At the Institute of Biobehavioral Medicine (IBBMed) we believe, the mind, body and spirit are intimately connected.  And our multi-disciplinary approach integrates the fields of psychiatry, psychology, neuroscience and spirituality.  Our holistic approach to mental and physical health combines ancient wisdom with the latest innovations in medical science and psychology.  Our goal is to restore health and balance by promoting the natural healing processes of nature.  Disorders such as, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel and Chronic Fatigue share four important factors:

  1. Stress as a predetermining factor
  2. Neuronal sensitization
  3. Response to antidepressant medications
  4. Response to stress reduction and self-care.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a complicated disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that can’t be explained by any underlying medical condition. The fatigue may worsen with physical or mental activity, but doesn’t improve with rest.

The cause of chronic fatigue syndrome is unknown, although there are many theories — ranging from viral infections to psychological stress. Some experts believe chronic fatigue syndrome might be triggered by a combination of factors.

There’s no single test to confirm a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome. You may have to undergo a variety of medical tests to rule out other health problems that have similar symptoms. Treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome focuses on symptom relief.

Eight official symptoms, plus the central symptom of Fatigue:

  1. Loss of memory or concentration
  2. Sore throat
  3. Enlarged lymph nodes in your neck or armpits
  4. Unexplained muscle pain
  5. Pain that moves from one joint to another without swelling or redness
  6. Headache of a new type, pattern or severity
  7. Unrefreshing sleep
  8. Extreme exhaustion lasting more than 24 hours after physical or mental exercise.

Some Causes:

Viral infections: Because some people develop chronic fatigue syndrome after having a viral infection, researchers have wondered if some viruses might trigger the disorder. Suspicious viruses have included Epstein-Barr, human herpesvirus 6 and mouse leukemia viruses. No conclusive link has yet been found.

Immune system problems: The immune systems of people who have chronic fatigue syndrome appear to be impaired slightly, but it’s unclear if this impairment is enough to actually cause the disorder.

Hormonal imbalances: People who have chronic fatigue syndrome also sometimes experience abnormal blood levels of hormones produced in the hypothalamus, pituitary gland or adrenal glands. But the significance of these abnormalities is still unknown.

Risk Factors:

Age: Chronic fatigue syndrome can occur at any age, but it most commonly affects people in their 40s and 50s.

Sex: Women are diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome much more often than men, but it may be that women are simply more likely to report their symptoms to a doctor.

Lifestyle: People who are overweight and inactive are more likely to develop chronic fatigue syndrome. Stress also appears to be a factor

The most effective treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome appears to be a three pronged approach that combines medications, psychological counseling and a gentle exercise program.

Antidepressants: Many people who have chronic fatigue syndrome are also depressed. Treating your depression can make it easier for you to cope with the problems associated with chronic fatigue syndrome. And low doses of some antidepressants also can help improve sleep and relieve pain.

Graded exercise: A physical therapist can help determine what types of exercise are best for you. Inactive people often begin with range-of-motion and stretching exercises for just a few minutes a day. If you’re exhausted the next day, you’re doing too much. Your strength and endurance will improve as you gradually increase the intensity of your exercise over time.

Psychotherapy: Besides addressing some underlying psychological issues, talking with an experienced therapist can help you figure out options to work around some of the limitations that chronic fatigue syndrome imposes on you. Feeling more in control of your life can improve your outlook dramatically.