My Whole Body Aches And I Feel Weak
When my daughter was 10 years old, she had an illness called “sickness.” She didn’t know what it was but her mom took her to every doctor within driving distance and they all came up empty-handed. One day, when she couldn’t take any more of the tests and scans, her dad told me about his frustration with the medical community. He said he wanted to find someone who could help them both heal their child’s sickness. That night, after talking to him, I decided to go online and search for something called “alternative medicine” on the Internet. The first article I read talked about chiropractic care as treatment for this type of illness. After reading several articles about alternative treatments, I became intrigued enough to do some research myself. In fact, I’m still doing research today.
I believe that almost everyone has experienced times in their life when they felt physically sick. Some people call these illnesses “buggy rides,” because they are uncomfortable at best and downright scary at worst. Most adults have gotten over bugs like chicken pox and mumps by adulthood. But children never stop getting bug bites and colds — especially underprivileged children who don’t always have access to quality health care. They’re exposed to bacteria, viruses, insect bites, and other infectious agents from early childhood until adulthood.
The reason why many kids grow out of being sick but we don’t is not because there aren’t germs left lingering in our bodies from those past infections; rather, it’s because we have developed immunity to most diseases through vaccinations and natural exposure to germs. This process usually starts around age two and continues into adulthood. When children don’t receive adequate vaccination against certain illnesses, such as measles, polio, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, and influenza, they are far more susceptible to serious complications and even death than if they were vaccinated.
In addition to receiving proper vaccinations, kids should be encouraged to play outside, climb trees, swim in clean water, and experience nature without protective gear. Young children need good nutrition and exercise too. These things will keep them healthy, happy, and strong.
Now that we’ve established what happens normally during childhood, let’s talk about what happens when children grow older. Many teens and young adults develop chronic conditions that affect their immune systems. Examples include autoimmune disorders, allergies, asthma, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, drug/alcohol abuse, HIV/AIDS, cancer, fibromyalgia, and Lyme disease. If you think back to grade school days, did you ever see anyone with leukemia? Probably not. Nowadays, however, you might see many teenagers suffering from this disease. Why? Well, there are a lot of reasons. First off, doctors haven’t found a cure yet for this disease, which affects the blood cells and bone marrow. Second, many parents don’t understand the seriousness of the disease, so they avoid taking their teenage son(s) to the hospital for fear of bad news. Third, many patients suffer from depression, which makes it difficult for them to seek help. Fourth, many families simply cannot afford expensive medications to treat the symptoms. Finally, many patients don’t want to burden their loved ones financially and emotionally.
As I mentioned earlier, the same thing occurs with adults. People may become depressed due to a loss of a job, divorce, or relationship problems. Others may lose their jobs and then struggle to pay rent, buy food, and put gas in their car. Still others may become addicted to drugs or alcohol. All of these situations can lead to poor physical health. For example, stress can wreak havoc on one’s immune system. Chronic stress puts our bodies into fight mode. Our bodies release hormones that prepare us to face imminent threats. On top of that, chronic stress disrupts the normal functioning of the endocrine system. This system controls our metabolism and regulates mood, appetite, energy levels, and sex drive. So, whether you are a kid or adult, it’s important to manage your stress level and maintain balance in your daily life.
If you’re feeling run down and tired all the time with muscle pain and joint aches, maybe you have chronic fatigue syndrome. About 1 million Americans suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome. Its hallmark symptom is extreme exhaustion and weakness, which can last for months and sometimes years. Other symptoms include sore throat, tender lymph nodes, fever, headache, nausea, shortness of breath, and rashes. Many sufferers also report memory impairment, dizziness, and tingling sensations.
What Causes Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
There is currently no known cause of chronic fatigue syndrome. Experts suspect that the underlying problem lies in the immune system. Patients may lack antibodies, white blood cells, or T-cells. Their ability to fight infection may be impaired. Or the immune system may attack its own tissues instead of foreign invaders. There may also be damage to the nervous system. Researchers are studying the genetic makeup of CFS patients to determine whether there is anything inherited.
Treatment Options for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Because there is no cure for chronic fatigue syndrome, treating the symptoms is the only way to relieve the severity of the disorder. Treatments vary depending upon the patient, but generally involve lifestyle changes, medication, nutritional therapy, physical therapy, acupuncture, massage, and counseling. Your healthcare provider can suggest the right course of action for you based on your particular situation.
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