Summary of my approach for CFS / ME sufferers

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Update - November 2023

Since first writing this page, I have developed my thinking and have now written these pages below which describe my approach in more detail:

See also my checklist here:

Summary of my approach

CFS versus ME

My aim is to give all CFS and ME sufferers and their therapists the knowledge and the access to information and tests to get themselves on the road to recovery.

Remember that

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome [‘CFS’] is characterised by poor energy delivery mechanisms.
  • Myalgic-encephalitis [‘ME’] is characterised by poor energy delivery mechanisms AND inflammation.

Poor energy delivery is caused by poor diet and gut function, poor breathing, poor sleep, mitochondrial failure, and poor adrenal and thyroid function.
Inflammation occurs when the immune system is activated. The immune system is activated in allergy, chronic infection and auto-immunity.
In both CFS and ME there may also be an emotional hole in the energy bucket.

The importance of putting in place the Basics

I estimate that in my working life I have seen and treated in excess of 8,000 patients with CFS and ME. I now know that there is a route to get well which entails a whole package of treatment. That package of treatment has to be done in the right order – it is a little bit like building a house – there is no point putting the upstairs windows in until the foundations and walls are in place. The foundations for health and recovery are the same and this is what I mean by the BASICS. I describe them in The general approach to maintaining and restoring good health.

Many patients come to me having tried thyroid medication or B12 injections, for example, but unless the diet, sleep, pacing and micronutrients are in place and correct, they may not see benefit. I ask all my patients to tread this hard path because I know of no other way to get better. This requires a complete change in lifestyle and changes are hard to make, especially when the patient lacks the physical, mental and emotional energy to make these changes at all! See Chaos Theory and CFS/ME recovery paths for Craig Robinson's model of why the Basic Package is so important to a sustained recovery.

Each patient has to become his own doctor, detective and psychotherapist to work out the best strategies for recovery. I can point patients in the right direction, provide the tests, information and therapies to get sufferers better, but there is only one person who can actually walk that path.

The basic package of treatment and approach to treatment is the same for everybody, but each person discovers a vital key or keys which really give them a quantum leap in improvement and may even be unique to them. For some people who are poisoned it is the detox regime that makes them better. For others, removing mercury amalgam opens the floodgates to recovery; thyroid hormones for many are an important factor.

But there is no point putting the esoterics in place until the BASICS are done.

What recovery looks like

Recovery is never a smooth ride because life has a habit of getting in the way and throwing in extra stresses that you can do without. Whenever a hiccup occurs, always go back to the basics. People recover from CFS and ME, firstly by getting their regime as tight as possible (with respect to diet, supplements, pacing, sleep and detox), then they start to feel better and only then should they start to increase their levels of activity. BUT if they get delayed fatigue, then activity must be reduced. Most people end up with a juggling act between how strict their regime is, how well they feel and how much they can do.

The regime is for life – but once in place it substantially reduces risk of heart disease, cancer and degenerative conditions.

The body as a car

I treat CFS and ME by working out the underlying nutritional, biochemical, immunological, toxic, hormonal, and lifestyle mechanisms that cause the symptoms and signs. Compare the body with a car.

If the body is a car…to get it to go you need:

Engine Mitochondria
Fuel Diet
Oxygen Lungs
Accelerator pedal Thyroid
Gear box Adrenal
Service and repair Sleep
Cleaning and Oil Antioxidants
Catalytic converter Detoxification
A driver The brain

Key sources of information

The key article on this website to start you on your journey is :

I hope that in the category Fatigue you will find many more articles that will provide some of the answers to your questions.

These articles will give you a starting point to understanding the process of recovery but I cannot emphasise enough that adopting The general approach to maintaining and restoring good health is the foundation on which your recovery has to be built.

All my detailed advice is contained in my CFS book. You can find details of my book here - : CFS/ME - my book Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Myalgic Encephalitis. You can read the first 40 pages of my book at this link - First 40 pages of my book on-line

Related Articles

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