Chronic ill health is a "normal condition" among adult North
Americans. Aching and fatigue are the two most common complaints.
Close to 50% of the adult population in the US and Canada report
chronic symptoms such as headache, fatigue and joint or muscle pain.
Data from the U.S. National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey
(NAMCS) estimated that the number of outpatient visits
for fatigue was 7 million visits; 9.6 million visits for headaches;
17 million visits for joint pains; 14 million visits for skin rash;
and 7 million visits for depression. Patients commonly report
experiencing multiple symptoms. Studies have shown that when
patients complete symptom checklists one third of patients complain
of 0-1 symptoms, one-third complain of 2-3 symptoms, and one-third
complain of 4 or more symptoms.
Many of theses patients who are not well but do not have the
markers of specific disease. Patients with in-between disease have
some of the symptoms and signs that suggest the diagnosis of
specific disease but not everything fits together. In primary
medical practice non-specific and in-between disease are more common
than the nicely packaged diseases described in textbooks.
A patient may suffer fatigue and joint pains, for example, but
not show rheumatoid factor or have X-Ray signs of rheumatoid
arthritis; she feels like a second-class citizen since she does not
have a definitive diagnosis. Physicians have been tempted in the
past to dismiss these patients as hypochondriacs, attribute their
symptoms to "stress" or try to include them in diagnoses such as
depression. Some MDs still believe in psychosomatic illness and will
frustrate suffering patients who get no help from them.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia and related disorders are
not discrete diseases in the usual sense, but patterns of maladaptive responses
to food and the environment. We believe that chronic fatigue syndrome and
fibromyalgia are symptom complexes and are often caused by delayed pattern food
allergy. Both conditions tend to co-exist and both are part of a larger illness
complex. The general classification is non-specific hypersensitivity disease.
Chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia and should be treated with diet
revision as the first and most essential form of therapy. Long-term
and precise management of food intake is required to sustain
CFS is characterized by persistent and debilitating fatigue and additional
symptoms such as sore throat, headache, tender muscles, aching, stiffness, joint
pains, difficulty concentrating, thinking and loss of short-term memory. Fatigue
and aching are often associated so that the diagnoses of CFS and Fibromyalgia
overlap - both descriptions point to similar clusters of symptoms. Occasionally,
one symptom will dominate - some people remain energetic but are stopped by
pain, for example and should be diagnosed as ‘fibromyalgia.” Others are disabled
by fatigue but have little pain. Most people we see have both symptoms and the
diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue can be made together.
The symptoms of chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia are mostly likely produced
by the combined action of many chemicals in food and released by immune cells
that are activated by food proteins that act as triggers to immune cells. Immune
cell chemicals are referred to as cytokines and are potent. A few micrograms of
a cytokine circulating in the blood can feel awful - "it feels like a truck ran
over me." Attempts to change the chemistry of the brain with prescription drugs,
herbs, magnets, acupuncture, vitamins, minerals, green goop and a host of other
odd concoctions are generally futile and may make matters worse.
Chronic sufferers are understandably interested in claims for cures in a
bottle and no-one can be faulted for trying a few prescriptions or a few bottles
of snake oil, but most insightful and experienced sufferers realize that most
treatments were a waste of time and money. Failed treatments are discouraging
and some make the disease worse.
The Food Allergy Complex
Fatigue, sleepiness, mood, and sleep-disturbances are consistent
symptoms of the delayed pattern food allergy complex. The clinical
correlation of more specific food-allergic symptoms (nose
congestion, headache, and abdominal pain) with fatigue and insomnia
is so consistent that food allergic symptoms which do not include a
disturbance of the arousal system should be considered unusual.
Careful observation of family and friends before and after eating
and drinking should reveal obvious changes in their arousal,
attention, cognitive ability, and emotional expressions. The food
allergy sufferer manifests the food-brain connection more obviously
and will verbally report or act out some form of arousal disturbance
after a meal. Irritability and inappropriate, angry outbursts may be
as common as the antisocial withdrawal caused by arousal inhibition
in circuits of the brain. For example, some patients report extreme
sleepiness 20-60 minutes after eating. If there is no opportunity to
sleep after the meal, they continue to function at a compromised
level, making more mistakes in their work and having more difficulty
with interpersonal relationships.
Milk products and grain-related foods seem to be the most
consistent sedative-hypnotic foods. All foods high in protein
content may have this effect. Coffee and tea will briefly postpone
the sedative-hypnotic effects of food, but at a cost to proper brain
function. Alcoholic beverages increase the brain-disturbing effects
of other foods.
Alpha Nutrition Program
The Alpha Nutrition Program is designed to improve aching,
chronic fatigue and related disorders. The most definitive clearing
program is a food holiday, using an elemental nutrient formula
(Alpha ENF), composed of nutrients in their pure form with no other
food intake. Alpha ENF allows a sick person to return to a baseline
of normal functioning, without the intake of numerous adverse
substances that may have been present in their food supply.