The following is an excerpt from Jennifer Ellis-Schuetz’s blog published on her site, Healthy Mind Vibrant Body.
I wanted to create content that would translate my long, horrific struggle with chronic fatigue and pain into something that provided value to my readers and could help them – if only just one person. I finally decided on this topic because it contains information that I wish I would have known and understood years ago. If I would have had, and implemented, this information in the early years of my health struggles, I’m confident that I would have been spared countless years of suffering and major financial outlays.
Symptom Suppression Does NOT Equal Healing!
Unfortunately, the contributing factors to illness presented here are not readily identified or addressed within our current medical paradigm. Nor are they aligned with mainstream cultural programming of controlling and suppressing symptoms with medications, surgeries, or other remedies.
Don’t get me wrong, there is certainly a time and place for these. Modern medicine has saved my life on several occasions, but my experiences have shown me that these modalities are way over utilized when there are better approaches available; especially when it comes to chronic illness.
The Stress Cascade
If you are reading this article now, perhaps you or somebody you know is somewhere along the continuum of chronic fatigue and pain. Perhaps you are in the beginning stages of it and your symptoms are bothersome but they are not life altering and are easily managed with medications, over-the-counter remedies, or diet/lifestyle changes. Perhaps you are further along the spectrum and you are now sick and tired of feeling sick and tired despite being told there is “nothing significantly, medically wrong with you”, you are frustrated with being prescribed a pill for every ill and you are now actively seeking answers. Or, perhaps you are well in the throws of it, have received a diagnosis of some sort (or multiple ones!), the symptoms range from life altering to disabling, you have seen countless practitioners and have tried tons of different protocols yet you continue to suffer.
If you are in this stage, you are probably well acquainted with the feelings of despair, hopelessness, fear, anger, desperation, and the list goes on that accompanies chronic, unexplainable pain and illness that has no distinct “cause or “cure”. And, I’m sure you also know the devastation of loss that ensues after succumbing to chronic fatigue and pain syndromes.
You Are NOT Alone and You Are NOT Crazy!
First off, I empathize and completely relate with your situation wherever you fall within the above descriptors. I have been in and out of each of the phases more times than I can even count over the past 19 years. Secondly, let me tell you that despite friends, family, and doctors not supporting you in your struggles and suggesting that you are a hypochondriac and that your ongoing issues are all in “your head” or that you’re just depressed, you are not alone and you are NOT crazy.
Mind Influences Body, Body Influences Mind
While I totally agree with and understand the role that psychological and emotional stress plays in setting the stage for illness to take hold, I will also tell you that there are many, hidden physiological stressors that fuel the flames of chronic fatigue and pain syndromes. The relationship between psychological and physiological factors is bidirectional with each setting the scene for and driving the other. I have also learned, the hard way, that achieving sustainable wellness requires addressing both simultaneously. Attending to one and not the other will for sure block healing.
Correctly Identifying and Removing Stressors
For many years, I focused solely on healing the physical and resisted addressing the mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of rebuilding health. I have since come to the awa reness that we are every bit bio-energetic as we are biochemical and therefore deep, sustainable healing must address all components of ourselves and the illness from which we suffer. Thirdly, let me tell you that there IS hope and limitless possibility of recovering your health and wellbeing, no matter how far out of balance you have fallen, even though it may seem to be only an impossible dream at the moment. It is all a matter of correctly identifying the hidden stressors that are at the root of your condition/s and then removing them layer by layer so that your body can have a chance to heal and return to its natural state of function…
Everything Is Interconnected!
So, here are, what I feel to be 14 of the big hitters, which pave the way for chronic fatigue/pain syndromes and other health conditions to take hold. As you read each factor, please know that they are all interrelated and dysfunction/imbalance in one will cascade to the others – resulting in metabolic chaos®. It’s important to know that the majority of these contributing factors are not widely recognized or addressed within conventional medicine. If you are seeking answers to your ongoing health complaints, I highly suggest you work with a functional health practitioner that can help you to understand the imbalances that are blocking health for you and arm you with the correct tools to restore your health and vitality. Also keep in mind, that all of these imbalances can be successfully addressed using natural, holistic and bio-individualistic approaches that focus on removing internal and external stressors, optimizing and individualizing nutrition, gentle detoxification, rest, exercise, and targeted, therapeutic supplementation.
The Contributing Factors Are:
#1 Psychological Stress, Unresolved Trauma, and Unexpressed Emotions
#2 Physical/Bio-Mechanical Stress
#3 Dysbiosis (aka: Out of Whack Gut Microbes)
#4 Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth
#5 Intestinal Permeability (aka: Leaky Gut)
#6 Vitamin, Mineral, and other Micronutrient Deficiencies
#7 Hidden Food Sensitivities
#8 Gluten Intolerance and Celiac Disease
#9 Stealth, Intracellular Infections
#10 Genetic Polymorphisms such as MTHFR that are expressing themselves
#11 Sluggish Liver and Impaired Detoxification Pathways
#12 High Toxic Burden/Oxidative Stress
#13 Sedentary Lifestyle or Over Exercising
#14 Sleep Deprivation
Please visit www.healthymindvibrantbody.com/blog to read the original post in its entirety.