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 improvements.
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 no 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.
The 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.
Aching & Fatigue is a book about non specific illnesses with aching and fatigue as prominent symptoms. Diagnoses such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Depression have become popular. Some patients say " I feel sick all over". These are overlapping symptom complexes and are often part of a larger illness complex. Dr. Gislason explains why diet revision as the first and most essential form of therapy. Long term management of food intake and exercise are required to sustain improvements. Drug prescriptions are best avoided.
Aching and Fatigue is intended to be used with the Alpha Nutrition