Book editions Updated to 2018
Aching and Fatigue eBook

Aching and Fatigue eBook

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Chronic Illness

Chronic ill health is a "normal condition" among adult North Americans. Aching and fatigue are the two most common complaints. Close to 50% of the adult population in the US and Canada report chronic symptoms such as headache, fatigue and joint or muscle pain.

Data from the U.S. National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) estimated that the number of outpatient visits for fatigue was 7 million visits; 9.6 million visits for headaches; 17 million visits for joint pains; 14 million visits for skin rash; and 7 million visits for depression. Patients commonly report experiencing multiple symptoms. Studies have shown that when patients complete symptom checklists one third of patients complain of 0-1 symptoms, one-third complain of 2-3 symptoms, and one-third complain of 4 or more symptoms.

Many of theses patients who are not well but do not have the markers of specific disease. Patients with in-between disease have some of the symptoms and signs that suggest the diagnosis of specific disease but not everything fits together. In primary medical practice non-specific and in-between disease are more common than the nicely packaged diseases described in textbooks.

A patient may suffer fatigue and joint pains, for example, but not show rheumatoid factor or have X-Ray signs of rheumatoid arthritis; she feels like a second-class citizen since she does not have a definitive diagnosis. Physicians have been tempted in the past to dismiss these patients as hypochondriacs, attribute their symptoms to "stress" or try to include them in diagnoses such as depression. Some MDs still believe in psychosomatic illness and will frustrate suffering patients who get no help from them.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia and related disorders are not discrete diseases in the usual sense, but patterns of maladaptive responses to food and the environment. We believe that chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia are symptom complexes and are often caused by delayed pattern food allergy. Both conditions tend to co-exist and both are part of a larger illness complex. The general classification is non-specific hypersensitivity disease.

Chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia and should be treated with diet revision as the first and most essential form of therapy. Long-term and precise management of food intake is required to sustain improvements.

CFS is characterized by persistent and debilitating fatigue and additional symptoms such as sore throat, headache, tender muscles, aching, stiffness, joint pains, difficulty concentrating, thinking and loss of short-term memory. Fatigue and aching are often associated so that the diagnoses of CFS and Fibromyalgia overlap - both descriptions point to similar clusters of symptoms. Occasionally, one symptom will dominate - some people remain energetic but are stopped by pain, for example and should be diagnosed as fibromyalgia; others are disabled by fatigue but have no pain. Most people we see have both symptoms and the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue can be made together.

The symptoms of chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia are mostly likely produced by the combined action of many chemicals in food and released by immune cells that are activated by food proteins that act as triggers to immune cells. Immune cell chemicals are referred to as cytokines and are potent. A few micrograms of a cytokine circulating in the blood can feel awful - "it feels like a truck ran over me." Attempts to change the chemistry of the brain with prescription drugs, herbs, magnets, acupuncture, vitamins, minerals, green goop and a host of other odd concoctions are generally futile and may make matters worse.

Chronic sufferers are understandably interested in claims for cures in a bottle and no-one can be faulted for trying a few prescriptions or a few bottles of snake oil, but most insightful and experienced sufferers realize that most treatments were a waste of time and money. Failed treatments are discouraging and some make the disease worse.

Dr. Gislason explains why diet revision as the first and most essential form of therapy. Long term management of food intake is required to sustain improvements.

The book is intended to be used with the Alpha Nutrition Program, a modular and versatile diet revision program that can help solve a variety of disease conditions where food and nutrition play a role.

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