Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
How unrefined coconut oil may be the best solution
by Bruce Fife, ND
Coconut oil and Chronic Fatigue. Coconut oil [only virgin, unrefined] may be one of the best solutions to chronic fatigue syndrome currently available. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), once considered to be an imaginary ailment, is now recognized as a bona fide illness. While its cause is still pretty much a mystery, it has become a problem of growing concern. It is estimated that some three million Americans and 90 million people worldwide are affected by it.
CFS Symptoms. CFS is characterized by a relatively sudden onset of extreme fatigue, often following an infectious illness. Symptoms may include any of the following: muscle weakness, headache, memory loss, mental confusion, recurring infections, low-grade fever, swollen lymph glands, severe exhaustion following moderate physical activity, depression, anxiety attacks, dizziness, rashes, allergies, and autoimmune reactions. Symptoms that persist for six months or more are a strong indication of CFS.
The degree and severity of symptoms often fluctuate. An afflicted person may temporarily “recover” and function normally for awhile only to relapse a short time later. Many people are affected without even realizing it. They consider the symptoms due to age, stress, or seasonal illness and they do nothing to solve the problem.
Multiple Causes of CFS. The exact cause of the illness is still unknown and there is no standard medical test to detect it. Consequently, a cure has yet to be found. The current belief is that CFS does not have a single cause but is the result of many factors. Some believe it is the result of multiple chronic infections which depress the immune system and drain the body of energy. Poor nutrition, excessive stress, food and environmental toxins, and chronic infections all combine to lower immune function and drain energy. Many people believe that a depressed immune system is the primary cause of the problem.
Dr. Murray Susser, M.D. from Santa Monica, California says, “CFS can start with ordinary viral infections like those that cause respiratory infections like the common cold and flu. There are 2,300 viruses which can cause a cold or flu and if one of those hits you and your body isn’t able to get rid of it, then you have a chronic infection. That’s really what chronic fatigue behaves like, the flu that never got better. I sometimes call it, ‘the flu that became always.'”
Chronic Infection and CFS. Any number of viruses, bacteria, fungi, or parasites can contribute to chronic fatigue. The most likely causes are the herpes virus, Epstein-Barr virus, Candida, and giardia. Some infections, especially viruses such as herpes, can persist for a lifetime. Herpes can cause fever blisters and genital lesions. The blisters may disappear temporarily only to reappear occasionally, especially as a result of stress.
Herpes Zoster. Herpes zoster is the chickenpox virus. Once the virus enters the body it stays there for the rest of the person’s life. After chickenpox has run its course, the virus manages to survive within the confines of the nervous system and stays there throughout life. For most people it remains dormant. During times of stress, however when the immune system’s efficient drops, the virus can become reactivated. This new infection is known as shingles.
Epstein-Barr Virus. The Epstein-Barr virus is a member of the herpes family. It causes mononucleosis, often called the kissing disease because it can be transmitted this way. Once in the body it attacks the white blood cells. Recovery, takes four to six weeks with rest. The body needs this length of time allow the immune system to overcome the virus. For two to three months afterwards patients often feel depressed, lack energy, and feel sleepy throughout the day. These conditions may persist at a chronic level giving rise to CFS.
Cold and Flu Viruses. Cold and flu viruses can cause chronic infections that may contribute to chronic fatigue. Often people with viral infections are given antibiotics. There is no antibiotic that can kill a virus. Antibiotics are only effective against bacteria. When we come down with a cold, flu, or other viral infection the only thing we can do is take it easy and let our immune system handle the job. Doctors often give people suffering from viral infections antibiotics because there is nothing else they can do. The antibiotics have no more effect than a placebo, thus making the patient feel he is doing something to hasten recovery. This has been the standard practice among doctors for years. The problem with this, besides wasting the patient’s money and subjecting him to worthless medications, is that the antibiotics may do some harm. One of the side effects of antibiotic use is the development of candidiasis. Antibiotics kill friendly bacteria in the intestinal tract. These good bacteria compete for space with disease-causing bacteria and yeast, which keeps yeast numbers low and relatively harmless. If these bacteria are killed by antibiotic use, yeasts are able to multiply unrestrained causing a systemic candida infection. Candida can become chronic, burdening the immune system, draining the body’s energy, leading to prolonged feelings of fatigue and ill health.
Giardia Infections. Giardia infections produce symptoms often diagnosed as chronic fatigue syndrome. Low-grade bacterial infections may also drain the body’s energy, causing chronic fatigue. Low-grade infections can be near impossible to diagnose accurately. If a virus is part of the cause, little can be done as there are no drugs that can cure viral illnesses. Giving the wrong type of medication can make matters worse, so experimenting with antibiotics and other drugs is not a good solution.
What’s the answer? Coconut oil may provide a vital solution to chronic fatigue syndrome. The fatty acids in coconut oil can kill herpes and Epstein-Barr viruses which are believed to be major causes. They kill candida and giardia. They kill a variety of other infectious organisms, any of which could cause chronic fatigue. Some doctors believe it is not the particular germ or organism that matters; any combination of factors or conditions that depress the immune system can lead to CFS. According to them the key to overcoming CFS is strengthening the immune system. Again, coconut oil may be the solution. Coconut oil supports the immune system by ridding the body of harmful microorganisms, thus relieving stress on the body. With fewer harmful organisms taxing the body’s energy, the immune system can function better.
Unrefined Coconut Oil: Healing Factors. Coconut oil provides a quick source of energy and stimulates metabolism. This boost in energy not only lifts the spirit but promotes faster healing. The higher the body’s metabolism the more efficient the immune system and the quicker the body can heal and repair itself.
It’s like a carpenter doing some repairs on your house. If he is tired and slow, it will take a long time to do the job, but if he is energetic and anxious to complete the task it will take a fraction of the time. When metabolism is functioning at a higher level our cells are like an energized carpenter anxious to complete the repairs while depressed metabolism causes the cells to work slower, and consequently healing and repair progress slower.
Best Natural Treatment. I believe coconut oil used regularly can be one of the best natural treatments for chronic fatigue there is.
Case History. Here is what one 46-year-old man experienced:
“I never thought I was troubled with chronic fatigue syndrome. I was healthy. I ate what I considered a good diet — low in fat, lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. But I noticed as I was approaching my mid-forties my level of energy was decreasing rapidly. Even modest amounts of yard work became a drudgery. After a couple of hours I came in exhausted and it took me two days to recover. By 8:00 p.m. every day I was exhausted, even though I have a desk job. I found myself going to bed earlier and earlier. Life was slowing down and I missed the energy I once had. I assumed that what I was experiencing was just the consequence of growing older and left it at that. But then I began to wonder. I saw other people, much older than I, who were more physically active and had much more energy. I then suspected something was wrong.
I began to seek ways to improve my health. I learned about coconut and began to eat it in place of other oils. I did this not to cure any illness but simply to improve my overall health. It was several months later when I noticed that the energy I used to have had returned. I no longer wanted to go to sleep at 8:00 p.m. but stayed up till 11:00 without problem. I got less sleep but had more energy. Improvement came so gradually that I didn’t notice the change until after several months. And it wasn’t until later that I even thought it might be related to coconut oil. Since I’ve been using coconut oil, I have not been lethargic during the day, as I was in the past; I have more energy and accomplish more. I feel really good.”
—- Excerpt from the book, The Healing Miracles of Coconut Oil , by Bruce Fife