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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Causes and Treatment

If we consider mainstream medical definitions of chronic fatigue syndrome, we can easily notice that the listed symptoms include heavy breathing and chest pain. Among other possible symptoms are: muscle pain, shortness of breath, night sweats, chronic headaches, muscle fatigue, cramps and spasms, cold hands and feet, extreme fatigue and weakness. These are all classical symptoms and signs of chronic hyperventilation, which causes low body-oxygen levels.

What causes chronic fatigue?

Breathing changes during last 80 years

Brain oxygen levels after 1 min of overbreathing with a scale barAs we explained before, heavy breathing (or breathing more than the medical norm) reduces body-oxygen content due to 3 independent mechanisms:
1) since CFS (or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) patients are chest breathers, chest breathing reduces oxygenation of the arterial blood due to insufficient ventilation and oxygenation of the lower parts of the lungs
2) CO2 deficiency, due to breathing too much, causes constriction of arteries and arterioles, reducing blood supply to tissues since CO2 is a vasodilator (see links below).
3) Less oxygen is released by hemoglobin cells in tissues due to the suppressed Bohr effect (caused by CO2 deficiency as well).

The link between chronic fatigue syndrome and ineffective breathing was suggested by many doctors. Some of the quotes (Rosen et al, 1990; Paulley, 1990) are provided in references below. These doctors directly claim that the label "chronic fatigue" means hyperventilation. Measured end-tidal CO2 values are below the norm in CFS patients (Razumovsky  et al, 2003; Cook et al, 2006; Natelson et al, 2007) and end-tidal CO2 is even less during acute episodes (Bogaerts et al, 2007).

MDs smilingNote. In some studies medical doctors suggested that low end-tidal CO2, e.g., less than 30 mm Hg (!), is the criteria of hyperventilation (Naschitzet al, 2006, Saisch et al, 1994). The typical border line is 35 mm Hg. Furthermore, it is a known fact that hyperventilation or overbreathing can be present, while having perfectly normal end-tidal CO2 parameters at rest (e.g., due to predominantly chest breathing and/or ventilation/perfusion mismatch) and that hyperventilation means to have abnormally high pulmonary ventilation (or minute ventilation). Thus, hyperventilation is alveolar hyperventilation only. Patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and doctors(Are functioning alveoli ventilated in accordance with metabolic needs and corresponding to the norm, which is 6 L/min for minute ventilation at rest for a 70-kg man?). There are no any other types of hyperventilation.

Hyperventilation should cause symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome

When muscle cells and other metabolically active tissues of the human body do not get enough oxygen supply, more mitochondria switch from an aerobic to an anaerobic energy-production mechanism. This causes elevated lactic acid content in tissues and blood, together with the main symptoms of lactic acid: weakness, fatigue, and pain in muscles and the chest (heart muscle tissue also gets less oxygen and suffer from tissue hypoxia). Apart from lowered oxygenation and blood supply to the brain, heavy breathing makes nerve cells overexcited and irritable, causing headaches and anxiety problems.

People with mouth breathingChronic overbreathing creates cell hypoxia, elevated lactic acid, constant production of free radicals in cells, free radicals damage, possible inflammation in various areas of the body, leading to decreased vagal power (Sisto et al, 1995), blocked nose and chronic sinusitis, digestive problems, face acne, liver inflammation (with abnormal liver test results), and many other pathological effects. Inflammatory processes and the mental state of chronic stress (fight-or-flight response) exhaust cortisol reserves (cortisol is a steroid hormone or glucocorticoid produced by the adrenal gland). This explains how Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome and chronic insufficiency in cortisol reserves develop.

Particularly, for most patients, symptoms of chronic fatigue are worst during early morning hours (Togo et al, 2008; Guilleminault et al, 2008). Old man sleeping in hospital

Therefore, the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome is overbreathing or hyperventilation. There were many doctors who suggested this link, but Dr. Buteyko and his medical colleagues went further, developing the medical program for natural treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome using the Buteyko breathing method of breathing retraining.

When the cause is removed (due to breathing normalization or breathing retraining), all symptoms of fatigue, including chest pain, shortness of breath, night sweats, muscle pain and fatigue, chronic headaches, and weakness, naturally disappear.

Chronic fatigue syndrome and body-oxygen levels

The degree of chronic fatigue syndrome in an individual can be found using a stress-free body-oxygen test, which measures one's body oxygenation in seconds.

Body-oxygen level Symptoms (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome)
1-10 s Extreme fatigue syndrome; severe chest tightness; night sweats;
severe dyspnea; severe muscle pain; severe chronic headaches
11-20 s Moderate fatigue; chest pain; weakness; mild chest pain;
shortness of breath; muscle pain
20-40 s Moderate level of energy; possible desire to slouch;
light muscle pain; night sweats and headaches are very rare
Over 40 s Craving and joy of physical exercise; the attention is focused
on the outer world instead of bodily pains and aches

Heart muscleAs an additional test, measure your heart rate since the pulse of chronic fatigue disorder patients is above the norm. The normal pulse rate is about 60-70 beats per minute. Patients with a moderate degree of chronic fatigue syndrome often have more than 80 beats per minute at rest, while sitting. When the body oxygenation is below 10 s, the heart rate is often more than 90 beats per minute.

When a person suffers from Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome with an insufficient blood cortisol level, the adrenal gland does not recover if his body-oxygen content is below 20 s. Once a person has more than 20 s, any additional supplementation in cortisol is not required. Note that some patients with chronic and extreme fatigue, if they decide to improve their breathing, require cortisol supplementation so that they can progress and get higher body oxygenation numbers.

Natural Treatment for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Young MDs smilingAll symptoms of chronic fatigue syndromeincluding muscle pain, breathlessness, night sweats, headaches, and weakness will disappear if one normalizes his or her automatic or uncosncious breathing pattern. Breathing retraining, so that one breathe differently 24/7, requires lifestyle changes for better body oxygenation and breathing exercises that can make breathing lighter and slower. It is a serious project, which is explained in detail in the Learn here Section. Note that many western MDs also consider breathing retraining as the way to deal with the chronic fatigue disorder (Nijs et al, 2007; Vasiliauskas et al, 2008).

Amazing medical references: MDs claim that chronic fatigue means hyperventilation

Click here for astonishing medical evidence (abstracts of studies) that links chronic fatigue with overbreathing: Chronic fatigue references.

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