Have you ever wondered how effective natural cancer treatments can be?
Around 20 years ago, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.
This was crazy for my family at the time because my mom was a gym teacher, swim instructor and was always considered to be “healthy.”
After her diagnosis, she took the advice of her oncologists at the Cleveland Clinic and underwent a mastectomy followed by many rounds of chemotherapy. I can still remember seeing my mom’s hair fall out and thinking she had aged 10 years in the few weeks following chemo.
Praise God, after all of her treatments, she was diagnosed as being “cancer-free” and healthy. But for the next several years, she was sicker than she’d ever been in her life and struggled with constipation, candida, depression and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Then, around nine years after her first diagnosis, a terrible thing happened: She was diagnosed with cancer again. At that point, I had experience working in the natural health field, so when I flew home, we prayed together and talked about the best healthcare strategy. She decided to pursue natural cancer treatments by focusing on diet and lifestyle changes.
My mom started following an all-natural plan that included vegetable juicing, probiotic foods, immune-boosting supplements, stress reducing techniques and prayer. And after only four months, the tumors on her lungs had shrunk significantly and one year after that, she was again diagnosed as being “cancer-free” and healthy. It’s now been 10 years and my mom recently turned 60 years old — and she is in the best shape of her life, regularly water skiing, running and still going strong.
I want to be clear: I am not claiming that what we did with my mother is a cancer cure. But I believe these natural therapies, either used by themselves or in conjunction with conventional medical treatments, may support the body in the healing process.
I am often asked, “What exactly did your mom do?” Here are the natural cancer treatments and strategies she followed to heal her body.
Most Effective Natural Cancer Treatments
1. The Gerson Therapy and Juicing
I see in him one of the most eminent geniuses in the history of medicine. Many of his basic ideas have been adopted without having his name connected with them. Yet, he has achieved more than seemed possible under adverse conditions. He leaves a legacy which commands attention and which will assure him his due place. Those whom he has cured will now attest to the truth of his ideas. ~ Albert Schweitzer, MD (Nobel Peace Prize Winner, 1952)
Who was Albert Schweitzer talking about?
He was referring to Dr. Max Gerson, the German-born American medical doctor who developed one of the most effective natural cancer treatments over 90 years ago. Coined the “Gerson Therapy,” Dr. Gerson helped hundreds of cancer patients activate their body’s extraordinary ability to heal itself by recommending:
Organic, plant-based foods
In the words of the Gerson Institute:
With its whole-body approach to healing, the Gerson Therapy naturally reactivates your body’s magnificent ability to heal itself — with no damaging side effects. This a powerful, natural treatment boosts the body’s own immune system to heal cancer, arthritis, heart disease, allergies, and many other degenerative diseases.
How the Gerson Therapy Works
The Gerson Therapy targets the most significant metabolic requirements in your body. How? Believe it or not, this therapy allows you to reap the nutritional benefits of consuming 15–20 pounds of organically grown fruits and vegetables each day! Here’s the breakdown:
The Gerson Diet – Consisting of eating only organic fruits, vegetables and sprouted ancient grains, the Gerson Diet is exceptionally rich in vitamins, minerals and enzymes. It’s also very low in fats, proteins and sodium. The meal plan advises cancer patients to drink 13 glasses of freshly prepared juice, eat three plant-based meals, and only snack on fresh fruits each day. Also, the traditional Gerson Therapy recommends consuming raw beef liver since it is the most nutrient-dense food on the planet and extremely high in vitamin B12.
Juicing – According to the Gerson Institute, “Fresh pressed juice from raw foods provides the easiest and most effective way of providing high quality nutrition.” The cancer-fighting protocol calls for patients to drink fresh vegetables each day, including raw carrots or apples and green-leaf juice. To preserve the nutritional content, the juice should be prepared hourly using a two-step juicer or a masticating juicer used with a separate hydraulic press. This helps prevent denaturation — when vitamins, minerals and enzymes are destroyed. (Most commercial juicers spin so fast that they heat up juice to the point they are basically pasteurized!)
Detoxification – The Gerson Therapy utilizes coffee enemas as the primary method of detoxing the body by increasing the parasympathetic nervous system. For cancer patients, this may take up to five enemas each day. The importance of keeping the body free of toxins is stressed by Dr. Gerson’s daughter, Charlotte:
The moment a patient is put on the full therapy, the combined effect of the food, the juices and the medication causes the immune system to attack and kill tumor tissue, besides working to flush out accumulated toxins from the body tissues. This great clearing-out procedure carries the risk of overburdening and poisoning the liver — the all-important organ of detoxification, which, in a cancer patient, is bound to be already damaged and debilitated.
Supplements – The Gerson Therapy recommends the following organic medicinal therapies:
2. The Budwig Protocol
Over the years, I have been given a lot of different advice as well, so when I heard about Dr. Budwig’s protocol, I too was very skeptical, until I tried it. Numerous, independent clinical cancer studies published in major medical journals world-wide confirm Dr. Budwig’s findings. Over 40 years ago, Dr. Budwig presented clear and convincing evidence, which has been confirmed by hundreds of other related scientific research papers since, that the essential fatty acids were at the core of the answer to the cancer problem.
~ Robert E. Willner, MD, PhD (The Cancer Solution)
In 1952, Dr. Johanna Budwig was the German Government’s Senior Expert on lipids and pharmacology and was considered one of the leading global authorities on fats and oils. During her research, she discovered that many of the conventional processed fats and hydrogenated oils were destroying the membranes of our cells, and this caused diseased cells and toxicity.
Developing a specific diet — in this case, the Budwig diet protocol — to counteract this cancer-causing process, Dr. Budwig claimed to have had over a 90 percent success rate with her protocol over a 50-year period!
How the Budwig Protocol Works
When you replace deadly processed fats and oils with life-giving unsaturated/saturated fatty acids, your cells rebuild and are rejuvenated. Dr. Budwig found that consuming a mixture of cottage cheese, flaxseeds, and flaxseed oil had the best results.
When cottage cheese (which is rich in sulfur protein and saturated fats) and flax (which is high in electron-rich unsaturated fatty acids) are combined this way, your body is able to absorb these vital nutrients easier and quicker.
My “Beyond Budwig” Recipe
Because of the changes in agriculture, I suggest this updated 21st century version of the Budwig Protocol:
6 ounces cultured dairy (cottage cheese, goat’s milk kefir or amasai)
4 tablespoons sprouted and ground chia or flax
1 tablespoon flaxseed oil
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Mix all the ingredients together in bowl or blender and consume once daily.
For more details, check out the article and video I posted on the Budwig Diet Protocol for Cancer.
3. Proteolytic Enzyme Therapy
In 1906, John Beard first proposed that pancreatic proteolytic enzymes represent the body’s main defense against cancer. Beard focused on high dose porcine-based pancreatic enzyme therapy and eating a holistic diet to create an internal environment in which the body can more thoroughly heal itself.
While it wasn’t researched for most of the 20th century, a few scientists picked up the concept in the 1960s. But it wasn’t until Nicholas J. Gonzalez, MD started to evaluate the concept at Cornell University Medical College in 1981 that people started to seriously consider this natural approach.
How the Pancreatic Proteolytic Enzyme Approach Works
The autonomic nervous system consists of the sympathetic (“fight” or “flight”) and autonomic (“rest” and “digest”) nervous systems. Basing his protocol off of Dr. Francis Pottenger’s research in the 1920s and 1930s, Gonzalez’s work centers on balancing these two systems, as they are suspected to be one of the major causes of cancer.
He discovered that a vegetarian diet suppresses sympathetic function, whereas the opposite is true with a meat-rich diet. So after dividing patients into different categories based of their metabolic differences, genetic and physical make-up, here are the recommendations:
People with epithelial tumors like lung, pancreas, colon, prostate, uterine cancers are prescribed a largely plant-based diet with minimal to no animal protein.
People with blood or immune based tumors like leukemia, myeloma or lymphoma are put on a high-animal protein, high-fat diet with minimal-to-moderate plant foods.
In addition, these physicians recommend taking 5 grams of proteolytic enzymes 3 times daily on an empty stomach between meals to reduce inflammation.
According to Dr. Josef Beuth, the research behind this natural cancer treatment is pretty airtight:
These studies demonstrated that systemic enzyme therapy significantly decreased tumor-induced and therapy-induced side effects and complaints such as nausea, gastrointestinal complaints, fatigue, weight loss, and restlessness and obviously stabilized the quality of life.
4. Vitamin C Chelation
Chelation therapy uses chemicals or natural compounds to remove toxic metals from the body. The word “chelate” means to grab onto something, which describes chelating agents’ ability to grab onto toxins.
Generally, only holistic doctors and naturopaths use chelation therapy because it is not an officially “approved therapy” for most conditions in medicine today. When it is employed in the medical system, however, it is most commonly used to remove calcium deposits from arteries.
In a study published in Free Radical Biology & Medicine, vitamin C chelation therapy was found to be highly pro-oxidant after just one hour of treatment. This benefit lasted more than 16 treatments in the absence of nutrient supplementation and even provided “beneficial long-term antioxidant effects.”
Pro-oxidation isn’t always good, but in this case it is.
It was discovered that, “Pro-oxidant effects appear to be responsible for destroying tumor cells. These pro-oxidant effects may also induce endogenous antioxidant systems in normal tissues that offer protection against carcinogenic insult!”
Along with vitamin C chelation, consuming more vitamin C-rich foods may also prevent and fight cancer.†
5. Frankincense Essential Oil Therapy
Dr. Budwig recommends frankincense essential oil (especially when it comes to fighting brain tumors). And now research trials highlighting frankincense’s potential canter-fighting abilities are filling medical journals. Specifically, Indian Frankincense (Boswellia serrata) has been shown clinically to being a potentially effective treatment for:†
According to researchers out of Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, the potential cancer-killing effects of frankincense are due in part to its ability to influence your genes to promote healing. Baylor cancer scientists emphasize that this potency makes Boswellia serrata a viable candidate for both cancer prevention and treatment!
How Frankincense Essential Oil Therapy Works
Rub frankincense essential oil on your neck three times daily. Also, drink three drops in 8 ounces of water three times daily.
6. Probiotic Foods and Supplements
Best known as “good bacteria,” probiotics are microorganisms that promote a natural balance in your intestinal microflora. The best way to include probiotics in your diet is in their most natural state, which includes raw milk products such as cheese, kefir and yogurt.
Recent research has suggested that probiotic supplementation may be able to stop tumor growth.† And this makes perfect sense because 80 percent of your immune system is housed in your gut. In addition to supporting your immunity to disease, research has also shown that probiotics can improve digestive function and mineral absorption as well as aid in healing leaky gut, which all contribute to helping prevent cancer!†
7. Sunshine and Vitamin D3
Science continues to support the fact that high levels of heart healthy, fat-soluble vitamins and minerals are key to keeping your body free of cancer. And recently, there has been considerable progress regarding the role that fat-soluble vitamin D3 plays in cancer prevention.
Research studies are mounting and a 2007 randomized placebo controlled double blind clinical trial suggests that vitamin D may be a highly effective way to help prevent cancer.†
The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, is truly groundbreaking as it evaluated nearly 1,200 postmenopausal women for four years and tracked how a 1400-1500 milligram supplement of calcium compared to a calcium supplement plus 1,100 IU vitamin D3 in preventing cancer. (13)
The results were amazing. After just one year of vitamin D3-added supplementation, the risk of developing all cancer types was decreased by an astounding 77 percent! Compared to the 0 percent improvement in the placebo and calcium supplement only groups, this is truly remarkable!
The Best Way to Get Vitamin D
To best prevent breast cancer, research suggests you should supplement so that your vitamin D3 levels are at least 40-60 ng/ml and up to 80 ng/ml.†
The sweet spot you’re shooting for is 50-70 ng/ml. Here’s the best way to get there:
Optimize vitamin D3 through 20 minutes of sun exposure everyday. This is best done by exposing 40 percent of your body to the sun between 10 am and 2 pm.
Take an oral supplement containing around 5,000 to 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily. Because they are fat-soluble, make sure that you take them with some healthy “fatty” foods containing coconut oil or a probiotic-rich drink like kefir.
It can be challenging to find a pure supplement on the market, so try to find a combination formula of astaxanthin, omega-3 fish oil and vitamin D3.
8. Turmeric and Curcumin
While the link between curcumin and disease reversal has been widely examined, the use of this spice in relation to cancer is one of the most thoroughly researched topics.
A number of laboratory studies on cancer cells suggest that curcumin does have anticancer effects. It seems to be able to fight cancer cells and prevent more from growing.† It seems to be most effective against breast cancer, bowel cancer, stomach cancer and skin cancer cells.†
In fact, a 2007 laboratory study showed that the combined treatment of curcumin with chemotherapy eliminated more bowel cancer cells than chemotherapy alone.
Other laboratory studies have also shown that curcumin interferes with cancer development, growth and spread. And researchers have reported that curcumin blocked the formation of cancer-causing enzymes in rodents.
Bottom line: Evidence suggests that in general turmeric works well to help stop cancer in its tracks and is especially effective at helping to treat breast cancer, colon cancer and skin cancer.†
9. Oxygen Therapy and Hyperbaric Chambers
All normal cells have an absolute requirement for oxygen, but cancer cells can live without oxygen — a rule without exception. Deprive a cell 35 percent of its oxygen for 48 hours and it may become cancerous.~ Otto Warburg, MD (Nobel Prize in Physiology Winner, 1931)
Dr. Warburg made it clear that the root cause of cancer is oxygen deficiency, which creates an acidic state in the human body. He also discovered that cancer cells do not breathe oxygen and cannot survive in the presence of high levels of oxygen, as found in an alkaline state.
We’ve all heard that antioxidants kill free radicals in the body and reverse oxidative stress-causing chronic disease. This is one of the reasons why I love to use blueberries in my morning Berry Protein Smoothie! But is eating blueberries enough to cure cancer?
Probably not. That’s why supplementing with oxygen therapy and utilizing a hyperbaric chamber is highly beneficial for people seeking natural cancer treatments.
Because the air pressure inside a hyperbaric oxygen chamber is about 2.5 times greater than the normal pressure in the atmosphere, it causes your blood to carry more oxygen to the organs and tissues in your body. Thought to heal everything from infected wounds to radiation injuries, many people claim that it has cured them of cancer.† While it’s not quite mainstream yet, a growing numbers of hospitals have purchased some units to help their patients.
10. Prayer and Building Peace
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones. ~ Proverbs 17:22
In addition to the many research studies that have been conducted on the healing benefits of prayer, maintaining mental peace and a positive outlook are absolutely critical to cancer prevention and treatment.
Some people utilize Eastern techniques like practicing tai chi or simply feeling gratitude, and these are highly effective in their own right. My favorite forms of meditation, however, consist of prayer, gratitude and reading the Bible.
Whatever your preference, make sure your focus is on living a stress-free lifestyle filled with peace and joy!
Bonus Therapy: Immune-Boosting Mushrooms
Mushrooms have been used in Chinese medicine for over 4,000 years, and research regarding the cordycep and reishi species and cancer therapy has been pretty straightforward. They can:†
Potentially increase survival
Help shrink tumors
Boost your immune system
Reduce radiotherapy and chemotherapy side effects like nausea and hair loss .
Of course, these results all depend on which extracts you choose and their concentrations. Some sources even suggest that supplementing with a complementary dose of vitamin C is also necessary.
†These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a chronic illness characterized by extreme fatigue that lasts for more than six months. This fatigue cannot be explained away by an underlying medical condition. In fact, one of the disease’s principle challenges is that it’s impossible to diagnose with laboratory tests. However, some physicians believe it is closely related to adrenal fatigue or system wide inflammation of the body.
The process for diagnosis usually begins with ruling out possible underlying diseases and chronic conditions … until the only choice left is chronic fatigue syndrome. Left untreated, it decreases stamina, memory and concentration.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) can result in strained relationships with friends and family, especially when it remain undiagnosed and/or untreated. Guilt, anxiety and anger are all common emotional responses for those fighting chronic fatigue.
Currently, over 1 million Americans are suffering from this debilitating illness that manifests with a lack of energy and motivation, and women are 2-4 times more likely than men to be diagnosed.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms
While the term “chronic fatigue” is fairly descriptive of this crippling illness, it doesn’t tell the entire story. Chronic fatigue often starts suddenly, with flu-like symptoms. But unlike the flu, it can last a lifetime.
In addition to the profound fatigue experienced, other serious symptoms often accompany CFS, such as:
joint pain that moves from one spot to another
loss of memory
enlarged lymph nodes
digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Sufferers of chronic fatigue syndrome also experience significant alterations in levels of irritability, mood swings, panic attacks, anxiety and depression. According to a study published in Family Practice, 36 percent of individuals with CFS were clinically depressed and 22 percent had “seriously considered suicide in the past year.”
Simply, the emotional and mental side effects of CFS cannot be overlooked, and treatment must include the mind, body and spirit.
Causes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
We still know very little about chronic fatigue, and sadly, the cause is still unknown. While researchers continue to search for the root cause of CFS, there are preliminary findings that hormonal imbalances, poor immune system response, viral infections, chronic low blood pressure and nutritional deficiency are contributing factors.
In addition, research indicates that chronic fatigue syndrome may be linked to oxidative stress, Celiac disease, and food sensitivities or food allergies.
Most researchers believe that it’s a combination of factors that can vary from individual to individual. Viruses that can cause CFS include HHV-6, HTLV, Epstein-Barr, measles, coxsackie B, parovirus and cytomegalovirus.
4 Steps to Overcome Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Conventional treatment protocols treat the symptoms rather than the underlying causes. Often individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome are prescribed anti-depressants and sleeping pills. In many cases, the side effects from these drugs are actually worse than the original symptoms.
Instead, I recommend the addition of vitamin B Complex, alternative and complementary health practices, a well-balanced diet rich with potassium and magnesium, and the elimination of food allergens.
According to a study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, acupuncture, meditation, magnesium, l-carnitine and SAM-e (S-Adenosyl methionine), show the most promise in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.
Step 1: Eliminate Food Sensitivities and Allergens
More and more research is pointing to a link between food allergies and sensitivities and chronic fatigue syndrome. Allergies to certain foods, pollen, metals and other environmental chemicals may be causing the rising number of individuals with CFS.
According to a study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology, IBS, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue are linked, and researchers were surprised. In a study of 84 patients that had been referred for “unexplained digestive problems,” nearly all patients (except for one) qualified for a diagnosis of IBS, 85 percent had chronic fatigue syndrome and 71 percent had fibromyalgia. The common denominator, researchers in this study believe, is poor digestion and food sensitivities.
Gluten & Other Common Intolerances
For example, one of today’s most common food sensitivities is a gluten sensitivity. Lactose intolerance, a casein allergy and an intolerance of other common allergens also may be at the root of chronic fatigue. Other common allergens include tree nuts, peanuts, dairy, soy, shellfish and yeast.
I suggestion is to consider taking an IgG (Immunoglobulin G) test to help you determine the foods that you are sensitive to — then you can eliminate them from your diet. By getting rid of your personal known allergens, symptoms of IBS, ADHD, cystic fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis and chronic fatigue can potentially be relieved.
When ordering the IgG test, be sure to add on a Candida albicans test. According to a study published in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, an astounding 83 percent of participants who followed an anti-candida diet experienced a reduction in their symptoms related to chronic fatigue syndrome!
My candida diet includes foods high in probiotics including kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchi, as well as green vegetables, flax and chia seeds, and unsweetened cranberry juice. It also requires the elimination of foods that feed the candida in the body. These include sugar, fruit, alcohol and grains.
When candida is left untreated, it causes an inflammatory immune response and creates holes in the intestinal lining, leading to leaky gut.
Casein, a protein in dairy, can cause serious allergic reactions. A casein allergy is more than just lactose sensitivity; it stems from the immune system producing antibodies to protect against protein and can cause the body to release histamine. This can cause hives, nasal congestion, wheezing, the swelling of the lips, mouth, tongue, face or throat, and even anaphylaxis.
Of course, the best way to avoid these symptoms is to avoid casein. This protein is concentrated in high-protein dairy products, including yogurt, milk, cheese and ice cream. However, most individuals will not have a problem with ghee or clarified butter.
In addition, bacteria called H. pylori are believed to be a contributing factor, and they are common in nearly two-thirds of the world’s population. This unfriendly bacteria attacks the lining of the stomach; left untreated, these germs can lead to stomach ulcers.
Researchers found that once H. pylori was out of the body of study participants, their physical and psychological symptoms, including those from IBS, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, got well.
Step 2: Increase Your Vitamin B Intake
According to a study published in the Journal of Royal Society of Medicine, researchers found a direct link between reduced vitamin B levels and chronic fatigue syndrome.
The study focused on B-6, riboflavin and thiamine, and researchers believe that B-6 (or pyridoxine) is particularly important. Vitamin B-6 rich foods include wild tuna and salmon, bananas, grass-fed beef, sweet potatoes, turkey, hazelnuts, garlic and cooked spinach.
Vitamin B-6 helps to prevent and relieve fatigue, and it supports a healthy immune system. As stated above, some researchers believe that certain viruses play a role in CFS, therefore increasing B-6 levels can be a helpful treatment. B-6 helps supports T-cell functioning, allowing them to more adeptly fight infections.
Importance of Methylation
Methylation is the term given to the process in the body where methyl compounds (one carbon, three hydrogen atoms) are used in the critical functions of the body — immune function, energy production, mood, inflammation, nerve function, detoxification, and even DNA — all of which are challenges in chronic fatigue syndrome patients.
Methylation helps you process toxins, make hormones, and even helps in the production of neurotransmitters such as melatonin. How well your body can methylate effects all of these important areas. Poor methylation can lead to a variety of chronic conditions including certain types of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, allergies, digestive upset, mood and psychiatric disorders, and chronic fatigue.
Methylation requires Vitamin B6, folate and B12 in order to methylate and for your body to function at a cellular level. When you have a vitamin B12 deficiency, it impairs the methylation process and can cause numerous malfunctions that directly contribute to chronic fatigue syndrome.
It’s estimated that nearly 40 percent of Americans have a vitamin B-12 deficiency. Many symptoms of the deficiency echo the symptoms of CFS. These include a lack of motivation, low energy, poor focus, poor memory, emotional mood swings, fatigue, muscle tension and more.
Vitamin B-12 can boost energy, reduce depression, prevent against neurological degeneration and protect against some types of cancers. B-12 is a critical nutrient that supports the methylation cycle and can help to stimulate improved moods, more energy and better cognitive function.
Vegans and vegetarians are at particular risk for B-12 deficiency, as it’s most commonly found in animal foods. Vitamin B-12 rich foods include beef liver from grass-fed cows, sardines, tuna, raw cheese, cottage cheese, lamb, raw milk, eggs and wild salmon.
To effectively treat chronic fatigue syndrome, the B vitamins are essential. In addition to vitamin B–rich foods, a vitamin B complex supplement can help. Overall, the B vitamins work together to support healthy metabolic functioning, hormone production and vitality.
Step 3: Increase Potassium and Magnesium Intake
Research shows that both potassium and magnesium can help improve the symptoms associated with chronic fatigue syndrome.
In a study published in the UK medical journal The Lancet, chronic fatigue syndrome patients were found to have low magnesium levels that accounted for a low red blood cell count.
In this study, patients that were treated with magnesium supplements self-reported improved energy levels, a more balanced emotional state and less pain. At the end of the six-week study, all patients that were given magnesium had their red cell magnesium levels return to normal.
If you have chronic fatigue syndrome, consider adding these magnesium–rich foods to add to your diet: spinach, chard, pumpkin seeds, yogurt and kefir, almonds, black beans, avocados, figs, dark chocolate and bananas.
These delicious foods can help you overcome chronic fatigue, one of the symptoms of a magnesium deficiency, and support healthy nerve function, healthy blood sugar levels, blood pressure regulation, and much more. It’s estimated that nearly 80 percent (!) of Americans are currently deficient in this essential mineral.
Potassium is responsible for proper electrolyte balance in the body. Potassium-rich foods include avocados, spinach, sweet potatoes, coconut water, kefir and yogurt, white beans, bananas, acorn squash, dried apricots and mushrooms.
Symptoms of a potassium deficiency include the common CFS symptoms: fatigue, irritability and muscle cramps. Eating a diet rich in potassium can help to relieve these symptoms, particularly when foods that cause allergies have been removed.
Overcome Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Step 4: Build Peace and Relax
CFS can be debilitating both physically and mentally. Suffering from persistent exhaustion, reduced brain cognition, chronic muscle and joint pain, stress, and even guilt takes a toll on the body, and psyche.
Long-term stress control and relaxation must be a vital portion of any protocol used to overcome chronic fatigue syndrome. While seemingly impossible, it’s imperative that sufferers of CFS do their best to effectively manage stress, and rest.
The Power of Rest
“Rest” means more than just sleep. Dedicate one day per week when you don’t have any responsibilities or commitments. Truly commit to a full day of rest. This gives your body and mind a much-needed respite — helping to fight stress, anxiety and exhaustion. It’s also important during the week, if you are having a particularly difficult day, to not overtax yourself.
While regular exercise supports wellness and helps to diminish stress, individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome need to exercise at a controlled intensity. High-intensity workouts can leave you drained for several days.
Exercise therapy has been shown to help with fatigue, mental clarity and depression in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.
According to a study released in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation, individuals with CFS were recommended to perform aerobic activities, at the clinic twice per month, in combination with at-home exercises for roughly 5-15 minutes in duration, five days per week.
According to a study released in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation, individuals with CFS were recommended to perform aerobic activities, at the clinic twice per month, in combination with at-home exercises for roughly 5-15 minutes in duration, five days per week.
Chronic fatigue syndrome sufferers commonly experience difficulty with their sleep. In particular, falling and staying asleep, restless legs, nighttime muscle spasms, and vivid (sometimes frightening) dreams. It’s important to establish a regular bedtime routine, which includes a physical and emotional wind-down period.
Yes, this means unplugging from technology —including computers, tablets, television, and smartphones — at least 90 minutes prior to bed. According to a recent study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, the use of interactive technology devices one hour prior to bedtime results in poor sleep and general sleep disturbances.
Make your bedroom a haven for relaxation and escape from the stressors of the day. Your bedroom should be cool in the evenings to help facilitate sleep, and the lighting shouldn’t be too harsh. Setting the stage for restful sleep really is half the battle to fall asleep fast and stay asleep.
Essential oils are wonderful to help when you can’t sleep. Try a few drops in a diffuser or dotted on your temples. Essential oils that aid in relaxation and sleep include eucalyptus, lavender, valerian, Roman Chamomile, marjoram, bergamot, clary sage, jasmine and ylang ylang.
Avoid caffeine, alcohol and tobacco, as these stimulants can cause additional restlessness at night. Be sure to exercise at least four hours before going to bed, as exercise can also act as a stimulant and create restless sleep.
Incorporate deep breathing exercises, massage therapy, meditation, yoga and muscle relaxation techniques into your daily routine as they can help manage symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. (20) As part of your wind-down routine, especially if you experience restless legs or muscle cramps at night, try massaging my homemade muscle rub into your legs, or take a nice relaxing bath with epsom salts to soothe achy muscles.
Try progressive muscle relaxation during your wind-down period. The goal is to isolate each muscle group, and then tense and relax them. You can start at your head or toes, but many find that working the way up the body is more beneficial.
Start by visualizing the muscles in the target area, and then tense/contract them for five seconds; then relax and exhale through your mouth. Move to the next muscle group, tense/contract them, and then relax. Continue until you’ve completed each muscle group in turn.
This can help facilitate muscle relaxation throughout the body and encourage a good night’s sleep. This process is also great during the night if you awaken to muscle cramps or restless legs.
Take a vacation! A change of scenery is important from time to time, for it allows our body and our minds to recover from our daily lives. Get away with family or friends, or even by yourself, to fight burn out, relieve stress and stimulate closer relationships.
Travelling opens up new doors, changes our perspective, and gives our minds something to focus on instead of our daily tasks. Just like regular exercise, regular vacations and getaways are imperative for long-term health and wellness.
Ideas for soothing retreats include yoga weekends, trips to a dude ranch, a cottage on a quiet beach or lake, or a cabin in the mountains, with a stack of your favorite books.
Chronic fatigue syndrome can cause a division in relationships, as sometimes people simply do not understand your level of exhaustion, pain, and lack of interest.
After you have eliminated foods from your diet that are causing the symptoms of CFS, and you’ve increased your Vitamin B, potassium and magnesium intake, your energy levels will increase.
Then reach out to your friends and schedule get-togethers where you can catch up, share a good laugh or two, and re-engage. Research has proven that social support is essential for maintaining psychological and physical health! (21)
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