I Call this section “Old Stuff” because the information it contains has been dealt with over and over again in many of the books that have a handle on FM/CFS. People have FM/CFS because they have a combination of a number of contributing factors. This section is a review of the following for some, but may be new for others. These factors are: toxicity, infection of some kind, organs and glands are malfunctioning, and inability to handle stress.
Lifestyle and personal habits play a tremendous role in the direction that your health takes. Let’s examine some of the lifestyle habits that would adversely affect your health.
This is not news to anybody, especially if you’re a smoker. Basically inhaling smoke into your lungs adds to the amount of toxins that your body has to get rid of. Smoking causes free radical damage to the lungs, which spreads to other parts of the body. Smoking decreases the ability of all the cells in the body to carry oxygen. Since oxygen is necessary for every function in the body, a lack of oxygen will have a cumulative, destructive effect. I know smokers can’t read because all of the effects are written in bold print, with graphic pictures on cigarette packages, therefore, there is no need to say more about smoking because they don’t read it anyway.
“Only one product kills ⅓ of the people who use it”. Ripley’s Believe It or Not
Again, everyone knows of the hazardous effects of drinking too much alcohol. Excess alcohol is very toxic to the liver and must be eliminated. Persistent overloading of the liver leads to destruction of the liver. This is called cirrhosis, which ultimately increases the level of toxins building up in the body causing a multitude of other symptoms. Alcoholics are notorious for having an unhealthy diet as well.
Any food that is heated over 110 degrees has all of its enzymes destroyed. Therefore, if you’re only eating cooked food, your enzyme bank is being depleted at a continuous rate. Everybody begins life with a reserve of 70 years of enzymes in the pancreas. It is similar to a bank account, if you continually withdraw from this bank account of enzymes at age 70 you will run out of enzymes and your body start to deteriorate rapidly. The body starts stealing enzymes from other parts of the body to compensate. The time to be concerned about your enzyme level is now, not at 70 when the problems start to show.
It is always interesting to me to observe what other people have in their shopping carts at the grocery store. I can tell what kind of health problem and individual will have by the type of food they consume. Some shopping carts are loaded with processed foods laden with white flour, sugar, hydrogenated fats that are laced with all kinds of chemicals and preservatives. Our bodies have to make living tissue from the food we eat. Junk food with little or no nutrition will produce unhealthy cells that are not capable of producing very much energy.
The faster and easier it is to prepare food the more popular that method is today. I will cover microwave cooking in the next chapter. Food that is over cooked on the barbecue for instance, can be very detrimental to your health. If it’s turned black don’t eat it because anything that’s burned, which happens frequently on the barbecue, is a mass of free radicals.
This is very common in today’s society. People begrudgingly get up in the morning and reluctantly prepare themselves for work. When they do get to work they’d rather be somewhere else. They drag themselves through the day waiting for 5:00 PM so they can go home. When they get home, they are exhausted, so they sit in front of the TV for hours, usually eating a microwave dinner, drinking beer, and eventually falling asleep on the couch. “Exercise, are you kidding; I’m too tired to exercise.”
In Chiropractic College we were taught that many different conditions were genetic. However, after being in practice for only a little while, I realized that what people are inheriting from their parents is their lifestyle. They eat the same foods, drink the same things, raise their kids in the same manner that they were raised, do the same line of work, and live in the same areas. Since so many health problems are due to lifestyle, many conditions that we used to think were genetic, are nothing more than inherited and copied lifestyles. Of course genetics does play a part, unfortunately it’s something we can’t do anything about this time, so there is no sense worrying about it. What we can do is adopt a healthier lifestyle.
The type of doctor you choose and the philosophy and methods they employ will play a large role in your chances of getting well. The medical model is not interested in whether you get well or not, but only in perpetually treating your condition with an ongoing symptomatic approach to treatment. Have you ever wondered why so many medical doctors cannot take any more new patients? The answer is, they are not getting their current patients well and have no room for new patients. It would seem to me that if the doctors were doing his/her job well, then their patients would be getting better and they would always have room for new patients. Treating patients in an ongoing perpetual manner, never correcting, only masking the symptoms turns them into lifetime patients, requiring more drugs to counteract the effects of the drugs taken before. Unless the doctor is actively helping to correct the cause of the condition, they’re only masking symptoms and the patient is actually getting worse.
My clinical observations over the years about FM/CFS are that: “These conditions are mostly caused by ineffective medical practices”.
Most of the reputable books on FM/CFS include sections on the infectious agents: Candida, parasites, bacterial infections, and viral infections. For some, the following section will be just a review for others it may be new. If it’s new, then I suggest checking out some of the references listed in this section.
The following areas must be investigated in any comprehensive treatment protocol for FM/CFS. They are almost always present in these conditions.
Do not take for granted that Candida and Parasites have been eliminated just because you have previously done a cleanse for them. Candida and Parasites can reoccur with the slightest deviation from the proper diet. I suggest you get tested periodically.
Candida, or as commonly referred to, yeast infections, is an extremely common contributing factor in FM/CFS. A Candida infection is often an iatrogenic (caused by a doctor) condition resulting from the over use of such drugs as; antibiotics, birth control pills, steroids, cortisone drugs and creams, sulfur drugs, and certain tranquilizers, and hormone replacement therapies. Anything that is immune-suppressive is Candida enhancing. There are also self-inflicted causes such as excessive alcohol, lavish amounts of sugar, a high consumption of chlorinated water, and a nutrient-deficient, toxic-laden diet that is also common today. Other contributing factors weakening the immune system are: dental amalgam fillings, chronic infections, prolonged illness, stresses of all forms, traumas, smoking, lack of exercise, anal sex, constipation, surgery, angry & irritated dispositions, emotional upsets, lack of friendly bacteria, lack of oxygen, and lack of rest.
The body has a balance between good bacteria and yeast in the intestines and vagina. The above listed drugs kill off the good bacteria, allowing the unchecked yeast to multiply. This yeast grows rapidly and forms long tentacle-like processes that actually perforate the intestinal wall leaving small holes, which allows the yeast to get into the bloodstream and allows small particles of toxic fecal matter to leak into the bloodstream. This adds even more toxins that the immune system has to eliminate.
The primary source of food for the yeast is blood sugar. The yeast starts eating up the blood sugar, which results in a number of clinical significances. Since the yeast starts eating up the blood sugar, which results in a number of clinical significances. Since the yeast eats up all of your blood sugar there is one left for the host, resulting in fatigue. The amount of blood sugar that gets to the brain is also decreased causing an inability of the brain to concentrate, producing: confusion, a spacey feeling, irritability, poor memory, forgetfulness, depression and other emotional maladies.
When the yeast eats the blood sugar it secretes 79 known toxins into the bloodstream (the major one is called acetaldehyde). Candida multiplies very quickly and over the years can produce an overwhelming amount of acetaldehyde. This poison is generated into ethanol and converted by the liver to alcohol. The less oxygen there is in the body, i.e. from smoking, the more alcohol is produced, which causes symptoms of depression, irritability, and headaches. These toxins reduce cell energy, tissue strength, and integrity, and produce an array of central nervous system symptoms: confusion, fatigue, irritability, mental fogginess, memory loss, depression, dizziness, mood swings, headaches, nausea, burning sensation, numbness and tingling. This adds more toxins that the immune system has to handle and further burdens the immune system, decreasing its effectiveness in fighting off other infectious agents.
If there are organs in the body that have a lowered resistance or that are malfunctioning because of decreased nerve/blood supply (this is caused by subluxations of the spine or skull), they then become the areas where the yeast will set up housekeeping. This is why Candida affects everybody differently, it depends on where your weak spots are, which determines what kinds of symptoms occur. In some people the yeast multiplies in the intestines, especially in those people who are constipated. In some it affects the digestive tract, others the bronchial tubes and sinuses, and still others show major symptoms in the kidneys and reproductive organs.
Healthy bacterial flora in the intestines is helpful in the digestion process, the synthesis of vitamins and enzymes and the prevention of both infections and cancer. Medical doctors indiscriminately use antibiotics for a wide variety of symptoms. Antibiotics are being over prescribed to satisfy complaining patients. When a doctor doesn’t prescribe an antibiotic the patient looks for one who will. Sales of antibiotics in 1993 had already reached the 5.6 billion-dollar ranges (These are old statistics; imagine what it is today).
Antibiotics used for as little as 7 to 10 days is sufficient enough to interfere with the intestinal flora’s ability to destroy yeast, the yeast starts to grow and change into the fungus or mycelized from which multiplies and causes problems. Imagine the teenager who has acne, and is put on antibiotics for six months to a year. Their intestinal flora would become severely compromised and the end result is a severe yeast infection.
A healthy person has between three to four pounds of bacterial flora present in their intestines to help maintain health. The poor diets, observed today, do not replenish the bacteria, and the drugs destroy what’s there, leaving the body susceptible to foreign invaders. Friendly bacteria are essential for life, but less than 10 percent of the population has enough bacterial flora to support what we would call excellent health.
Only a small decrease in the amount of intestinal bacteria can cause disease. We have a beneficial relationship with this bacteria and it plays a vital role in limiting the growth of yeast organisms and other infectious agents.
Our water systems are chlorinated to kill bacteria, but this process does not stop when the water gets into the body. High intakes of chlorinated water destroy large amounts of the beneficial bacterial flora in the intestines.
Severe stresses such as: unhappy relationships, divorces, accidents, deaths, surgery, diseases, and constant negative thinking, decrease the efficiency of the intestinal flora and permit the yeast to grow.
Candida is not just a condition that occurs in females. I discovered some 20 years ago that I had Candida and that it had contributed to the Asthma that I used to have. When I first heard about Candida I dismissed it as being vague and having far too many symptoms to be taken seriously.
Now I look to Candida as being one of the most common contributing factors in unhealthy patients and have done a preliminary screening for Candida on all new patients for years. As much as 90% of the North American population has yeast overgrowth and at least 50% of these are suffering from its numerous effects.
The symptoms seem to get worse in moldy places such as: a basement, barns, swamps, areas with wet leaves, and the symptoms are aggravated by damp climates. Symptoms can also be stimulated by certain foods containing chemicals such as sulfates and other preservatives. Drinking beer, champagne, certain wine, vinegar, and other yeasty and high sugar beverages can also trigger reactions. Some of the people with Candida can be; neurotic, hypochondriacs, negative, spacey, and confused, they tend to give up easily and appear reluctant to get well. This is usually the result of a long series of doctors who did not understand their condition and recommended treatments that actually made them worse. These patients are often diagnosed as having a psychoneurotic illness, treated with psychoactive drugs and dismissed as “basket cases”, which only exacerbates their problems.
If an expecting mother has a yeast problem, then her babies can be born with similar problems. A very large percentage of these childhood, inherit infections and conditions such as: colds, diaper rash, thrush, ear infections, tonsillitis, colic, constipation, and diarrhea. As a child grows older conditions such as irrational behavior, ADD, learning disabilities, poor self-esteem, eczema, and short attention spans can all be attributed to Candida.
Most people with Candida feel sick all the time and exhibit a multitude of symptoms. This confuses the M.D. who then concludes, “It’s all in your head”, since they can’t figure out why they have so many symptoms.
There will be some health practitioners who deny that Candida is a problem. They are either not up-to-date on recent medical, microbiological, and biochemical literature or they stand to gain financially from this pretence.
How common is Candida? In my first 20 years in practice the percentage of patients that I saw with Candida was about 25%. Now that I see a large number of FM/CFS patients, the percentage is much higher, because 99% of the FM/CFS patients have Candida as one of their causative factors.