Fatigue Versus Chronic Fatigue
(The following is a quoted excerpt, pages 93-98, from the book The Great Health Heist © by Paul Rosen J.D.,L.Ac. Published by Warren Publishing, Inc.)
What is the difference between fatigue and chronic fatigue? Where is the threshold between just plain feeling tired and “sick and tired” of feeling tired? How do you know when your fatigue turns chronic? Or when it is no longer chronic?
The least scientific explanation I can give for the difference between fatigue and chronic fatigue is that it rarely matters to the person who is just plain tired. It so happens that the most scientific explanation I can give for the difference between fatigue and chronic fatigue is that it rarely matters to the person who is just plain tired!
I’m not being flip; this is how my patients feel about fatigue. Some come in right away because they’ve felt tired for a few days. Others wait until they’ve felt fatigued for months, sometimes even years, before they are tempted to consider the fact that their fatigue might be chronic.
The folks at MedicineNet.com determine fatigue to be “a condition characterized by a lessened capacity for work and reduced efficiency of accomplishment, usually accompanied by a feeling of weariness and tiredness.” Sounds about right.
MedicineNet.com defines chronic fatigue as “a debilitating and complex disorder characterized by profound fatigue of six months or longer duration that is not improved by bed rest and that may be worsened by physical or mental activity.”
Clearly, both definitions point to quantifiable and quite justifiable symptoms. Yet often there remains no specific laboratory test, or such tests fail to reveal anything obvious or reveal something that turns out to be the effect and not the root cause.
The Centers for Disease Control, or CDC, insist that “as many as 500,000 Americans suffer from some type of chronic fatigue.” I know this figure should be much higher because, in addition to the various specific maladies my patients report, fatigue and chronic fatigue are often co-symptoms.
“DM” came to me suffering from fatigue along with some other common symptoms I see quite often. Happily, his story ended well. “I didn’t have the energy to do much, even with only working part time,” he had complained. “I usually felt worn out. Now [after Nutrition Response Testing®, I feel more alert and positive. I wake up feeling more awake. I don’t feel worn out even after exercising.”
In contrast, “FB” had symptoms that were slightly more aggravating. “I was a basket case, tired, felt lousy and had no energy,” she complained. “I would have to push myself to do something. Now [after Nutrition Response Testing] I have more energy and get-up-and-go. It is not a struggle to do things.”
For “DM” and “FB,” their complaints were generally fatigue-related. My next two patients weren’t so lucky, and each suffered with chronic fatigue in their own unique way.
“LH” was diagnosed with chronic fatigue because of the duration and severity of his symptoms. Like many sufferers of this ailment, he had a combination of symptoms that went hand-in-hand with chronic fatigue. He explains: “I was always tired, caught many colds that would last for weeks, had knee pain, low energy, and felt run down. Now [with Nutrition Response Testing, my energy is solid. I’m able to hike for six to eight miles without the use of hiking poles. I haven’t had any more colds or knee pain, and I’m sleeping well. I’m feeling very healthy and strong. “
These symptoms were more severe than some sufferers of chronic fatigue, and less severe than others who fall victim to this insidious ailment. Take “MS,” for instance. Like many who suffer from chronic fatigue, she found herself being misdiagnosed, again and again, by the established medical community. These are her words:
“I was experiencing extreme pain; I felt sick, weak, and could not eat or hold down any food. I went from doctor to doctor for 10 years trying to find out what or why my body was feeling the way it was. I went through multiple tests without finding a solution. I was told I would have to live like this, but this wasn’t living. I felt like I was slowly dying. My weight had gone down to 100 pounds.
After three months, I have more strength, I can eat some foods, and my weight is up to 117 pounds. I go out in public more and I’m not sick or in pain like I was before Nutrition Response Testing. I feel stronger than I have in 10 years and feel like I’m going to make it back out into life again. I still have a long way to go, but this is all worth it.”
Her problems may sound extreme, but symptoms like those experienced by “MS” are more common than you think. If they sound familiar, don’t wait as long as she did – seek help now.
So, what if you can’t pinpoint your symptoms or put a name to what you are feeling? You know when your body is out of whack or isn’t feeling right. And let me remind you about something: Don’t ever be embarrassed about what a doctor or healthcare practitioner might think. They are just people with problems like yours and they are there to help.
If you are unhappy with the results of a treatment program, speak up and say so. Don’t be passive. Be aggressive in the pursuit of better health – if, in fact, you are willing to get down to work. Suspend your judgment and don’t be afraid to pursue non-traditional methods. Demand that someone listen. Be persistent.
Better health, after all, can be yours – but you have to want it. I am here to tell you not to settle for the status quo while there is hope out there available to you. Don’t be a victim of your current physical state. Overcome your fear and suspend your judgment. Now, there is an alternative.
Get evaluated using Nutrition Response Testing. It’s painless. It’s non-invasive. It will provide a personalized program with powerful results. Are you ready, as my spiritual teacher reminds us, to be the hero of your own life? What are you waiting for?