And yet, when you look at the person they may look well, their skin color may be good, the skin tone may be good, lots of nice bushy hair. They may not look sick, but the way that they feel can be completely debilitating. Unfortunately, there's no one blood test for chronic fatigue syndrome, which adds to the problems and the confusion about this disorder. Chronic fatigue syndrome is a syndrome. It's a collection of symptoms. It's not a specific disease, per se. When somebody has chronic fatigue syndrome, the first thing that we do is a differential diagnosis. We'll do a number of different blood tests to see if somebody's suffering from something else that has to be treated very specifically, such as Lyme disease, or some babesia, or from mononucleosis, or from diabetes, or from thyroiditis, and on and on. If we can identify some other distant disease that can account for the symptoms, that then becomes the target, that then becomes their diagnosis until it is resolved and put back into a state of cure or remission, and then, we see what symptoms are left, if any.
If the person doesn't have any known identifiable disease or disorder, then we're left with chronic fatigue syndrome. The way that we address chronic fatigue syndrome is by looking at the balance of the immune system, looking at the inflammatory markers that it is making, looking at the balance of the major pathways of the immune system, looking at the various hormones that the adrenals and thyroid are making, which are responsible for our energy production and stamina, looking at the relationship, looking at the ratios, correcting things as necessary; and then, doing some very specialized blood tests to try to get a better idea of how the mitochondria are working. Mitochondria are like little power houses that are located in each and every one of our cells throughout our entire body.
One of the characteristics of chronic fatigue syndrome when people are doing research on this disorder, is that they find that there is a dysfunction of the mitochondria: A decrease in the number of the mitochondria, and a decrease in their ability to produce the energy molecule called ATP. However, the good news is that research has also been going on on ways to support the mitochondria, to stimulate the production of ATP, and to actually stimulate the production of their number and how to stimulate the production of new mitochondria. So the bottom line is that through a comprehensive evaluation of the person who's suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome, we can put together an individualized treatment protocol that can help to stabilize the symptoms that they're having, and over a period of time, to reverse the syndrome that they're suffering from, so they could have a long, healthy, and happy life.