Book Review: Natural Treatments for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Stacie Deyglio, ND
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than one million Americans currently have chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and approximately 80%-90% of these individuals have not been diagnosed and are not receiving proper medical care for their illness. Daivati Bharadvaj, ND has created a text whose foundation is built on clinical naturopathic medical wisdom and supported by integrative medical research and evidence-based scientific studies, addressing the CFS situation afflicting the U.S.
Conventional allopathic treatment focuses primarily on psychological and physical medicine approaches, employing cognitive behavior therapy and graded exercise therapy. These modalities address the disease indicators, prescribed only after confirming via evaluation that the individual’s symptoms correspond to the criteria for a CFS diagnosis.
Naturopathic medicine focuses on the individual person instead of the symptoms of their disease. In this way, “a proper diagnosis can only be made based on understanding the individual, not merely the labeling the condition he presents with. The art of listening without passing judgment can in itself provide clues to successful treatment by establishing the trust and communication so vital to good treatment outcomes” (p. 12). In this fashion, Bharadvaj’s book best supports the naturopathic principle of Tolle totem. Disease and health are conditions of the whole person, involving multifaceted interactions of the physical, spiritual, mental, emotional, environmental, social, genetic and cultural aspects. The physician must treat the whole person by taking all of these factors into account.
The book is written in three major parts. Part I includes a complete description of CFS, including etiologies, conventional medicine and how stress, adrenal fatigue and cognitive disorders relate to CFS. The second part of the book centers on how CFS is diagnosed. This includes standard and alternative approaches to understanding the intricacies of the disease. Part III focuses on natural treatments for CFS including IV therapy, homeopathy, Ayurveda, nutrients, botanicals and alternative approaches for addressing issues of the mind-body and lifestyle modifications. This part of the text includes explicit evidence-based clinical references to the efficacy of individual treatment options. These studies not only function in supporting the reasoning behind the treatment option but also explain how the imbalance may be physiologically resolved.
A noteworthy feature of Bharadvaj’s book is the implementation of tables throughout the text that organize important focus points such as diagnostic criteria, frequency of symptoms, pathogenesis of CFS, and etiologies and corresponding symptoms.
Stacie Deyglio, ND received her baccalaureate degree in biology with a minor in chemistry from the College of Mt. St. Vincent in New York. Her personal health issues paved the way to discovering naturopathic medicine in 1999. Resonating with the philosophy and principles of naturopathic medicine, Dr. Deyglio graduated from the University of Bridgeport, College of Naturopathic Medicine in 2003. As a medical student, she was involved in student government, fundraising and the generation of two successful student-run health fairs. Dr. Deyglio’s interests include relating integrative therapeutics to the health of pediatric and geriatric populations. Currently residing in Phoenix, Dr. Deyglio is an avid bookworm, and is actively creating her practice