5) Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)DHEA is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands and in smaller amounts by the ovaries and testes. DHEA can be converted in the body to other steroid hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone. It is also involved in memory, mood, and sleep. Levels of DHEA in the body peak when a person is in his or her mid-20's and then slowly decline with age.
Studies have shown that DHEA-s levels are abnormal in people with chronic fatigue syndrome.
DHEA is not recommended unless lab tests indicate there is a deficiency. Treatment should be closely supervised by a qualified health practitioner. Little is known about the long-term safety of DHEA.
Because DHEA is converted to estrogen and testosterone, people with estrogen- and testosterone-related conditions, such as breast, ovarian, prostate, and testicular cancer) should avoid DHEA.
Adverse effects of DHEA include high blood pressure, lowered HDL ("good") cholesterol, and liver toxicity. DHEA can increase testosterone in women and result in male pattern baldness, weight gain, acne, deepening of the voice, and other signs of masculinization.
DHEA can interact with certain medications. For example, it has been found to increase the effect of the HIV medication AZT (Zidovudine), barbituates, the cancer medication cisplatin, steroids, and estrogen replacement therapy.
6) Essential Fatty AcidsEssential fatty acids have been used in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome. One theory about how they work is that viruses reduce the ability of cells to make 6-desaturated essential fatty acids and supplementing with essential fatty acids corrects this disorder.
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 63 people, participants were given either a combination of essential fatty acids from evening primrose oil and fish oil (eight 500 mg capsules a day) or a placebo. After 1 and 3 months, people taking essential fatty acids had significant improvement in chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms compared to those taking the placebo pills.
More studies are needed, however, because a later 3 month study of 50 people with chronic fatigue syndrome found that a combination of evening primrose oil and fish oil did not result in a significant improvement in symptoms.
7) Traditional Chinese MedicineChronic fatigue syndrome may be related to the following syndromes in traditional Chinese medicine:
8) AyurvedaA typical approach in ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India, may be to improve digestion and eliminate toxins with a detox program. Ayurvedic herbs may also be used, such as ashwagandha, amla, bala, triphala, and lomatium, which are combined according to the patient's dosha, or constitutional type. The vata dosha is thought to be susceptible to chronic fatigue syndrome.
Other Natural Treatments
- Digestive enzymes
- Vitamin C
- Whey Protein
- Folic Acid
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