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September / October 2002


Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or CFS is often what doctors call a "garbage diagnosis".  This means that the symptoms are so diffuse that if a patient presents with a condition impossible to diagnose, the doctor calls it CFS.  That is why CFS is such a common diagnosis when, in point of fact, CFS is probably an unlikely cause of chronic fatigue.

Real CFS is characterized by chronic or recurrent debilitating fatigue with a variety of other symptoms, such as a sore throat, lymph node pain or tenderness, headaches, myalgia, arthralgia for at least six months, anxiety, and depression.  In the beginning, some patients experience flu-like symptoms. Their antibody levels are higher and a viral antigen is found.  The virus is replicating in the cells or lymphocytes.  It could be Epstein-Barr, cytomgalovirus, herpes simplex I or II, or human herpes virus 6.  Some patients with CFS have a low immune system – low a-interferon, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a), low interleukin-1, or low NK cells (killer cells), which weakens our defense system.

CFS is brought on my too many drugs, medications, or exposure to chemical pollutants.  These damage the liver.  Severe emotional stress results in the depression which afflicts over 50% of CFS patients.  There are no diagnostic tests for CFS.  It is diagnosed based on signs and symptoms.  Western Medicine tends to use antihistamines, anti-depressants, vasoactive medications, and cognitive therapy in the effort to combat it.  Dietary supplements and exercise seem to be better choices.  It is particularly important to be aware of hormonal deficiencies which arise because of the aging process.  DHEA, the master hormone, drops off at an alarming rate after forty.  It is easily replaced with 25 mg a day, although if you have allowed yours to drop to the bottom, you may have to start at a much higher dose.  Thankfully, this is cheap.  You might also look into Pregnenolone (30 mg a day) and Human Growth Hormone, either direct or through amino acid precursors.

Traditional Chinese Medicine seeks to clear the immune system of virus infections and disturbance of microcirculation via the liver, spleen, and kidney meridians.  This restores the red blood cells, damaged by oxidative stress, to normal and heals muscle injury.  Acupuncture and moxibustion are used to balance and enhance individual patterns, so periodical balancing treatments for CFS are excellent choices.
The common herbs used for CFS are:

  • Ginseng Nutritive Combination: ren shen yang rong tang
  • Bupleurum and Cinnamon Combination: chai hu gui zhi tang
  • Magnolia and Actractylodes Combination: shi pi yin
  • Tang kuei and Zizyphus Combination: bug an tang
  • Epimedium and Curguligo Combination: er xian tang
  • Rehmannia combination: Liu wei di huang wan

To increase natural immune activity: 

  • Yu ping feng san
  • Epimedium: yin yang huo
  • Ligustrum: nu zhen zi
  • Ganoderma: ling zhi
  • Astragalus: huang chi
  • Ginseng: ren shen
  • Rehmannia (cooked): shu di huang

Nutritional System
The recommended supplements for fatigue are: 

  • Vitamin A: start at about 2500 mg a day and work up. 
    Do not exceed 10,000 I.U.
  • Vitamin B: make sure you are taking a complete complex.
  • Vitamin C: 1000 mg a day. This has the added advantage of revving the immune system against the common cold.
  • Vitamin D: 1000 mg
    Vitamin E: consider also taking Tocotrienols, the new form of Vitamin E which guards against cancer. 400 I.U.
  • Calcium-Magnesium combination: do not take this if you are taking a calcium channel blocker.
  • Potassium aspartate: 200 mg.
  • Iron: 18 mg
  • Chromium: 150 mcg
  • Manganese: 20 mg
  • Selenium: 50 mcg
  • Zinc: 15 mg. Zinc is protective of the liver and boosts your immune system.
  • Copper: 2 mg
  • Iodine: 150 mcg
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid: 200-500 mg
  • Malic Acid: 200 mg. This has been found helpful for those who really have CFS.

Science has recently and reluctantly begun to prove what ancient myth and religion, especially Chinese medicine acupuncture and feng shui, have always known that there is such a thing as a life force.  The earth is a living thing with an electromagnetic field.  For optimum health, we should align ourselves with that field.  For instance, feng shui tells you that when you sleep your head should be at the north end of the room because that aligns with the earth’s field.


Cook together angelica (Tang quai), rehmannia (Di hwang), ligustrum (Nu zhen zi), cinnamon (Zou kuei), and Lycium (Kuo zi) with your favorite meat or soy bean product.  You can add a small amount of rice wine to increase the potency.  Actually, Ranch 99 Market on Clairemont Mesa Blvd. has this already packaged it you would prefer to buy it that way and then cook it.

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