Treating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome with Hormones

Mike Carragheradrenal fatigue, Age Management, BHRT, Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy, chronic fatigue syndrome, cortisol, Dr. Carragher, fatigue, Hormone Optimization, Hormone Replacement Therapy, loss of energy, low energy, The Body Well, ThyroidLeave a Comment

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a much-talked-about but poorly defined disorder. Typically CFS presents itself as disabling exhaustion. By disabling, I don’t mean being tired in the afternoon and needing a nap. People with CFS can’t get out of bed, go out with friends, or live their best lives. They’re exhausted, and sleep isn’t helping.

But CFS also has plenty of other troubling symptoms, including memory impairment, mood changes, irritable bowel syndrome, joint pains and muscle aches. CFS is also called Immune Dysfunction Syndrome because it depletes the immune system.

To make matters worse, there’s no magic bullet for treating CFS, and plenty of contradictory theories about what causes it. Because it’s not well-understood, patients with CFS are often told it’s just in their heads and are subject to ridicule not only by friends and family but also by the medical community. Since women suffer from CFS more often than men, doctors with unconscious (or conscious!) sexist tendencies sometimes brush it off as “hysteria.”

So: Varying symptoms, no well-defined cause, and often dismissed. No wonder people often search all over the internet for information about CFS! As you might expect the tricky nature of CFS also results in a lot of internet-inspired self-diagnosing, since the symptoms overlap with so many other conditions (or because someone might have fatigue off and on and mistake that for CFS).

But the best way to diagnose Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is with a doctor who understands it, by exclusion of other diseases. You have to rule out other forms of fatigue, caused by such conditions as anemia or heavy metal toxicity. And of course, you have to rule out plain old lack of quality sleep.

At The Body Well, we also keep in mind an overlooked but key factor in CFS: hormones. With my patients, I’ll make sure that hormones are optimized before giving a diagnosis of CFS, since hormonal deficiencies can cause fatigue as well! I’ll also go through the other possible culprits, making sure patients are eating well, exercising, free of toxicity, and so forth. If, after that, a patient is still complaining about disabling fatigue, I’ll be sure they are treated specifically for CFS.

At The Body Well, one approach I use to treat CFS is using thyroid hormone at high doses, several times a day. When hormones are already optimized, additional thyroid can help ease the pain of and enliven someone suffering from CFS.

I also use a hormone called hydrocortisone, or Cortef. Cortef is basically the kind of cortisone produced by adrenal glands (two glands that sit atop the kidneys). By giving Cortef to a patient, healthy levels of cortisone are restored, which results in anti-inflammatory and energizing effects, combatting both muscle/joint aches and fatigue.

Many non-specialized doctors use prednisone in an attempt to achieve the same effects. But  prednisone has many problematic side effects when used over time, whereas Cortef is very safe if used at correct dosages.

Both CFS and hormones are both often misunderstood by doctors who don’t specialize in this area, so if you’re suffering from fatigue, call The Body Well today for a knowledgeable and reasonable approach to restoring your energy levels and becoming the most energetic you possible.

Call The Body Well today at (323) 874-9355 and schedule an hormone evaluation. Or email us at

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