Understanding your journey – Part Two
In the second part of this series I focus on how – using the Perrin approach – we diagnose this complex condition and how lifelong symptoms and events can play a major part in the build-up to this illness.
What to expect when you begin your treatment
We start with understanding what you’ve been through up to this point – your current symptoms, the ones leading up to here, some of which may have passed, but many that could still be holding you back and dragging you down. To get a true picture of your health, we also need to know how things were for you further back in time.
Very often small signs start to emerge in childhood. You would usually put them down to growing, trauma or just something you cannot explain. As with lots of things in life, you simply learn to live with them but in hindsight they were annoying, and perhaps given the option, you would have liked to have felt healthier and brighter.
As the years pass, hormonal shifts kick in, puberty happens, then for women possibly pregnancy and later on, menopause. The fact is any of these life stages involve a lot of extra processing, clearance and adjusting to be done by different body systems. If your body is feeling the load, these events could become tipping points and signs of strain and fatigue could make recovery far slower than you would expect.
Other factors like university/college, work/play balance, changing work patterns, long working hours or increasing responsibilities at home could all contribute to your current feelings of fatigue. Where your constitution was at and how well you coped at the time with life adjustments can influence why and how your C.F.S./ M.E. crash happened.
Any chronic infections like sinusitis, tonsillitis, chest infections can also be underlying causes and influences in how well and how quickly you make the journey back to health. Stomach and bowel problems such as IBS, previous history of stomach ulcers, diverticulitis or colitis may also have had some level of impact, through affecting our absorption and metabolising capabilities. The ability of your body to absorb nutrients from your food eventually impacts on your underlying nutritional status, which we may need to take account of and work to improve.
The evidence is increasingly pointing to there being a genetic component to CFS/ ME. This means it is helpful for us to have an understanding of your family history. This helps us identify if anyone in your family may have suffered from bouts, episodes, or extended periods of time from fatigue, chronic pain, or ailments. Sometimes we can have more than one condition present, so although the signs and symptoms of C.F.S./ M.E. may be present, it is important we ensure any other conditions – which could be hindering your health – are picked up and addressed.
These are only a few examples to illustrate how complex and multi-dimensional CFS/ ME cases can be. That is why it takes time and good management to rebuild your health, improve your ability to recover from setbacks and crucially allow your immune and nervous systems to adjust their settings and resume normal function.
The next stage on your recovery journey is for us to examine the 5 signs that Dr Perrin has identified as being present when C.F.S./M.E. is causing the problem.