Individuals who have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) experience troubles with weight gain and obesity. Surprisingly, the fatigue is really just a by-product of what is actually causing the weight gain. There are other issues on the molecular level, such as metabolic problems, that make it almost impossible to lose and keep the weight off until proper treatment is received. Losing and keeping the weight off is easier when one understands the many things that contribute to this problem and what are exactly the root causes. For people with CFS, simply altering the diet is not enough to lose weight.
What Causes CFS, & CFS Weight Gain
In order to understand why there is weight gain, it’s important to understand what causes CFS. (Take a look here for a more comprehensive look at the causes of CFS.) Infections can cause CFS. Strands of the herpes virus and conditions such as Lyme disease can create physical manifestations that are diagnosable as CFS.
Any type of infection can cause much stress on the body. With the body being occupied by trying to fight off an infection weight gain or even weight loss can occur.
Other causes of CFS are nutritional deficiencies. It seems like the odds are low that people in a developed country would suffer from nutritional deficiencies, but it’s quite common. As modern society began to evolve and foods were made more available and affordable, people’s health started to take a turn for the worse.
Processed food, food that is readily available, and junk food contain many harmful ingredients that contribute to poor health. The problem with processed foods are many, but one is an imbalance of minerals. Without the proper nutrients, the body does not have fuel.
Hormones are another cause of CFS. As we age, our hormones deplete. Hormone depletion can manifest in many ways. Fatigue though is a certain sign of decreased hormone levels. Hormones are the body’s signaling agent. They tell the body to perform biochemical processes.
The thyroid hormone is typically the main culprit of hormone-induced CFS. The symptoms of hypothyroidism are fatigue, weight gain, cold intolerance with low body temperature (under 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit), achiness and poor mental function. The adrenal gland is the body’s stress-handler and triggers what is known as the body’s “fight or flight” reaction. In times of stress, the adrenal gland releases cortisol and adrenaline. Having this hormone released into the body significantly impacts a person. Evolutionarily speaking, humans were only supposed to experience this intense hormonal release and subsequent physical responses once a week—(running into a dangerous predator did not happen every day!)
The current time, unfortunately, calls for much stress to be in our lives. Stress is known to cause inflammation in the body. A good example of stress-caused inflammation is atherosclerosis or inflammation of the blood vessel walls. Of course, diet and exercise contribute to inflammation and plaque build-up in arteries and veins. However, plenty of studies show—especially in autoimmune disease patients—that inflammation causes notable damage to the cardiovascular system. It’s no wonder the body is tired from trying to reverse events like this!
Perimenopause, menopause, and male menopause can contribute to CFS too. Mostly in women, hormones take a steep dive around the age of 35. The drop-off triggers a chain of changes that can interfere with life. The hormones the body is not producing as much contribute to plummeting energy levels. It’s also exhausting and stressful just to go through this experience.
How to Treat CFS-Caused Weight Gain
In order to get to the root of the problem, an experienced medical provider that understands the complexities of this issue must address the underlying problem—and sometimes there are multiple factors. The best medical providers to visit for CFS are integrative medical specialists. These providers don’t prescribe a one-size-fits-all treatment, but rather a myriad—if necessary—of treatments. CFS is a complicated condition that needs a provider who appreciates that concept.
Examples of Common Treatments
High-dose vitamin C therapies can help eliminate cellular waste from an overload of oxidative stress as well as treating infections. (In fact, high-dose vitamin c infusions are becoming more popular in cancer treatment plans.) To contextualize the potency of IV therapy and high-dose vitamin c infusions, studies and anecdotes alike have shown high-dose vitamin c therapies helping prevent autoimmune flares.
IV treatment programs are perfect for individuals who are suffering from CFS because of nutrient deficiencies. Any mineral or vitamin can be added to the infusion to maximize results and get patients feeling better fast.
How Can Peptide Hormone Optimization Help
If hormones are causing CFS, bio-identical hormone replacement therapies can be an effective treatment option. Peptide therapies, though, might be even more of an optimum treatment. There are several amino acids—the building blocks of peptides—that are necessary for producing hormones. Therefore if the body is not making enough of those amino acids, the production of that hormone will be lowered. Certain peptide combinations can help the body fight autoimmune dysfunction such as leaky gut and even treat infections like Lyme.