Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is characterized by intense fatigue that is made worse by physical and/or mental exertion and not helped by sleep. Additionally, the fatigue is accompanied by four or more of the following core/critical symptoms considered essential for diagnosis – wakes up tired, extreme fatigue after exertion, poor short-term memory and concentration, muscle pain, joint pain, headaches, tender lymph nodes, and sore throat which may be cyclical.

Symptoms of CFS


extreme fatigue after exertion, poor short-term memory and concentration, muscle pain, joint pain, headaches, abdominal pain, alcohol intolerance, bloating, chest pain, chronic cough, and more.

Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

According to the CDC, people with CFS also commonly have these symptoms – abdominal pain, alcohol intolerance, bloating, chest pain, chronic cough, diarrhea, dizziness, dry eyes or mouth, earaches, irregular heartbeat, jaw pain, morning stiffness, nausea, night sweats, psychological strain (depression, irritability, anxiety, panic attacks), shortness of breath, and strange skin sensations (tingling, burning).

Suggested Causes for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Dysfunction of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, low cortisol levels and increased systemic inflammation and immune function (increased cytokines, T cell activation markers) and have been implicated as cause for CFS. Neurally mediated hypotension (NMH) or postural orthostatic tachycardia (POTS) has, also, been implicated, but is most likely an associated sign rather than a cause for the condition.

The Role of HPA Axis & Adrenal Gland Dysfunction

It appears that HPA axis and adrenal gland dysfunction underlie much of the dysregulation of inflammation, immune function, blood pressure, and blood sugar seen in most people diagnosed with CFS. Abnormal circadian rhythm of cortisol through the day typically correlates with the impaired sleep patterns and abnormal tiredness upon waking seen in people with CFS.

The Role of Food & Environmental Sensitivity

Another aspect of CFS is how commonly food and environmental sensitivity is seen in this group. This issue appears to be at least a compounding factor for people with CFS. Again from the CDC website on CFS, ” Many patients do, however, report intolerances for certain substances that may be found in foods or over-the-counter medications, such as alcohol.”

There is a tremendous amount of overlap between the symptoms associated with CFS and those associated with food and environmental sensitivity/intolerance to sulfites, aldehydes, phenols, prostaglandins, biogenic amines, and histamine. It is common for these sensitivities/intolerances to be present concurrently with CFS and worsen the overall pattern or be primary triggers for a pattern of symptoms that have been misdiagnosed as CFS.

Causes of CFS


“Studies suggest that no one infection or pathogen causes CFS and that the illness may be triggered by a variety of illnesses or conditions. In fact, infection with Epstein-Barr virus, Ross River virus, and Coxiella burnetti will lead to a post-infective condition that meets the criteria for CFS in approximately 10-12% of cases….The possibility remains that there may be a variety of different ways in which patients can develop CFS.” — CDC

The Six Installment Chemical Intolerance Mini-course


Using Vinami For Food & Environmental Intolerance In CFS

Vinami is a reliable formula for improving tolerance to sulfites, aldehydes, phenols, prostaglandins, biogenic amines, and histamine. It can be used safely on a trial basis to determine if using Vinami diminshes symptoms for someone who has been diagnosed with CFS. A positive response suggests that sensitivity/intolerance to one or more of these compounds is either a cause or a contributor to CFS symptoms.

A Final Note

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a medical condition that needs the attention of a physician who is trained in the diagnosis and treatment of CFS. Diagnosis should always include tangible objective measures of your health status and lead to changes in your health status that are measurable through laboratory and exam findings.

A physician trained in food and environmental intolerance can lead you through the process of identifying and measuring physiological markers associated with these issues.