Of the one to four million Americans who have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome,
less than 20% have been diagnosed.
Undiagnosed hypothyroidism affects tens of millions of people in the United States.
Even conventional medicine estimates (based on blood tests alone) that nearly 30 million Americans are suffering from undiagnosed hypothyroidism.
Source: Hypothyroidism, Health, & Happiness
Have you been seeing doctor after doctor trying to find out why you have such extreme fatigue? Have you been told you that your blood tests came back normal? Did your doctor then give you a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome and tell you that you will have to live with it for the rest of your life? If so, then you are no doubt one of the millions of frustrated patients who were left feeling hopeless. Well take heart, because it is very likely that your real diagnosis was overlooked.
What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
First of all, chronic fatigue syndrome is not a disease in itself, but rather a name for a collection of symptoms, the primary one being extreme, ongoing fatigue. While there are many causes of fatigue, including the Epstein-Barr virus, Lyme disease, chemotherapy, lack of sleep, and so on, our focus today is on two very common causes that are often overlooked by most traditionally trained doctors.
Traditional Medicine’s Definition of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chronic fatigue syndrome is a “debilitating and complex disorder characterized by profound fatigue that is not improved by bed rest and that may be worsened by physical or mental activity. Symptoms affect several body systems and may include weakness, muscle pain, impaired memory and/or mental concentration, and insomnia, which can result in reduced participation in daily activities.” Does this sound familiar to you?
It’s important to note that there is no lab test for chronic fatigue syndrome. The CDC advises that “If a patient has had 6 or more consecutive months of severe fatigue that is reported to be unrelieved by sufficient bed rest and that is accompanied by nonspecific symptoms, including flu-like symptoms, generalized pain, and memory problems, the doctor should consider the possibility that the patient may have CFS.” A chronic fatigue syndrome diagnosis requires that the patient has been fatigued and has 4 of these 8 symptoms for a period of 6 months or more:
• post-exertion malaise lasting more than 24 hours
• unrefreshing sleep
• significant impairment of short-term memory or concentration
• muscle pain
• multi-joint pain without swelling or redness
• headaches of a new type, pattern, or severity
• tender cervical or axillary lymph nodes
• a sore throat that is frequent or recurring
2 Common Causes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which your thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones. If your thyroid gland is making enough thyroid hormones, but those hormones are not properly used at the cellular level, then you can still experience the symptoms of hypothyroidism, referred to as type 2 hypothyroidism. With hypothyroidism, your metabolism slows down and you don’t have the energy you need to function well, and the resulting fatigue is a very common symptom.
2. Adrenal Fatigue
Adrenal fatigue occurs when the adrenal glands cannot produce enough cortisol to meet the demands of your body. In short, you are wearing your adrenal glands out, so you feel increasingly fatigued – the number one symptom of adrenal fatigue.
Symptom Overlap of Hypothyroidism, Adrenal Fatigue and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome are also symptoms of hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue:
• Severe or chronic fatigue
• Impaired concentration
• Muscle and joint pain
• Unrefreshing sleep
• Anxiety and panic attacks
• Short term memory loss
• Sore throat
• Depressed moods
• Decreased energy
Why are Hypothyroidism and Adrenal Fatigue Commonly Misdiagnosed?
Why aren’t doctors able to correctly diagnose hypothyroidism?
Often doctors dismiss patients’ hypothyroid symptoms in light of one blood test result, the TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). The doctor then gives the patient a symptom-based diagnosis that only describes the very symptom that the patient complained of in the first place, such as chronic fatigue syndrome. This TSH blood test has failed thousands upon thousands of patients. It has a lab range that is so wide that it includes the majority of patients. The patients used for this lab range are the people who are not feeling well, and this is who you are being compared to in this lab range. We know, because we’ve seen them at our center, and we’ve helped them not only get the right diagnosis, but also get better. The solution is to treat with desiccated thyroid and adjust your dose until your fatigue, as well as your other symptoms, are resolved.
Why isn’t adrenal fatigue being diagnosed?
Adrenal fatigue is a common health problem that many Americans face today, yet most traditional doctors do not recognize adrenal fatigue as a real condition. Supplementing with bioidentical cortisol will help support the adrenal glands while they recover, while also eliminating your fatigue.