This week I re-visited one of my text books I used during my Western Herbal medicine degree to see how they view Chronic fatigue. Here is what I found in
Bear in mind this is a medical text, but I was delighted to see they propose a sympathetic approach.They refer to chronic fatigue as general management of patients with medically unexplained symptoms.
They follow a path we take and record a full sympathetic list of what the patient reports to exclude any disease but also to avoid unnecessary investigation for referral.
If they find evidence of specific treatable psychiatric syndrome they would refer on to relevant medical health services.
They stressed that you must demonstrate to the patient that you believe their complaints.
Not wise to say to the patient that they don't have a disease but instead emphasize that the likelihood of disease is low.
The key point they made was to say that it is important not to say that all symptoms are in the mind.
But it's likely that there is a psychological factor such as stress and the results of such symptoms are reversible and they quote IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Where they relay that the autonomic nervous is on high alert leading to constriction of smooth muscle in the gut wall which leads to pain.
Western Herbal Medicine outline approach to Chronic Fatigue
How we look at Chronic fatigue, is to delve deep into the patients past medical history. Gain insight into their work environment and home life.
We would set about relieving their anxiety symptoms to help them gain back some control over their life to allow them to move forward.
We may use adaptogens to help them regain their energy but this would depend if the patient is able to manage them.
They could include Arctic Root, Milk Vetch, King of bitters and or Licorice. There are many available and will be chosen for individual patient need alongside which ever other body systems that we are working with,
If Chronic fatigue is a concern for you or if you want to prevent burnout please book in to see me via this link.https://www.healthylivingrealpeople.com/store/products/394760
Milk Vetch is also known as Astragalus And here is some useful information provided by The National centre for complementary and integrative health. “Astragalus
Common Names: astragale, astragale à feuilles de réglisse, beg kei, milk vetch
Latin Names: Astragalus membranaceus
Astragalus has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine in combination with other herbs.
Its root is used for health care purposes.
Commonly combined with other herbs, astragalus has been promoted as a dietary supplement for many conditions, including upper respiratory infections, allergic rhinitis (hay fever), asthma, chronic fatigue syndrome, and chronic kidney disease, among others. It’s also promoted to strengthen and regulate the immune system. Topical use (application to the skin) of astragalus is promoted for improving blood flow and speeding wound healing."
Picture of Milk Vetch by Steven Forster