Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Have you ever experienced inexplicable tiredness, exhaustion, or fatigue and brushed it off as something that comes with age? Or, perhaps you've overlooked these signs because you've been "burning the candle at both ends." Sure, these reasonings sound plausible, but there could also be something more serious at play, such as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME).

CFS/ME symptoms vary from person to person. However, they often include unexplained muscle or joint pain, extreme exhaustion after mental or physical exercise, headaches, memory and concentration challenges, and of course, overwhelming fatigue, to name a few (Mayo Clinic, n.d.). Moreover, anyone is at risk for CFS/ME.

CFS/ME can occur at any age, with the most common ages being between 40-60 years old (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021). Chronic fatigue can manifest in various ways, negatively impacting quality of life and basic daily activities, including sleep, physical intimacy, bathing, and grooming.

Functional Medicine Benefits to Treating Chronic Fatigue

Traditional medicine will often treat symptoms associated with CFS/ME. However, the lack of an integrative approach typically results in not addressing the root cause behind such a diagnosis. There are a variety of benefits to treating CFS/ME with functional medicine, including the following:

  • Individualized Approach: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is not a cut and dry diagnosis. Patient concerns often are dismissed by traditional medicine physicians because they are usually not taught how to diagnose or treat CFS/ME in medical school (Bested & Marshall, 2015). Functional medicine addresses the root cause of a problem through a series of assessments and tests. As a result, unique aspects of a patient's disease are managed via an individualized plan versus a one-size-fits-all approach that solely addresses symptoms.
  • Identification of Underlying Conditions: Functional medicine incorporates various testing measures to ensure an accurate diagnosis for CFS/ME. Therefore, underlying conditions known to exacerbate symptoms are often uncovered, including conditions causing inflammation, nutritional deficits, and metabolism disorders.
  • Biological Homeostasis: Functional medicine uses an integrative framework to regain balance amongst all biological systems. A functional medicine physician achieves this by assessing internal disease-causing factors in addition to external threats that enhance symptoms experienced by those living with CFS/ME, including environmental toxicities, stress-related factors, and physical activity.

Due to the complex nature of CFS/ME, a functional medicine approach is believed to be more effective in managing CFS/ME and improving clinical outcomes (Bested & Marshall, 2015).

If you are experiencing fatigue symptoms and believe you may be at risk, call Customized Relief today to schedule a full assessment with Dr. Christopher H. Roberts. Dr. Roberts is a functional medicine doctor based in Joplin, Missouri, providing evaluation and root cause analysis for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

Dr. Roberts will also help you make the best decisions about managing your risks, as well as treating active physiological dysfunction(s). To learn more about our clinic or schedule an appointment, please contact us in person, online at, or by calling 417-622-0911.