Many of my male patients complain of being tired, stressed out, and just feeling like they’re burning the candle at both ends! I like to call this “too busy syndrome”, fatigue that is brought on by overly-busy schedules and inadequate down-time to simply hang-out and unwind. There’s a gap, however, between “too-busy tired” and the debilitating fatigue related to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
Allow me to share with you some of the truth concerning chronic fatigue syndrome, especially how it affects men, and what you can do to prevent and cure it. Statistics show that between 100,000 and 250,000 Americans suffer with chronic fatigue syndrome with a few researchers believing that the levels are now higher than that. There’s a misconception that chronic fatigue syndrome is more prevalent in women than it is in men. Because of this, CFS might have gone undiagnosed in guys. Also, men do not visit doctors as often as girls.
The simple fact is, while women are more likely to get CFS, guys DO get it also. Both female and male CFS sufferers share a number of the very same symptoms and degrees of functioning/disability. It can be tricky to diagnose CFS because the symptoms may differ from person to person. The reason CFS is difficult to diagnose is because the symptoms may mimic other health problems such as influenza, mononucleosis, fibromyalgia, or even depression! Persistent, life-altering fatigue not associated with exertion, not alleviated by rest.
Impaired immune function – Candida infections, allergies. What Causes Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? Researchers aren’t quite sure what causes chronic fatigue syndrome. There are some people who prefer viral triggers from several different potential viruses such as herpes simplex, the virus that commonly causes cold sores. Epstein-Barr, the virus which causes mononucleosis is another potential cause. There are others who believe that CFS is an autoimmune disease, as seen in lupus, or allergic individuals, or rheumatoid arthritis, in which the immune system warms up into top gear to fight invading organisms and winds up attacking itself rather!
Still other researchers believe CFS may be due to other physical ailments, such as mercury dental fillings, low thyroid, low blood sugar, sleeplessness, or maybe a nutritional deficiency! Whatever the many possible causes, there appears to be an association between CFS and anxiety which might trigger the condition. Unlike women who suffer from CFS, managing the disease can pose unique problems for men.
First of all, most guys don’t express their feelings easily, even when feeling ill, and see doctors less often making them suffer in silence. Secondly, men’s perception of the value is typically tied to their own career, earning potential, and/or their capacity to look after themselves or a family. When a man begins having chronic symptoms, he may feel less manly, fearful, or try to dismiss his symptoms. Sometimes men may push even harder to keep a personal and public expectation, which only adds to their tiredness.
When male patients do come to me with CFS-sounding complaints, I prefer a natural, more self-managing, approach utilizing supplements (diet and vitamins), together with lifestyle adjustments, in treating their symptoms. Vitamin treatment: Men need higher doses of all of the B vitamins which could boost energy levels. Vitamins C, E, and beta-carotene are antioxidants that also help combat viruses. Vitamin D helps boost the immune system.
Calcium, magnesium, and manganese. These three minerals are crucial in energy generation. Diet therapy: A well-balanced diet with 6-8 fruits, vegetables, high protein, higher fiber, complex carbohydrates. Limit refined sugars, caffeine, and fat. Add acidophilus to assist the immune system, drink 48-64 oz water every day. Lifestyle therapy: Minimize emotional/physical stressors. Get sufficient sleep, supplements like melatonin can help. Get regular, moderate exercise which you may sustain, such as casual walking, bicycling, or swimmingpool. Yoga and Tai-Chi will help de-stress you.
Men should discuss their feelings, how being sick is impacting their personal relationships and their livelihood. One-on-one, or group therapy, can help restore a person’s loss of self-esteem and give him a feeling of support and camaraderie amongst other guys during the illness. Though diagnosing chronic fatigue syndrome in men can be challenging, treatment of it does not need to be. If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned previously, do not hesitate to call your physician. Together you can decide on the best treatment for handling your CFS symptoms. Many of the nutritional hints listed here can also help stop CFS as maintaining a healthy immune system is a key to staying healthy!