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WhenAlexStrandefellsickfif-
teenyearsago,hethoughthewas
goingtodie.Atypicalworkahol-
ic...running100milesanhour,
24hoursaday,hesuddenlycol-
lapsed.Itfeltlikeaheavyflu,and
hethoughtthatwithinthreeto
sevendaysitwouldbeover.In-
stead,hegotsoillthathecould
notgetoutofbed.
Soon many new debilitating
symptoms started appearing.
Theyincludedsorethroats,low-
gradefever,bodyachingdayand
night,lymphnodeswelling,head-
aches,depression,anxiety,mood
swings,inabilitytoconcentrate,
hotandcoldflashes,sensitivity
tonoise,lightandtemperature,
intestinaldiscomfort(reactingto
mostfoodconsumed),sleepdis-
turbanceandextremedebilitating
fatigue.
A variety of tests were taken
whichshowedabsolutelynothing
butanantibodytoaflu-likevirus.
Hewassubsequentlydiagnosed
withMyalgicEncephalomyelitis
(ME),Mononucleosis,yuppieflu,
ChronicFatigueSyndrome,Fibro-
myalgia,GlandularFeverplusa
numberofothernametags.He
wasoffereddrugs,vitamins,nat-
uralremedies,treatments...you
nameit.
Hebeganrecoveryonlywhen
heconsultedwithanothernatu-
ropathicdoctor,oneofhismen-
torsattheAustralianCollegeof
Natural Medicine, who used to
sufferfromchronicfatigueand
Fibromyalgia.Asherecovered,
he becamefascinatedwiththis
condition.Manyofthehealth-
care practitioners had claimed
tobeabletobringaboutrecov-
ery,whereas,infact,peoplegot
showered with irrelevant tests
andtreatments.
As he recovered, he became
moreinterestedinpatientswho
sufferedfromCFSandFibromy-
algia. People say that very of-
ten a doctorwhoexperiencesa
diseasehimself,willat-
tract and better help
peoplesufferingfrom
saiddisease.Inspiteof
thefactthatDr.Strande
attendstomanyother
difficult conditions,
closetohalfofhiscli-
ents come to him for
aresolutiontoChronic
FatigueSyndrome.
Ashebecameprofi-
cientinaddressingthis
condition, this firsthand expe-
rience was a great asset to him
insecuringhisPh.D.on"Effec-
tiveNaturopathicTreatmentsin
PostViralChronicFatigueSyn-
drome."
Hefoundthatthereasonwhy
somedoctorshavealowsuccess
rateisbecausetheydon'tunder-
standwhatthetherapeuticdosage
shouldbeinthefieldofnaturo-
pathicmedicine.Inconventional
medicine,oneprescribesspecific
doses of drugs indicated by a
pharmaceuticalcompany.
Standards in naturopathic
medicinearedifferentasoneis
recommendingconcentratedex-
tractsoffoods,plants,nutrients
or homeopathic. A practitioner
creates a personalized program
forapatient.It'snottheherbs,
or nutrients that work, it's the
knowledge behind it together
withclinicalexperienceintreat-
ingthesecases.
Itdefinitelyhelpswhenadoc-
torhasgonethroughthemisery
of these symptoms himself. He
understandsbetter.
InancientChina,avillagedoc-
torwaspaidwagesbythevillage
orcommunitywhennoonewas
sick.Oncesomeonefellill,the
wages were cut until such time
that the doctor would cure the
condition. One wonders if any
doctors would survive if there
were the same policy here in
America.
ChronicFatigueSyndromeis
the descriptive name of a syn-
dromecharacterizedbyamyriad
ofseeminglyunrelatedsymptoms.
The determination is
made on the basis of
certainsymptomsand
the ruling out of oth-
erailmentsthatcould
causetheseconditions.
The major criteria
usedtodistinguishCFS
are:
1.Persistentfatigue
that does not resolve
withbedrestandthat
issevereenoughtore-
duceaveragedailyactivitybya
leastfiftypercentforatleastsix
months.
2.Thepresenceofotherchron-
icclinicalconditions,including
psychiatricdisorders,canberuled
out.
CFSwashardlyknowninthe
70's and it was often misdiag-
nosedashypochondriaoramen-
tal problem. "You've got it all
inyourmind."Ifindevennow
hereinAmericasomepractitio-
nershavethistypeofapproach.
Attheendofthe"90's"ithasbe-
comeoneofthemostcommon
ailmentspeopletalkabout.
Mostcliniciansdealingwitha
reasonableamountofCFScases
observe certain patterns of de-
regulationofimmuneandhor-
monal/metabolicsystemsaswell
as the whole body's detoxifica-
tionsystem.Thesecausesymp-
toms mentioned before. CFS is
notonlyavastlycomplexillness,
butalsooneescalatingalarming-
lyinfrequency.Epidemiological
studiesconfirmthatisspreading
andcrossingallboundaries,in-
cluding socio-economic, racial,
political, gender, occupational
andgeographical.
The most common antibod-
ies discovered in CFS patients,
werethoseofEpsteinBarrVirus
(EBV),CytoMegaloVirus(CMV)
andBarmahForstVirus(BFV).Dr.
StrandesaysthatinAustraliaan-
othervirus,RossRiverVirus(RRV)
wasalsoanexampleofatrigger
A Doctor Who Has Not Suffered from
A Chronic Illness May Not Understand
By Alex Strande, M.S., Ph.D.
ofChronicFatiguewithFibromy-
algia.
Virus-inducedmetabolicand
physiologicalchangesinthebody
ofCFSvictimsappeartocause5
major areas of derangement or
metabolicblocks:
1.ImpairedATPproductionin
cellscausinglackofphysicaland
mentalenergy.
2. Disturbance in brain neu-
rotransmittersandpossibleblock
offloworproductionofprecur-
sorstocatecholaminesandsero-
tonin,causingdepression.
3.Otherimbalancesinnerve
chemistryfacilitatinganxieties,
mood swings, emotional prob-
lemsandinsomnia.
4. Fluctuation in hormonal
metabolism,thatisevidentmain-
lyinunderactivityoftheadrenal
outputandinfemalehormonal
imbalances.
5.Theconsequencesoffailings
intheproperfunctioningofthe
immunesystemmaybetwofold,
frequentcoldsandflu(underac-
tivityoftheimmunesystem),and
/or allergies, hypersensitivities,
andautoimmunetyperesponses
(overactivityoftheimmunesys-
tem).
"Ifindthatamongthepeople
whosufferedfromCFSorFibro-
myalgiaformorethan10years,
20%seemtofallinlovewiththeir
disease.Ihavenoideawhythis
happens. Maybe the reason for
thisisthatpeoplegofromone
practitionertoanotherandafter
continuedfailure,theygiveup.
I'm saying, call me and talk
withmebeforeyoutotallygive
up, and talk to dozens of my
patientsandhearwhattheyhave
tosay."
Alex Strande, N.D., Ph.D., is
a naturopath and a microbiolo-
gist. His office is in Santa Monica,
California. He can be contacted
for questions and appointments
at (310) 907-4424. Simply Healing
Clinic. 720 Wilshire Blvd, Suite
205, Santa Monica, CA 90401.
com
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