Tuesday, February 28, 2006

March is National Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Awareness Month

Many people refuse to accept that "chronic fatigue" is more than not getting enough sleep or an affectation of the lazy. They're wrong. Chronic fatigue syndrome is not only real; it can be cured. The super-active daughter of friends in Arlington, VA, went from normal, energetic roller-blading teen at Labor Day to wheelchair-bound, dog-tired by January and further regressed in the ensuing months such that she was forced to drop out of high school and, by June, was sleeping about 23 hours a day, rising only to eat and visit the bathroom. Her parents took her to doctors at Walter Reed Army Hospital (her dad being a general stationed at Ft. Myer) and they ran her through every test they could over more than half a year; they were stumped. When they finally told the father they suspected Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, they made it sound like it was the leftover category, perhaps not even real, but an explanation when none other could be found. As my friend the father lamented the latest bad news, I found a silver lining. Months earlier, in reviewing the medical literature for all articles pertaining to salt, natch, I had run across highly successful experimental therapy for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, only 40 miles away. The therapy was to place the CFS patient on a high salt diet. The Hopkins doctor: Peter Rowe. Long story short, the doctors at Walter Reed talked with Dr. Rowe and referred the daughter for him to treat. By September, the high salt diet had reclaimed a life and restored a spirit. The daughter had recovered sufficiently to return to high school. Steadily improving, by March, she and my daughter were able to hop over The Pond for Spring Break in England. She returned to her former, active lifestyle and was elected president of her senior class. CFS is real. And for CFS sufferers, one therapeutic option with demonstrated effectiveness is a high salt diet. Don't self-medicate, but if you or someone you love suspects CFS, be aware of this treatment option.

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