Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is known to devastate lives; although the exact number affected is unknown, it is estimated that there are at least 3 million people in the U.S. with CFS. There have been a variety of theories as to what the cause is, including a weak immune system, infections, and even some “experts” stating that it is “all in your head.”
While the exact cause has yet to be determined, there is plenty of evidence that has been building linking CFS to another chronic medical condition, leaky gut syndrome.
A study out of Belgium confirms already extensive research in regard to the connection between Leaky Gut Syndrome and chronic fatigue, suggesting that treating leaky gut can alleviate CFS as well as major depression and perhaps other chronic illness. Their research found that by treating a patient with specific antioxidants and a “leaky gut diet,” it resulted in the complete remission of CFS symptoms.
The study was able to demonstrate that treatment addressing diet and specific nutrients not only reversed signs of leaky gut, but it improved symptoms of fatigue, malaise and depression.
So what is leaky gut?
It isn’t one single disease but rather a pathological condition occurring as a part of many different diseases and syndromes, referring to an abnormal increase in the permeability of the small intestine. Increased intestinal permeability is a factor in many different disorders.
This condition results in the bowel literally becoming “leaky,” causing toxins to be introduced into the bloodstream in high concentrations. It is known to be related to chronic poor food choices, medications and stress. A few of its symptoms include fatigue, muscle and joint pain, insomnia, headaches, changes in memory and irritable bowel symptoms.
Leaky gut allows for the regular introduction of pro-inflammatory and toxic compounds into the body which can damage DNA and inhibit energy production, resulting in the sufferer experiencing these often devastating symptoms.
Many people with CFS are able to enjoy a much higher quality of life and see significant improvements by making lifestyle changes.
If you have CFS or suspect that you have leaky gut, there are several steps you can take to help heal and enjoy your life again, including:
Adopt an anti-inflammatory diet. Avoid foods that contribute to inflammation such as those that are mostly sugar, refined flours, processed foods and fast foods; foods containing inflammatory fats like trans fats and hydrogenated oils, red meat, many dairy products and alcohol. Fill your diet with plenty of organic fruits and vegetables; coconut and olive oils; nuts and seeds; and wild-caught salmon.
Avoid taking aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDS.
Incorporate at least 30 minutes of physical activity into your day on most, if not all days of the week. This will reduce inflammation and boost immune function as well as providing more energy to help you get through your day.
Practice stress reduction techniques. Deep breathing exercises and meditation are both very effective.
Avoid exposure to environmental toxins. This includes nicotine and cigarette smoke as well as chemicals that come from cleaning products, dry cleaning and air fresheners.
For many people, lifestyle changes like these may require a major transformation, but when you consider the rewards of being able to truly live your life again, isn’t it worth the effort?
-The Alternative Daily