Let’s talk about gut bacteria and chronic fatigue. All the years I practiced, I saw many types of people, as you can imagine. I saw people with poor energy, people with good energy, people with way too much energy, but also people with no energy at all, very insufficient. When we talk about chronic fatigue, we can give that many names like many people have over the years. You may have heard of yuppie flu. Yuppie flu is a crazy term. Chronic fatigue syndrome. There are so many different terms used for this condition, which sort of slip my mind at the moment, but there are many different terms for it.
One thing that’s always stood out with me with chronic fatigue people is I tend to look carefully at the lifestyle of a chronic fatigue person. And I sort of carved out a couple of different categories in my own mind when I used to see patients with chronic fatigue. It was not unusual to see, for example, the young girl or guy often in their twenties that had chronic fatigue that were diagnosed by their doctor. And then they may have had come back with a positive test for Epstein BARR virus or Coxsackie virus or a various viral condition. They may have had a history of sore throats for a long time. Often I found a similar thing with many of these young people with chronic fatigue syndrome. They overdo things. They often had excellences at school. They were very high achievers. They were socially very high achieving. They were academically very high achieving. In fact, everything they did, they were high achieving.
So what happens is you’re basically pushing the hormonal axis of the body to a crucial point. You’re pushing, pushing it really hard. You’re pushing the adrenals, you’re pushing the pituitary, you’re pushing the hypothalamus, everything’s being pushed into overdrive. The body can only handle that to a certain point and then it snaps. You start getting a problem. You start getting an increased susceptibility. And this is when a basic virus like Epstein BARR takes the person down and it takes them down sometimes for months, even years. They develop a chronic condition. I believe that chronic fatigue conditions, from where I’m sitting, from my clinical experience, are developed by the personality. They’re developed by that particular type of person pushing their lifestyle to quite a high point.
I’ve seen chronic fatigue also in women looking after a couple of autistic kids. I’ve seen it in people who’ve had major emotional crises or breakdowns. I’ve seen chronic fatigue happen as a result of that. But I’ve also seen chronic fatigue happen as a result of people using lots of chemicals. I saw one guy who worked at a printing place for many years. He developed a serious toxicity and went down the chronic fatigue route. I’ve seen people who are crop dusters, people dumping chemicals on fields, also develop this condition. People working in tanneries, I’ve seen them. Tanning hides with with this tannic, this chromium kind of crap, this metal stuff, also developing chronic fatigue.
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So I believe it’s a multifactorial condition. There are many causes of it. But the question is, how does it link with gut bacteria? So if you think about it, once a person develops a breakdown of their immune system, they start essentially developing a breakdown of their health. And their health is primarily centered around the small intestine. When I ask people what’s the most important part of the body is, they’ll straightaway grab their heart. But to me, the small bowel is probably one of the most important parts, even more so than the heart.
So if you can’t get the nutrition into the cells of the body through a very clever mechanism that holds crap back and allows the good stuff through, you’re basically dead in no time. Forget about breathing. You need to have superior nutrition at all times. The cells need that. So once a person starts developing a fatigue like syndrome, do you think they are really going to care about what type of broccoli they’re going to eat? If it’s organic or nonorganic? They basically start changing emotion. You start changing in your cognitive sense as well. You start to see things different. You feel different. You act different. You want different. You eat different. You get to a point where you don’t really care less anymore.
Many chronic patients I’ve seen were like that where they were starting to react to an increasing amount of foods, so of course that’s when the gut bacteria changes more and more and more and eventually you develop even a candida problem. So many people I’ve tested with chronic fatigue had yeast in their gut. Far too much yeast. And also too many gram negative bacteria. Like bad species you don’t want there. They had large amounts. And that’s because they were giving up. They were giving up on their life, giving up on themselves, giving up on their job, giving up on their relationship. They were just giving up. And so many people do, not just with chronic fatigue syndrome, but many people in general just give up.
My son’s currently living in a large city here in New Zealand called Wellington. He’s becoming a barista. He enjoys making coffee. But he said, “Dad, I see so many depressed people. I’m just sick of it. All they want to do is just make money and get smashed. They just want to get wasted all the time. It’s all they care about is where their next weeds coming from or alcohols coming from.” He said, “A lot of people don’t care anymore.” I said, “Son, it’s not like that. Some people don’t care. In the big cities they don’t. But when you move away, maybe it’s not so bad, you know?”
But this is a sad fact in life. As our health changes, so our diet changes. When our health starts taking a hit, going down, we tend to not worry too much about what we eat until we get really, really sick. And then we want to make all these changes to get back up top again. So the question is, what’s the link between gut bacteria and chronic fatigue? I think it’s the person themselves is the link. It’s the person’s decision not to consistently make an effort to always try and eat good food, to understand about cause and effect. When you don’t really try and follow through on those things, you’re going to end up with pretty bad fatigue and stay like that.
I’ve also seen patients turn around on a dime with chronic fatigue and with literally months pull themselves right back out of the hole again. It can happen. So if you’re watching this and you’ve had chronic fatigue syndrome for many years, remember, it’s not just a matter of what’s the best pill or what’s the best piece of broccoli to eat, if you get my drift. It’s also a matter of trying to understand what got you down the hole in the first place and understanding that you can pull yourself out of this hole again, in spite of what doctors say. So always try and work to strive to get the gut bacteria improved regardless of your condition, because when you do that is the mind and body will follow suit because they follow what the bacteria dictate.