What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)?
A syndrome is a group of symptoms which consistently occur together, or a condition characterized by a set of associated symptoms. Chronic fatigue syndrome (also known as; Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME)) is characterised by extreme fatigue or tiredness which doesn’t go away with rest or can’t be explained by another underlying medical condition.
Other possible symptoms include:
- Problems sleeping, such as insomnia
- Muscle or joint pain
- A sore throat or sore glands that aren’t swollen
- Problems thinking, remembering or concentrating
- Flu-like symptoms
- Feeling dizzy or sick
- Fast or irregular heartbeats
- Exercising or concentrating makes symptoms worse
How is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome diagnosed?
Currently there are no biomarkers or tests to diagnose CFS but there are tests which rule out other conditions. There are many biological abnormalities that researchers have found in people living with the condition, which doctors can use to assist in diagnosis. These include an abnormal physiological response to exercise, altered immune function, changes in the bacteria in the gut, and impaired energy production (mitochondrial disfunction). Generally, symptoms need to persist for six months to support the diagnosis.
What causes Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
It is not known what causes CFS, but it is associated with triggers including:
- infection (which is the most common trigger, but is not universal)
- environmental toxins
- physical trauma (such as surgery or car accident)
- genetics (like many other chronic diseases, CFS can run in families, although the specific genes involved haven’t yet been identified and more research is needed)
- physical, mental or emotional stress may also contribute to the onset of the condition
Is there a cure?
There is no specific cure, there are some treatments for symptoms which you can discuss with your doctor. Some people recover over time, others suffer for many years. In the case of my son, I believe his recovery was supported and facilitated by changing his lifestyle, which began with changing his diet. That is why I am passionate about helping families make lifestyle changes which support better health.
Where can I find more information on CFS?
For further information on CFS visit these websites:
What is a Health Coach?
A Health Coach is a wellness professional whose main objective is to guide clients to reach their health and wellness goals, whether that’s sleeping better, increasing energy levels, weight management, coping with stress, and more. Health Coaches create a safe space for their clients to explore their health, facilitating behaviour and lifestyle change that can be sustained for the long-term.
Using their nutrition and coaching education, Health Coaches help their clients discover which foods and lifestyle choices makes them feel best. Most importantly, Health Coaches take a holistic approach to health, not just focusing on food, but also all the other areas of life that can support and nourish your overall health, such as career, spirituality, relationships, and environment.
Health Coaches can work with clients one-on-one or in group settings, or alongside other healthcare professionals such as medical doctors, chiropractors, therapists, and nurses. Health Coaches play a pivotal role in the greater healthcare team, filling the void that is often left by doctors who don’t necessarily have time to provide nutrition and coaching guidance.
How can a health coach help me?
A Health Coach works with clients to create a space of clarity. In this space clients identify their goals, values, strengths and tap into their own knowledge and experience to develop the approach to change in which they are most likely to succeed. A Health Coach provides knowledge for the client to consider, and skills to provide motivation and support to facilitate long term change. I use my training as a Health Coach and my experience as a mum with a child who suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome to support clients to make positive change in their lives.
What are your qualifications?
Annette Ford is an ADAPT Certified Functional Health Coach. This qualification, obtained through the Kresser Institute, required the completion of a Functional Health Coach course, including motivational interviewing, positive psychology, trans theoretical model for change, non-violent communications and functional medicine approach to nutrition, movement, stress management and sleep.
What does a coaching session look like?
Coaching sessions take place via video conferencing, telephone or face-to-face. Clients are supported to identify their goals and explore values, character strengths and potential solutions. The outcome is an action plan which is reviewed and adjusted if necessary, at the follow-on session.
How can I work with you?
Please contact me to request a free half hour discovery chat. This chat is not a coaching session, but rather an opportunity to discover whether health coaching will fit your specifics needs and whether we are a good coaching fit.