Chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and energy production

Round & About

I regularly see clients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) – fatigue so debilitating that they are virtually unable to function. Often CFS presents as fibromyalgia, which is chronic fatigue with the added burden of widespread pain and stiffness all over the body.

It is believed the pain associated with fibromyalgia is caused when the mitochondria (the energy production plants in our cells), desperate to supply energy to the body, switch from efficient aerobic (using oxygen) to inefficient anaerobic (no oxygen) metabolism. Anaerobic energy production creates large amounts of lactic acid.

Lactic acid, as anyone who pushes themselves when exercising knows, causes muscle pain, which dissipates after a short rest. This pain, however, does not dissipate with fibromyalgia, as the body is unable to break lactic acid down, due to mitochondrial dysfunction. The excess acid can also cause damage to muscle tissue, presenting as very sensitive areas. This process can feed on itself as the damage releases lots of free radicals (destructive molecules), which can cause additional damage if antioxidant status (the ability to neutralise free radical damage) is low. So mitochondrial dysfunction is one of the key areas when it comes to helping move the body back into balance with CFS and fibromyalgia. Healthy mitochondria require a raft of key nutrients for optimal performance, including but not limited to magnesium, B vitamins, essential fats, CoQ10, carnitine and alpha lipoic acid and must not be bathed in toxins. There are often multiple systemic imbalances going on, including but not limited to digestive dysfunction, poor antioxidant status, immune system dysregulation, chronic inflammation, viral infections, food and/or environmental sensitivities/allergies, thyroid and adrenal dysfunction and micronutrient deficiencies. Nothing exists in isolation. Once again looking at the body from a functional and holistic perspective is key.

Call Mark BSc (Hons) BA (Hons) mBANT CNHC on 01183 219533 or visit