Orthomolecular Medicine Approach to Treating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

There is a large cross section of people who exhibit symptoms of chronic fatigue, depression, and muscle and joint pain. People with chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, viral infections or recovering from viral infections, nutritional deficiencies, immune dysfunction, low oxygen, intestinal problems, metal toxicity, chemical toxicity, and chemical sensitivity may all show symptoms of chronic fatigue, depression, and muscle and joint pain.

Orthomolecular medicine is a system of medicine practiced by medical MD’s. It is a system of medicine using non-toxic, natural substances, safe in a wide range of dose. The main ingredients are herbs, vitamins, and minerals. The following are orthomolecular ideas that can help alleviate depression, fatigue, muscle pain, and joint pain, as well as other symptoms that may appear. These ideas are not to address any specific illness; rather these are common orthomolecular ideas for general symptoms of depression, fatigue, muscle and joint pain. The doses used are considered mega doses and should be used in consultation with a nutritional specialist or orthomolecular doctor.

1. Consider supplementing B-50, 2-3 times each day. The B vitamin complex control energy production, detox, protein digestion, and many other vital functions in cells that can increase energy and decrease pain.

2. Consider supplementing folate acid. A usual symptom of folate acid deficiency is depression and fatigue. A common error in folate supplementation, especially when a person is ill and their illness may be contributing to their nutritional deficiencies, is to supplement doses that are to small for to short a time. For example, in orthomolecular medicine folate acid can be supplemented at doses between 1-10 grams daily, for 3 months or longer. You can get a laboratory analysis to determine if you are folate deficient.

3. Consider supplementing vitamin B-12. Vitamin B-12 has a reputation to boost energy. Fatigue and depression are symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B-12 has a reputation among orthomolecular doctors of high doses to gain improvement. Doses of 2500 mcg and higher, daily or 3-4 times a week, are doses often used clinically. Although vitamin B-12 can work in a few weeks time, it sometimes may need 2-3 months to demonstrate significant improvement. You can get a laboratory analysis to determine if you are B-12 deficient. However, it has been noted that vitamin B-12 supplementation can improve energy, even when a person is not deficient.

4. Consider supplementing 10-15 grams of vitamin C total each day, in divided doses. Vitamin C boosts immune function, has been noted in studies to decrease pain, improves circulation, and many other functions that can help alleviate depression, fatigue, and muscle and joint pain. It is usually noted that large doses of vitamin C are needed in ill people in order to gain such benefits as described. One of the first symptoms of scurvy, a disease due to severe deficiencies of vitamin C, is fatigue and depression.

5. Consider supplementing zinc. Many times zinc deficiencies are noted in people with symptoms of fatigue. You can get a laboratory analysis to determine if your zinc levels are low. If they are you should consider high dose supplementation between 30-45 mg each day of zinc picolinate. Consult with a nutritional specialist, since your sex, health, and body weight will determine your proper dose. Zinc can boost the immune system. The theory is that a less than optimal immune system can lead to muscle pain, and supplementing zinc can raise immune levels, leading to decreased muscle pain.

6. Consider supplementing magnesium. Magnesium is known to be involved with the proper working of muscle tissue. Magnesium is necessary for the heart to work properly. The heart is a muscle. Often in fatigue, low oxygen levels or low energy in the heart muscle can be present. Magnesium helps regulate the heart. Improving the heart muscle will improve oxygen levels and increase energy. Magnesium levels should be tested. Often if magnesium is not deficient, then supplementation of magnesium will not alleviate fatigue, depression, and muscle and joint pain.

7. Consider supplementing CoQ10. This supplement increases the respiratory processes. This enhances energy production in the mitochondria, the energy factories inside cells. This can lead to an increase of energy. In people with fatigue problems there are not many studies to show optimal doses. However, in many other conditions of illness, often doses of 200-400 mg are used, depending on the quality of CoQ10. It is important to consider dividing the doses into 3-4 doses each day. The divided doses will help sustain the effect of the CoQ10 over a longer 24-hour period, thus optimizing its benefit. Combining it with magnesium supplementation might best optimize CoQ10.

8. Consider supplementing acetyl-L-carnitine. Carnitine is needed to prevent toxic accumulation of fatty acids inside cells and the mitochondria. It is needed to provide fat for energy production at the mitochondria. The lack of carnitine to provide fat for energy metabolism can impair the mitochondria. Thus after exercise or physical exertion fatigue, tiredness, muscle weakness, and other symptoms could follow the exertion due to low carnitine levels. Acetyl-L-carnitine is an efficient carnitine supplement. Orthomolecular doses of carnitine are often at 2 and ½ grams or higher, each day. You should take carnitine supplementation in divided doses, to spread out its effect over a 24-hour period. You should consider combining it with COQ10 supplementation Combining CoQ10 and acetyl-L-carnitine, at orthomolecular doses, 3-4 times daily can stimulate great amounts of energy production in cells. Add the B-50 supplement and this may provide a dynamic energy protocol for ill people showing symptoms of fatigue, depression, and muscle and joint pain.

9. Consider supplementing ginseng with G-115 extract added. G-115 has been proven in studies to increase oxygen utilization and enhance physical endurance. We have mentioned CoQ10 and acetyl-L-carnitine enhancing the respiratory processes of the mitochondria, leading to enhanced energy production. Improving oxygen utilization will help optimize the production of energy in the mitochondria. Ginseng with G-115 should be considered a supplement that can increase the effect of CoQ10 and acetyl-L-carnitine.

10. Consider supplementing omega fatty acids. The omega fatty acids are necessary for life. They form the structure of many tissue in the body, they are needed to help produce hormones, the chemical messengers of the body, they help increase permeability of cell membranes, and many other functions. If you are not getting the proper omega fatty acids in the appropriate ratios, decreased cell function may follow, which may explain the loss of energy, depression, and pain of many illnesses.

11. Consider having a doctor evaluate your tryptophan levels. Tryptophan is an amino acid. Tryptophan is the precursor of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Lowered levels of serotonin are connected with mood and depression. You can supplement tryptophan directly, which requires a prescription or you can use precursors of tryptophan. Infections, large amounts of bacteria in the intestines, and other conditions can promote increased degradation of tryptophan. You need a doctor familiar with these kinds of problems to help balance low tryptophan levels. Tryptophan helps produce partial amounts of the vitamin niacin in the body. If you determine your tryptophan levels are low, you need to consider supplementing orthomolecular doses of niacin. Read the article in the overlooked cures section of this web site, entitled “Anti-Death Vitamin”. It describes optimal methods to supplement niacin. It describes the 2-decade study, called the Coronary Drug Project, which used a dose of 750 mg each day to get its fantastic results. You might consider 750 mg of niacin each day, in divided doses, as a minimum dose. Consider using the Coronary Drug Project as a model for niacin supplementation. Again consult with a nutritional expert. Starchy carbohydrates, such as pasta, potatoes, and so on, can result in lowering amino acid levels in the bloodstream. However, starchy carbohydrates may increase tryptophan levels in the bloodstream. Thus starchy carbohydrates, by inhibiting amino acids, aside from tryptophan, can increase tryptophan levels in the bloodstream resulting in production of more serotonin. However, starchy carbohydrates increase tryptophan levels, they do not synthesize serotonin. Thus, you also need to eat serotonin foods to replace depleted serotonin. Some food containing serotonin are bananas, walnuts, avocado, cottage cheese and tomatoes.

In conclusion there are many supplements, in the proper dose for the proper amount of time, that can enhance energy production in cells, can promote detox, can boost immunity, can improve circulation, can increase cell permeability, can help produce optimal tissues, improve the heart, and other functions that can help alleviate fatigue, depression, and muscle and joint pain, as well as many other symptoms. Good luck.


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