It’s natural to feel tired at times. Sometimes after an exceptional physical or intellectual effort, you might feel even more tired.
Sometimes, this feeling can last for a long time and prevent us from being fully ourselves. This is called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a term to designate fatigue persisting more than 6 months and which has no obvious medical origin.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, not to be confused with fibromyalgia, is a syndrome that was defined in the 1980’s by Dr. Fukuda, a Japanese physician who established a classification in 1994 according to criteria established to help in the detection of this multifactorial disease.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes this disease under the name of Post-Viral Fatigue Syndrome, Benign Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, and places it among the neurological disorders.
Another condition to confirm the existence of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and not to confuse it with other pathologies is the presence of at least 4 to 8 of the following symptoms: joint pain, memory and concentration problems, muscle pain, headaches, painful adenopathy (“painful lymph nodes” in the armpits and neck), sleep disorders, recurrent angina and pharyngitis, and fatigue during exercise.
Fatigue, whatever it is, can be physical or mental in nature. Whether it is harmless or indicative of serious pathology, fatigue is a symptom not to be taken lightly. Physical and mental fatigue can sometimes be juxtaposed.
These physical and mental fatigues can find their source in nervous exhaustion linked to stress, overwork, chronic algias (bromyalgia, inflammatory diseases), fatigues linked to an immune fight (hepatitis, flu, mononucleosis, chronic respiratory infections), or fatigues linked to age (andropause or menopause).
Fatigue can be the consequence of a silent disease or the result of aggravating factors such as lack of sleep and poor nutrition.
Other deficiencies such as iron deficiency can also explain Chronic Fatigue Syndrome because iron deficiency decreases the number of red blood cells carrying oxygen. However, this deficiency must be declared by the doctor after a biological analysis.
The lack of magnesium can also be an explanation. Magnesium allows the proper functioning of biochemical reactions in the cell, helps to cope with stress or hormonal imbalance as in the case of hypothyroidism.
However, according to one study, more than three-quarters of the population do not receive the recommended daily intake of magnesium.
Natural solutions to fight Cronic fatigue
Finding yourself a little sleepy? Below we’ve listed some natural ways to try and fight the snooze.
Bacopa (Bacopa monnieri or Brahmi) is a plant from India that is used in stressful situations to reduce glutamate concentrations and increase Gaba (gamma aminobutyric acid) concentrations in various brain areas.
Anxiety levels would thus be reduced by about 20%, mental fatigue reduced and serotonin levels (the neuromediator of sleep) increased. The results of four trials published in India indicate that bacopa can improve cognitive faculties and memory in healthy schoolchildren.
Ginseng (Panax ginseng, panax meaning universal remedy in Latin) is an adaptogenic plant. It contains a high content of acid polysaccharides, which gives it “anti-fatigue” properties.
It is a recognized medicinal plant from Asia; it can be available as white ginseng or red ginseng (its color is the result of a special smoking treatment). The ginsenoid content must be at least 7%, which gives it the property of metabolic tonic.
Guarana (Paulliniacupana, Paulliniasorbilis) is a shrub native to Brazil and Amazonia belonging to the Sapindaceae family. The Amerindians of Amazonia consumed it in a stimulating drink after having roasted the seeds and having reduced them to powder.
Indeed, guarana seeds are rich in tonic-nervine substances that act on the encephalic nerve centers. But the most important is the caffeine content (“guaranine”) of 2.5% to 7%, i.e. 2 to 3.5 times more than in coffee beans.
However, due to its high caffeine content, Guarana is contraindicated for pregnant and breastfeeding women, children, in case of hypertension, heart problems, ulcers, and insomnia.
Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea) is an adaptogenic plant that contains two substances: rosavin and salidroside present in the root. These two substances promote the transport of precursors of serotonin, a neurotransmitter of the nervous system.
The adaptogenic and anti-stress properties of this plant have been studied in particular through several double-blind studies in students under stress. Its anti-stress action is due to its stimulating action on adrenal hormones.
The Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba, also known as the “tree of forty crowns”) is a tree that dates back approximately 270 million years. It has the reputation of being the first plant to have grown after the nuclear bomb explosion in Hiroshima (Japan).
Its leaves contain valuable active ingredients such as terpenes and flavonoids. It is the flavonoids that promote the dilation of blood vessels and in particular to increase cerebral blood flow. These circulatory properties were recognized by Commission E and the World Health Organization (WHO) and from several tests.
Note, however, contradictions due to drug interactions with anticoagulant treatment, increasing the risk of hemorrhage, with some beta-blockers, with antidiabetic treatment, with gastroesophageal reflux inhibitors, antihypertensive, and antiangoreals.
Eleutherococcus (Eleutherococcus senticosus) is an adaptogenic plant, containing polysaccharides, eleutherosides, coumarins, vitamins, and amino acids in the root. These substances give it anti-stress and central nervous system (CNS) stimulating properties.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is not to be taken lightly. It can affect both the physical and mental and have repercussions on all aspects of our lives. Both allopathic and phytotherapeutic solutions exist to deal with it as part of a healthy lifestyle.
In addition to these, it is essential to: eat a balanced and seasonal diet, reduce alcohol and tobacco consumption, exercise at least 30 minutes a day, and sleep at least 7 hours a night.
Finally, when chronic fatigue becomes insurmountable, it’s recommended to consult a doctor.