to be but it only takes 9 nutrients – minerals – to grow healthy-looking vegetables. The problem is, we need 60 minerals every day and they’re just not in our overworked farm soils anymore.
We must supplement, if we really want to get at the cause of our diseases. Unfortunately, our insurance doesn’t pay for nutritional supplements; it only pays for drugs. No-one ever said Big Pharma wasn’t run by smart businessmen!
Many people figure, “Well, I’m already paying for health care through my insurance,” or “Drug therapies are free from Medicaid or Medicare,” but drugs don’t solve the majority of our health issues.
One botanical, Kratom, has been found by many people to provide dramatic improvement from chronic fatigue. Below are some candid comments offered by members of the American Kratom Association Facebook group:
Zephyr: “I have fibromyalgia which gives you massive fatigue. Kratom helps TREMENDOUSLY! I was on lyrica, neurontin, norco, soma, flexeril, Xanax, zanaflex, lamictal, Prozac, Mobic, oxybutinin, trazadone & Celebrex. I took those medications for 8 years solid. Plus injections every 3-6 months. I was at one point even being considered for a nerve stimulator implant. White Horn, White Papua & White Maeng Da are my go-to (kratom) strains for fatigue. I usually combine a red, white & green vein strain to get the full spectrum of relief and it works BETTER than any medication I’ve been put on. I DO potentiate with Turmeric w/bioperin & chelated, high absorption magnesium.
Julie: “I too, have fibromyalgia and have no energy with it. Kratom helps me be able to get things done and get out of bed. It’s been so much help for both.”
Tori: “I have this (CFS) and unfortunately the only cure seems to be opiates, ADD medicine, weight-loss medicine, or stimulant types of nootropics. Kratom has not helped that aspect of my life. It’s a tricky debilitating problem. Sometimes I can’t even talk because I’m not tired, just distraught.”
Tricia: “I have Fibro, Epstein Barr, and Chronic Fatigue..waves of fatigue rolling down on me!!”
Kathy: “I’ve had chronic fatigue syndrome for 20 plus years. My body feels like it’s full of lead & it’s hard to put 1 foot in front of the other. Getting out of bed is exhausting. I’ve tried many strains of kratom for this. Green Maeng Da & White Sumatra have been my go to strains. I get up, take my morning kratom & my ready to take on the day! It really helps me get the energy to function & helps boost my mood.”
Justeen: “I had crushing fatigue. I initially tried kratom for pain but the miraculous happened. The fatigue lifted. Kratom gave me my life back quite literally.
“Also, after a few months of using kratom with my opiate pain meds, I was able to wean completely off prescription pain meds with almost no withdrawal! Just about 4 to 5 days of discomfort. After 20 years of pain meds. I almost don’t believe it myself and I am living it.”
Zephyr: “I think that most times kratom doesn’t work as well for others because they still use opiates too close in conjunction with kratom. I noticed a significant difference in kratoms effect when I was still bouncing back and forth between opiates & kratom. Now that I’ve been on straight kratom only, it works BETTER than 13 medications with 1 plant.”
If you really can’t find $20-$150 more in the monthly budget with which to buy nutritional supplements, and kratom works for you, then kratom would seem to be a good choice. It’s more than a “band-aid” for the problem of chronic fatigue; we just don’t know how much more!
For all the research that has been done on kratom, I have never seen an assay of which minerals and how much of them it contains. I believe it is very rich in minerals we need, which might account for the benefits for CFS we commonly see, but — as yet — I have no proof of this.
Scientific American on Soil Depletion in the U.S.
Author Paul Kemp writes often on subjects related to Health, Herbal and Nutritional Medicine, Diabetes, and Anti-Aging strategies.
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