Doctors and Practitioners



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Introduction
Role of a Consultant
Evaluating Your Consultant
Proactive Relationship with Your Consultant
Natural vs Mainstream Approach
Relying On Your National Health Service
Practitioner Links

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Introduction:

There are many different types of practitioners and specialists you can see. As we are likely dealing with a complex multi-system illness, then it is unlikely that you will find one practitioner who is skilled in every area, be it actual technical knowledge or the tests of tests they normally have performed. Practitioners may various from regular Medical Doctors (MDs); to MDs with experience with multi-system illnesses - often referred to as Ecological Medicine; to naturopaths with wide ranging areas of expertise and skill sets - some of whom are very good and others who are quite unsuited for the complexity of many patients. As all patients are different, many practitioners tend to have more success with some patients than others.

In my experience, I tend to find that utilising the skills of one or more naturopaths (depending on what areas are being worked on) and the skills of an Ecological Medicine MD tends to be what is required. It can become expensive and you need to try to increase your own knowledge so you can effectively communicate with the practitioners as well as try to integrate your own treatment plan if you see more than one practitioner. It may be best in the beginning to start with just one practitioner, as you will likely need to go over the very basics in terms of issues, deficiencies, and lifestyle and diet adjustments.

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Role of a Consultant:

Whether you stick with the consultant/naturopathic doctor who performed the live blood microscopy/screening, you will need to stick with a good consultant/naturopath during the course of your treatment. It is all very well knowing broadly what type of supplements to take to treat various conditions, but you do not always know how to adjust the dosage during the course of the treatment, and how long to pursue the treatment for, and whether each condition has been fully resolved or not. In addition, some specific issues and conditions are easier to self-treat than others, and some are extremely complicated and cannot be effectively treated by semi-random self-prescription, but require test results and a high level of skill to treat.

Someone needs to measure your progress, and customise treatment to your unique set of conditions, and tailor the treatment as you go along. Priorities frequently change. Depending on how your body reacts, certain things may require prioritisation. Using sensory acuity and adjusting or changing your approach depending on the feedback you get is a necessary skill in life too, and rigidly sticking with one approach regardless of the effects or results is not always wise. By diagnosing yourself by reading articles on the internet, you will more than likely focus on one or two suspected causes, take 100 different supplements, and probably miss one of the main problems.

A good consultant or doctor will review your case in great detail, and examine the nature and extent of your symptoms, your lifestyle and diet, and also look into your medical history, examining any cases of serious illness, any relevant history of legal or illegal drug use, frequency of antibiotics use, and any other relevant factors. In addition, the consultant should look into your family's health, in particular your mother and her medical history, diet, and exposure to toxins, drugs or antibiotics. Often this information may be enough to point the consultant in the right direction with regards to what tests are required to pin point the major causes of your condition. For example, if you have used antibiotics frequently at any point during your life, or many times, and/or have engaged in prolonged recreational drug use (the two often go together as drug use tends to result in a greater increase in colds, flus and infections), and your mother has a history of frequent antibiotics usage (as is not uncommon in the baby boomer generation), then it is highly likely that toxicity and detoxification inefficiency are key factors in one's condition.

A monthly visit to a consultant should suffice to begin with, however, depending on what happens, visits may need to be more frequent. A good consultant should be an expert in all the areas of effects on the body we have outlined on the causes and effects page, and in particular biochemistry, endochrinology, cellular function, digestion, nutrition, general medicine and also complimentary medicine, i.e. holistic and integrated in his approach. The exact type of consultant that suits you or your condition best may of course vary. Some prefer a more naturopathic approach with some unorthodox methods of treatment and very little reliance on test data, and more use of techniques like kinesiology, homeopathy etc. Some prefer a more nutrition-based and laboratory-based test approach. Some doctors and practitioners lie somewhere in the middle.

Please note that the term 'holistic' is not spelt 'wholistic'! If a consultant or consultancy cannot spell the term that describes them, then steer clear! Wholistic is a unconscious combination of the terms holistic and whole, to add emphasis. It is a little like using the term 'ginormous' (an incorrect combination of gigantic and enormous), used by young children as a fun term. Many consultants and doctors claim to be integrative or holistic, but in reality, they are not. They have tunnel vision and only consider part of the picture. Usual omissions include the different aspects of toxicity and detoxification, and electromagnetic deficiencies.

When selecting a good consultant, it is worth finding out about the areas of his expertise, background and training, and whether this matches the above. If not, you may only enjoy (expensive) partial success. Many naturopaths only have a diploma and are not necessarily qualified doctors (i.e. may not hold a Bachelors, Masters or Doctorate Degree) and may have little medical or biochemistry experience, for example. If you cannot find a good doctor in your area, you may want to approach it from a different angle and ask a well known, highly regarded biochemical laboratory which doctors in your area use them, and then contact one or more of these.

If your consultant tells you that 'You probably know more about CFS than me', then this is clearly a signal to go elsewhere! Equally if he or she suggests taking anti-depressants. You really want to try to find the most experienced consultant you can find in a wide variety of relevant disciplines, in order to increase your levels and rate of success of your treatment. Don't give up after trying one consultant if you don't experience any significant levels of success. Find another! Some consultants and consultant organisations, and laboratories, are listed on the links page.

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Evaluating Your Consultant:

For ANY individual suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or other related conditions, it is a good idea to actually view the blood and to see what is going on there on a microscopic level, as it can show a multitude of different problems. Hair analysis for toxic metals can be a useful indicator of toxic burden in a chronic CFS patient, and ignoring this would be foolish. However, beyond this, the actual tests that are required are very much dependent on the symptoms, how the patient responds to intitial treatment and what the evidence gathered or understood/interpreted points to. There is NO overall fixed approach beyond this initial step. Indeed, some consultants may rely on other means to determine or treat an individual, but I see NO good reason why these first two steps should not be performed in any case, perhaps just to supplement what your consultant/doctor/alternative therapist is doing anyway. Missing a fundamental problem or problems at the beginning a treatment/diagnosis is close to criminal! But it does happen. Hopefully enough cross testing should eliminate such issues.

In some cases, the specialist you have selected may just 'average', may be very restrictive in their approach, may be very proficient in some areas and not in others, and may not be as effective in treating you as another specialist. The naturopath may also be prescribing a harmful or overly severe course of treatment! Or even in rare cases completely the wrong type of treatment. Ultimately it comes down to you to figure this out. I have personally found that whilst naturopaths may occasionally make mistakes regarding dosing etc., and miss important issues, the same can be said of Ecological Medicine practitioners, whom from my experience, 50% of their recommendations and interpretations are off the money - partly because they do not ask enough questions and/or have a poor memory. A mediocre consultant may require you to do half the work for them in diagnosis. If you do chose to change specialist, then you must be sure that you know why the course of treatment is failing, and that you have learnt from the experience, so you can take this experience and knowledge with you and to help you select a better specialist for you.

This web site aims to provide some background information on the critical areas of treatment and give a basic level of understanding of possible conditions and treatments, and hopefully making this job slightly easier for you. We do encourage readers not to just rely on this web site for information about possible causes, but to study the relevant areas further and do their own research, and discuss them with their specialists. This will also be useful when it comes to your complete recovery when you want to help others in a similar situation, as you will have the authority and knowledge to do so. We hope however that you will make a good choice of specialist from the beginning and that changing specialist will not be necessary. Choosing the right specialist is as important a choice as choosing your future husband/wife! And you know how damaging and what a waste of good years a poor choice can be.

If you change practitioner and use one that does not perform Applied Kinesiological testing, then you may wish to use what you learnt about your body's responses and preferences from your previous doctor and apply it to your current situation - or cross check most high levels treatments with someone who can do it for you. Whilst not ideal, it may help you to decide which particular brand and type of supplements you should take. For example, if you had used two or three different adrenal supplements in the past, you may want to experiment with those that your body wanted at various points in time, or alternate and see which works best. Test results, doctor's advice, how your treatments are progressing and your common sense should be able to guide you to at least reasonably sensible applications and regime. Clearly it is best to find a practitioner who is highly skilled in a variety of areas, including AK or other bio-resonance testing.

One of the reasons for this web site is to help patients understand the core issues that need to be investigated to identify the problems one has and what the severity of them is; and to help patients identify when a doctor or practitioner is not doing his job properly; when the doctor is rushing through the identification phase and not looking into the most common factors and factors indicative by a patient's symptoms; when the doctor has omitted to investigate a certain key factor that is likely to be a contributary factor to the patient's condition; when the sequence of treatment is illogical and counter-productive; and also when the types of treatment and supplements being prescribed are not ideal or in some cases counterproductive or harmful. I have personally experienced practitioners who are quite competent in most of their relative areas of expertise, by who fail to go through the identification process fully and methodically, and pick up on a few critical problems and work on helping you address those, which can result in some reasonable progress, but the level of progress may slow down when other factors prevent it and come to the foreground more, and which are not being addressed and have not been correctly identified. I therefore recommend that a CFS sufferer or sufferer of related conditions familiarises himself with all these possible causes as much as possible. Sometimes it may be necessary to use one's own initiative or to seek another doctor or practitioner.

Some doctors, practitioners and therapists may work on a decreasing set of areas, forgetting one piece of the puzzle with each visit, unless you keep reminding them - even though you have explained it all at the first couple of visits a number of times; being poorly prepared for each visit and rarely if ever bothering to read their own notes about your case (one wonders why notes are recorded in so much detail at each visit if they are not referred back to later!) Actually briefly reviewing/reading the notes of one's clients/patients before the first client/patient actually arrives might show professionalism; or managing and editing the notes for each client/patient so they are succinct and easy to follow, rather than letting them become a huge narrative and thus unusable and unreadable (any sales person worth their salt would do their for their own customers/prospects - a doctor/consultant/therapist/practitioner should be no different); rather than spending 15 seconds if any time at all at the start of your session glancing through pages of notes; some doctors may stop replying to emails or answering questions outside of appointments after a time as they tire of you, and only answer questions when you are paying for their time - some may charge you to speak to them over the telephone.

Some doctors or therapists act like their time is more important than yours, and that their job and schedule is more important than your ill health and life. Some doctors may not bother to tell the patient what their recommendations are, and wait for the patient to extract their recommendations (and procedures for the next steps) from them with repeated probing and questioning, as if it is some kind of game - hardly the best use of the (expensive) session time - if you are to do their job for them, they should be paying YOU! Whether this is a case of not recommending a certain next step unless you specifically request or ask about it (as they like to take a minimalist/slow approach) or whether they can't be bothered to tell you is another matter. Some doctors or therapists may not treat their patients with sufficient respect and treat them as a piece of meat, trying to 'make up' time when they are running late, despite the fact that the patient is paying through the nose for their session and it is their life that is at stake.

Some may treat you like a specimen or a source of gossip to keep them entertained as they like to just chat and engage in small talk and act like they are some kind of psychotherapist for your relationship or emotional problems. Some practitioners will not respect your limits. There is a lack of awareness that the patient is a customer and should be treated with respect and receive excellent customer service. Doctors do not review their own performance or have anyone review the way their efficiency in dealing with patients or how thorough they are. So over time, many things go out of the window.

Ultimately you have to determine who has the greatest level of competence, and work around/ignore their eccentricities and be sufficiently assertive and ask the right questions. If you have a good choice of practitioners of equal competence (e.g. physical therapists), then it may help to go with the person who treats you with the most respect! Often one goes with the practitioner for their particular area of expertise, and approach, which will never be identical to another, and often changing practitioner can be a good thing, returning to a previous practitioner when one feels one needs to re-examine a certain area or requires assistance in their particular area of expertise.

Oh course, if your doctor or specialist's level of competence is in question, their approach has achieved only so much progress or measurable results, AND they are arrogant, then it is definitely time to look elsewhere for another opinion. YOU are the customer. Customers paying the highest prices should not settle for second best. Hopefully you will find an extremely competent doctor or practitioner, with a thorough approach, self-discipline and free of the excesses of ego.

I hope that you do not find this web site too opinionated, arrogant or obnoxious! I have gone to great lengths to try to present the subject matter in as full, specific and logical manner as specific as possible, where it is clear what the facts are and where the gaps are; so that readers can fill in the gaps with their own research as they see fit; and cross check all the information presented here with that from other sources.

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Proactive Relationship with Your Consultant:

We are conditioned in our society to be passive when it comes to matters of health and not to take the initiative ourselves and take responsibility for our own lives and action. Instead it is easier to rely on guidance and assistance from others, to be influenced by television adverts, supermarkets and popular culture, and to 'follow orders' and 'do what we are told' and that way we can blame others and sue if something goes wrong. You need to take responsibility and be the project manager for your own body and for your own life. You need to become someone who has a good high level knowledge of the nature of the 'project' of recovery. And knows which experts to consult in the different areas. And knows when something has been omitted or overlooked. This really is not as hard as it sounds, and you build up your knowledge piece by piece. Everyone has to start somewhere. It's all about approaching it with the right attitude and willingness to learn.

Let us use a metaphor for a moment. If you are in a survival situation, trying to escape from a remote location, for example, at the mercy of the elements, with little equipment, then to survive you need to keep making decisions. If you make a few decisions, and then stop, and stick to what you are doing arbitrarily, in spite of the fact that you will likely die if you continue to do so, as it isn't working or the situation is worsening and a line need to be drawn and a different course of action taken (e.g. is not producing you food, water, shelter or getting you in the right direction or closer to being rescued), then that is not a sensible attitude to take. Survival depends on the ability to keep making decisions. Leaving certain decisions until you are totally desperate may mean you are leaving it too late. Be proactive and use your best judgement. To never rest on your laurels or to stop questioning what you are doing. Survival situations require the ability to not get caught up emotionally in the situation too much, to be able to take a step back and use your ingenuity and analytical qualities to figure out what you need to do to survive (from a simple plan to the more complex) - to not just fight everything with brute strength but use the resources around you to your advantage; and it requires a little bravery, to be prepared to go outside your comfort zone and do what it takes to survive - to leave the known, when necessary and take a leap of faith, and trusting your instincts and yourself that you can survive and succeed. This applies in life generally, the ability to keep making decisions and to look with open eyes at what is around you and to observe any signs or feedback from your actions, and to keep perspective, is important to live a meaningful and fulfilling existence. Making decisions is one of the signs of life, of being alive. Those who have been conditioned to be indecisive or though low self-esteem or self-trust issues, find making decisions hard or impossible sometimes, but we have to accept that sometimes we have to draw a line in the sand somewhere and use that to move forwards rather than paralysed, ignorant, or not moving towards what we want. The more you make decisions, the easier it becomes, and the more naturally it comes. It is a process of learning about yourself and the world around you, and developing confidence with it. When you stop making decisions, it is easy to get into a mindset where you have 'decided' not to make more decisions, and it can be very difficult to start making decisions again after that. It is as if we have gone into some kind of 'auto-pilot' and lost our sense of cause and effect. We may observe changing circumstances around us but kind of hide from them psychologically and pretend they aren't there, hoping that just around the corner things will mysteriously work in our favour, despite our perhaps now highly flawed approach. Sometimes we fear not making the right decision, but to not act or to not decide is in a sense a decision, a negative one. You may like to think that you will give that choice point you are at at the present moment due attention at any time in the future of your choosing, but it rarely works out like that, and once the moment is gone, it is easy to park the decision or file it, often to be forgotten. Often one may actually procrastinate and put off a task or decision until a later date, knowing full well that one will never actually make it. It is fooling oneself. Part of you knows this, but part of you still believes the rational justification and 'process'. You may put the decision off to later, file away whatever paperwork it is that you were to consider, and you are half hoping that once a certain amount of time has passed, then in a sense, the urgency of whatever it was may have disappeared or it may no longer be relevant - so in a sense now you have relieved yourself of the need to make a decision on it and can discard it. You can routinely do this, whereas it would be quicker and more honest to immediately decide, 'NO, I'm never going to do that', rather than fool yourself. The more you do this, the more hopeless a decision maker you will become. To retreat from decisions is to retreat away from life itself. To stop making decisions and to stop evaluating what you are doing, and treading on blindly in spite of signs telling you that where you are going is not transpiring as you had originally envisaged, is in a sense not taking sufficient responsibility for yourself. When we give up responsibility for ourselves, we assume someone else will pick it up and we rely on others to guide us. But if we are alone in certain areas or respects, then you are in effect walking with your eyes shut and hoping you won't fall off that cliff.

Whilst most practitioners expect patients to be uninformed and rather passive, many appreciate it when the patient has done his homework and asks questions. As mentioned above, this can be useful in getting what you want, in terms of tests, and also making the practitioner re-evaluate some areas that perhaps have not received sufficient attention. Indeed, sometimes asking the right questions can help you learn and refine your understanding of a given topic, and sometimes correct you. The practitioner can also gain a large amount of valuable information from you the patient, if you pay attention to your body during the treatment programme, to try to figure what is causing any potential problems, what is not making much difference and indeed what is working well. The more informed you are, the more you can safely experiment within the parameters of the treatment programme to provide valuable feedback and details that can shed more light on the nature of the problems. Understanding how your body reacts and under what circumstances is extremely valuable. If you have enough self-control and resist the temptation to get too carried away and overdo things or disrupt/sabotage the treatment programme by confusing the body and not giving it a chance to work properly, then you can have a healthy mutual relationship with your practitioner rather than a one way one. In some cases, practitioners make significant and valuable deductions based on one's own proactive observations and tweaking, which can save a large amount of time. At the end of the day, you ought to really take responsibility for yourself, but work sensibly within the guidelines and recommendations of your practitioner.

Unless of course you are lucky enough to find the perfect practitioner, then the extent of one's recovery management can be shared much more. Such practitioners do exist, but are extremely rare. However, this will not always be the case. More often than not you may need to seek a couple of practitioners who are highly skilled with in specific areas, with you being the glue in the middle, processing the information and fitting the pieces together. Or using a different practitioner for each successive phase of your treatment - utilising each practitioner's strengths according to what protocols and types of treatment you are/will be undergoing. Sometimes regular appointments may be beneficial, whereas at other times, appointments may not be very constructive and are only worth having every 3-6 months (to get new test results or to tweak one's approach etc.), as you know what protocol you need to follow, it just needs to take its course. It depends on the phase of your treatment. And how much they know, and how much you know that your doctor doesn't. Neither approach is particularly recommended, it is not ideal, but is sometimes the unfortunate reality.

It is sometimes hard to find a practitioner whom you share the same ideas about methods etc. All doctors and practitioners have their biases, beliefs and areas they are not so interested in or do not believe are as important. Every practitioner is opinionated. They have to be in their profession. They have to be confident and decisive to be able to function. However, one is looking for someone who is opinionated in the right way! Many practitioners are like people who do not know the way to a certain place, but when asked for directions by a tourist, will make something up or give a best guess and present this as a likely fact. Practitioners do not often admit that they are wrong or that they do not know the answer. Solving problems is their trade and their identity.

You may find that the majority of doctors, consultants and therapists are somewhat arrogant, opinionated and obnoxious. From my experience, this seems to go with the territory. Ultimately, if they get the job done, then it is of no consequence. However, this is not always the case, and the doctor's poor areas tend to affect the quality of treatment. If this is the case, you may well find that investing your time and money elsewhere may be an option. If they feel you know a great deal already, they may be reluctant to explain anything to you and wait for you to ask what you need to know. But unless you know what you need to know, it is not so easy! Many doctors are reluctant to really explain anything to do, perhaps out of laziness, but partly because it inflates their ego to hold all the power of knowledge over you and maybe also that they do not consider their patients intellectually capable. Who knows!

Many doctors discourage their patients from researching their conditions too much on their own. This is partly because of the variable quality of information available, especially on the internet. Many web sites focus very narrowly and proclaim one supplement or one approach to be the cure for everyone, with CFS or sometimes with any ailment. Some web sites offer dangerously misguided information. In a general sense, doctors want to be the ones in control, with the power of knowledge (medical training and expertise), and want their patients to do what they are told and to look up to them, and to give the doctor his purpose and power. Some doctors do not want patients who question them on every recommendation or ask questions about other treatments too often, as it implies a lack of trust in their abilities, and is potentially damaging to their egos or emasculating! Some specialists will however welcome you using your initiative and discussing a treatment as you go along with them, and managing some of the finer points yourself - treating your relationship as a partnership; and others would rather you stick to the letter of what they told you at your last appointment and stick rigidly to this until your next appointment, and not tweak it on your own, or 'extrapolate' on what they said. If a patient does his own research, and applies it on top of what the doctor has recommended, then there is of course the possibility of overdoing things or confusing the course of the treatment; or even detracting from the goal of the treatment. Clearly if the patient does do his own research and take the initiative in 'filling in the gaps', then he has to use his common sense, restraint and self-discipline. Clearly, the greater the abilities and scope of knowledge of the doctor or specialist in a variety of different areas, the more the patient can trust and come to rely on their recommendations. In all cases, the patient will have to use their own common sense, in some areas, but ultimately the extent to which this is required depends on the communication between the doctor and patient and the abilities of the doctor. Some doctors are clearly more open to different techniques or related techniques than others.

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Natural vs Mainstream Approach:

The types of treatments available for CFS sufferers varies even more than the types of tests and detection methods. This web site's approach tries to be as scientific as possible, whilst also bringing in some oriental medicine and complimentary medicine techniques. It favours the natural approach as much as possible, and where appropriate endorses chemically synthesised products (for example mineral and vitamin supplements and specific hormone precursors). This web site does not rigidly promote a single method or treatment protocol, but tries to promote the idea of giving the body and mind what it most needs and using whatever technique is most appropriate (and effective) at a particular point in time for the patient. The treatments discussed on this web site are by no means exhaustive and there are more than likely other equally effective techniques available out there. Many are excellent, some with many overlapping areas to those described on this site, and in time I hope to update this site with more information about them.

Some specialists focus on particular areas (one size fits all) and do not pay attention to others, so treatment success may be hit and miss depending on what problems the patient actually has. There are clearly many doctors or specialists who favour a less natural approach, and achieve a fair level of success with patients. There are many different approaches to treatment and each specialist has his personal preferences. There are also those who favour completely unorthodox and highly contentious treatments. Whilst this web site does not itself promote such strategies, it can be useful in aiding one's understanding of the principles involved, which can only increase your understand of the subject. Equally it is useful to develop an understanding of what is good and what to avoid, so you know what type of specialist to avoid and which to target, and increasing familiarity with this whole area will certainly achieve this. Therefore, a section has been added to the very bottom of the links page to show some similar and alternative approaches to that discussed on this web site. These are not being promoted or recommended, but are listed for information purposes. I would recommend not to read these until you are familiar with all the concepts and treatments discussed on this web site and the associated referenced reading material.

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Relying On Your National Health Service:

Please note, the above approach is based upon private medical care. Whilst those of us lucky enough to have enough money or supportive relatives can embark on such a programme, a large number of people cannot afford to do so, and have to rely on their national health care service. This approach is clearly harder but workable. Whilst persons on a low income will inevitably have to pay for their own supplementation that is required for their recovery, much of the recovery programme is achievable through beneficial food sources and inexpensive ingredients. More shall follow on this site with respect to this.

General Practitioners (GPs) are often over-worked and are often limited by their own medical training/conditioning and desire to simplify. In medical school, doctors are taught to use an ancient philosophical principle called Ockham's Razor, whereby one should always adopt a single explanation for everything. Clearly this approach is flawed for many patients who are suffering from more than one 'condition' (which in itself is a set of problems and not a single problem), and particularly so for sufferers of CFS or related conditions (which are not a single condition by a set of conditions). If a doctor thereby provides a simplified diagnosis (i.e. not really understanding what is actually going on in the body), then any recommended treatment or action is unlikely to be very effective. In addition, a doctor may make a cognitive error called onfirmation bias, where he selectively draws on the data or information you have provided to confirm a preconceived idea, and discounting or ignoring any information that does not fit in with this theory. Asking questions is clearly an important way to try to extract more helpful advice from a GP, and in some cases one may need to find another.

The UK National Health Service (NHS) is reliant mainly on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Adaptive Pacing Therapy Graded Exercise Therpay (GET) programmes to 'treat' CFS and ME patients - often in conjunction with 'standard medical treatments' such as the prescription of medication such as antidepressants and/or sleeping pills to hide symptoms. This approach has some success in some patients, but in general is far from an appropriate methodology for all patients, and many patients become much worse as a result of these 'treatments'. This approach reflects a culture of ignorance within the NHS about these conditions, and marks their first, somewhat uninformed and misguided 'stab in the dark' at trying to address these conditions. CBT is no doubt useful for many people, not only those who suffer from CFS or ME, but it is hardly a medical breakthrough. GET can be useful for some, but one has to work within one's limits and not force one's way through the cardiovascular barrier that is much lower than in a normal, healthy person on account of various mitochondrial and endocrine issues - and doing so often causes worse fatigue than one had when one started. Links and information to these approaches can be found toward the end of the Alternative Approaches section on the Health Links page.

I would recommend that a person suffering from CFS or related conditions study this site and read up on the key areas of conditions described in the remainder of this section and from other reference sources until it is fully understood and remembered easily. If one is to use the national health care system, one must become an expert in these areas, and really drive the whole process forward, rather than relying on a single consultant to interpret results and suggest all relevant courses of action. One of course has to start with one's General Practitioner (GP).

One approach is to request specific blood tests for yeast/parasites or adrenal and thyroid function, or urine tests for amino acid analysis (one cannot just tell the GP that one is fatigued etc and what tests do they suggest - you probably know infinitely more than your GP about your condition). Don't just rely on a GP's suggestions and judgement as they tend to want to palm you off and save the hospital money and time. The standard blood tests that seem to be carried out by NHS hospitals in the UK from instruction from a GP, which are rarely helpful for CFS sufferers are listed below. If you want to have tests performed which are targeted at the areas in which you are actually likely to have problems, then you would need to ask for tests over and above these standard tests.

Lab Tests Online is an internet resource listing different types of test for a variety of different conditions. It is not a laboratory. It is by no means comprehensive, but may supplement the tests described on Medical Insider. The tests on this site and those on this page may give you some ideas of the types of tests to request from your GP.

http://labtestsonline.org

A second course of action is to ask for a referral to a particular specialist. That could be a specialist in digestive disorders (not just a nutritionist who won't really understand the issues) or perhaps hormonal problems. It is likely that you would see one specialist in one area, have some tests done, and then go back to the GP for a referral to another type of specialist, until all the suspected areas are covered. This is likely to take a long time, as waiting times for specialists are often very long. One could adopt this latter approach, but also do some limited leg work oneself (for example, undergo a detox programme, which could cost as little as $100) or at least perform a hair mineral analysis test, which should give some basic pointers. Or stretch to an organic acid analysis or amino acid analysis test. The cost of tests in general is very small relative to the amount of money one can spend on regular visits to a private consultant and also supplementation programmes. The importance of tests cannot be overstated. I has personally seen two Nutritionists (referral from GP) and they have both had a rather limited knowledge of nutrition and no real knowledge of the issues surrounding chronic fatigue.

A third approach is to start private (a holistic practitioner of nutritional medicine or biochemistry or equivalent), and then have your doctor/consultant write instructions for various treatments to your local GP, who can then arrange for these at a local hospital. Keep your GP up to date with who you have been seeing privately and about your condition and background. If your GP is not receptive, register with another who is. For example, I know of one patient who did this, and gave written instructions for a PLX (Phospholipid and Glutathione injection - see toxicity page for more info) to his GP, and subsequently received PLXes for free, rather than paying huge private fees. This saved him many thousands of pounds. There is clearly a great deal that is possible if you try.

Good luck and be proactive and assertive! Don't take no for an answer. And remember, if you don't appear to know what you are talking about, you won't be taken seriously. More useful references will appear on this site shortly. Thank you for your patience. If anyone has any stories to share about their positive experiences with using their national health service to cure their condition, we would be very interested to hear from you. back to top

 
Practitioner Links:

UK Practitioners:

Biolab Medical Unit (UK) are a medical referral laboratory specialising in nutritional and environmental medicine, in London. On their web site, they have a referral list of medical doctors specialising in nutritional and environmental medicine, and allergy.
http://ww.biolab.co.uk
http://www.biolab.co.uk/tests.html
http://www.biolab.co.uk/reflist.html

The British Society for Ecological Medicine's web site has a find a practitioner function. The society offers training, and runs seminars.
http://www.ecomed.org.uk

Nutrition Associates is a nutritional health consultancy. Dr Damien Downing is the London-based contact, who operates at the New Medicine Group. My personal opinion is that he is methodical and fovours blood tests over urine tests. Recommends use of Phospholipid Therapy (his primary tool) and Synthetic Chelation Agents. Sometimes a terse character, less focussed on details, more interested in the bigger picture; sometimes reluctant to provide explanations; sharp in diagnosis; focussed on biochemical cellular function and cellular detoxification.
http://www.naltd.co.uk

New Medicine Group is a practice with a number of different practitioners in Harley Street in London.
http://www.newmedicinegroup.com

Dr Lothar Zieger MD of SKIAN (Scottish Klinghardt Institute of Applied Neurobiology) runs a Clinic in Forres, Grampian, Scotland. Dr Zieger studied under Dr Deitrich Klinghardt MD, a holistic specialist in Neural Therapy, mercury toxicity and Lyme Disease. Zieger practises Autonomic Response Testing (ART) which is Klinghardt's own form of muscle testing or Kinesiological Testing. The SKIAN Apothecary also sells a variety of supplements for patients.
http://www.sustainablehealth.org.uk/

Dr Tracy Wakefield Southwick, DNM, CH, CNHP, is a Naturopath and Herbalist who runs a clinic in Houston, Texas called Heights of Health. She has recently moved to West London. She is the founder of Energetic Cellular Release (ECR) - an enhanced form of NAET, a type of kinesiology for treating allergies. Tracy can be contacted via her US web site below.
http://www.heightsofhealth.com/

Dr Sarah Myhill is a doctor based in Powys and has been working with CFS patients for over 20 years. Her approach to treating CFS is to treat mitochondrial dysfunction by removing toxins or other factors that have caused it, to provide enough co-factors to allow proper mitochondrial function, and to repair oxidative damage and enough rest and a good diet. These are some of the principles discussed on www.medicalinsdier.com. Dr Myhill also has a list of practitioners of ecological medicine on her web site. Her web site also contains a number of interesting articles.
www.drmyhill.co.uk/article.cfm?id=381
www.drmyhill.co.uk/article.cfm?id=374

Breakspear Medical Group in the UK. Their web site is shown below, including a link to view a pdf file on the causes and treatments for 'CFS/ME'. Breakspear Hospital is a private licensed day patient unit, dedicated to the treatment of allergy and environmental illness located in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire. There are many overlapping areas with this web site (MI), but it is clearly more 'orthodox' in its approach promoting more pharmaceutical treatments and slightly fewer natural treatments, although this is not to say that herbal treatments are not offered/recommended. Allergy Testing and Vaccine programme usually suggested for CFS patients. Breakspear test for chlamidia, pneumonia and borrelia bacterium species. Practitioners include Dr Jean Munro, Medical Director and Founder, main specialist in CFS and ME, Dr Peter Julu, Specialist Autonomic Neurophysiologist and Dr Christabelle Yeoh, MD and Nutritionist MSc. As it is a hospital, things sometimes get overlooked between departments.
http://www.breakspearmedical.com/files/chronic.html
http://www.breakspearmedical.com/files/documents/ChronicFatigueweb.pdf

Dr Xandria Williams is a multi-disciplined practitioner, a naturopath, geochemist, biochemist, nutritionist, homeopath, EFT, NLP and Reiki practitioner. She has been lecturing and practising since the 1970s, and has authored many books on health. She runs a practice in London.
http://www.xandriawilliams.co.uk

Lilias Almeira, Holistic Medical Practitioner, practices out of the Evolve Wellness Centre in South Kensington, London. She has received training in Dr Klinghardt's Autonomic Response Testing (ART) and also practices Electronic Gem Therapy, Thoughtfield Therapy and BioAcoustics. She has co-lectured with Dr Klinghardt. She is experienced with Autism and even treats horses.
http://www.liliasahmeira.com/

Karen Devine is a Health Consultant and Technical Advisor to Nutri-Link in the UK. I have no personal experience of working with her as a patient however.
http://www.nutritionalenergy.co.uk

Chiron Clinic in Harley Street in London (shares premises with HB Health) is a clinic that hosts a variety of treatments and therapies. Dr Nyjon Eccles is the principle contact for CFS patients. He specialises in bio-resonance testing. He is a pharmacologist, doctor and has considerable experience of complimentary medicine and magnetic therapy trials. He is also a special advisor to the Institute of Complimentary Medicine. The Chiron Clinic offers LBG/OAPD treatments in addition to many others.
http://www.chironclinic.com
http://www.thenaturaldoctor.org
A video by Nyjon Eccles discussing thermal imaging use in breast cancer screening, a technique offered at the Chiron Clinic, is shown at the link below.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVW_-2vZ5ZE&feature=channel_page

Dr Andrew Wright is the lead physician at tthe Prestwich Walk-In Centre, Fairfax Road, Prestwich M25 1BT and Hulton Lane Hospital, Deane, Bolton BL3 4JZ. Tel: 0044 (0) 1204 360071. [Lead physician: Dr Andrew Wright, c/o Neurological Rehabilitation Team, Lever Chambers, Ashburner Street, Bolton B4 1SQ]. Dr Wright arranges for nematode parasite testing (cryptostrongylus pulmoni).
www.meassociation.org.uk/content/view/316/122/1/2

Dr Shideh Pouria, Dr Michael Tettenborn and Dr John Mansfield practice out of The Burghwood Clinic in Banstead, Surrey. Specialisations include heavy metal toxicity and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
http://www.burghwoodclinic.co.uk/

Ashok Gupta runs a clinic (Harley Street Solutions Ltd) and an NLP web site CFSRecovery.com. His programme is now called 'Gupta amygdala retraining'. It works on the basis that most CFS problems are caused by over-stimulation of the Amygdala of the brain, i.e. too much adrenaline being continuously produced and general biochemical hyperreactivity, which is likely to be a major contributary factor in many CFS cases. Gupta himself overcame his own CFS using these techniques combined with improved nutrition. He treats CFS patients with NLP techniques alone, recommending only in addition some basic nutritional dietary improvements, rather than nutritional, supplemental, detoxification and other biochemical treatments ('external agents'). His Gupta Amygdala Retraining is based on retraining the Amydala, using NLP type techniques. He also offers an recovery programme on DVD - I am currently trialling this for myself and will provide a full review in due course. Links to Ashok Gupta's medical theories on CFS are shown below also. NLP is endorsed on MedicalInsider.com for assisting recovery in CFS patients, but in addition to a number of medical tests and treatments.
http://www.cfsrecovery.com
http://www.cfsrecovery.com/html/explainCFS.asp
http://www.cfsrecovery.com/html/medicalPaper.asp
www.prohealth.com/ME-CFS/library/showArticle.cfm?libid=14512&B1=EM050609C
http://www.prohealth.com/library/showarticle.cfm?libid=14508
http://www.chronicfatiguetreatments.com/forums/about-ashok-gupta-the-truth-vt669.html

Southbourne Natural Health Centre is clinic providing a variety of disciplines. Dr John Millward also has a book available called 'The Treason Within - The threat to your health and how to combat it', which examines the root causes of illness and the individualised approach that must be applied to each patient (an approach promoted on this web site). I have no direct personal experience however.
http://www.natural-health-care.co.uk

The Freed Clinic in London offers a range of treatments as well as food allergy testing.
http://www.thefreedclinic.co.uk

The Third Space is a combined medical clinic (The Third Space Medicine - TTSM) and health club in London W1. There are a number of practitioners of natural medicine, alternative therapies and also GP and IV facilities. Carole Symons, the pracitioner of herbal medicine and individualised nutrition, practices there. She has her own web site, Health Insight.
http://www.thethirdspace.com
http://www.health-insight.co.uk

Jonathan Frewing practices Autonomic Response Testing (ART) and Field Control Therapy (FCT). He practice is based in East Grinstead, West Sussex.
http://http://www.autonomic-response.co.uk/

NutriVital Health Ltd, based in Petersfield, Hampshire, are UK agents and trainers for Asyra Technology. They are also a clinic, and offer a variety of services including Asyra bioenergetic screening (biofeedback testing), holistic massage and lymphatic drainage massage. Main practitioner is Hazel Drummond, Nutritionist, Psychotherapist, Homeopath, Bio-Energetic Screening Practitioner and Training Consultant, and Nutritional Remedy Consultant. She also practises in London at 19 Upper Berkeley Street, W1.
http://www.asyra.co.uk
http://www.nutrivital.co.uk


UK Holistic Dentists and other Medical Practitioners

Drs Graeme and Lilian Munro-Hall run a holistic general dental practice, the Munro-Hall Clinic, in Bedford in the UK. They have authored the book Toxic Dentistry Exposed, and pioneered their own variant of detoxification and pre/post-amalgam removal treatment programme called 'V-Tox Therapy'. They prefer high dosage Vitamin C infusions to using synthetic chelating agents such as DMPS and DMSA, and recommend daily Vitamin C infusions for a few days after Amalgam removal takes place.
http://www.hallvtox.co.uk

London Holistic Dental Centre's web site is shown below. It is located at 39 Harley Street, London.
http://www.londonholisticdental.com

El-Essawy Holistic Dental Care practice is located at 94 Harley Street, London. Dr El-Essawy is also a respected Muslim scholar.
http://www.el-essawy.com

Dr R Vecht at Heartscreen Limited in the UK is able to perform an Echocardiogram (Saline Bubble Infusion) test for a Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) or hole in the heart, for anyone concerned that they might have a PFO, including scuba divers who plan on doing an decompression diving. Tel: 020 7328 4105, 4B Wellington Road, St Johns Wood, London NW8 9SP.


UK Associations:

The National Institute of Medical Herbalists' web site is listed below. It contains a directory of UK practitioners.
http://www.nimh.org.uk

The Association of Systematic Kinesiology's web site is listed below. It contains a directory of practitioners in the UK.
http://www.systematic-kinesiology.co.uk

The General Council and Register of Naturopaths keeps a directory of qualified naturopaths in the UK.
http://www.naturopathy.org.uk

The Society of Homeopaths keeps a directory of qualified homeopaths in the UK.
http://www.homeopathy-soh.org

British Society for Mercury Free Dentistry - the main contact is currently the treasurer, Dr Gareth Rhidian BDS LFHom (Dent), who is based at the Holistic Dental Centre in London. For years their on line information (BSMFD) was out of date.
http://www.holisticdentalcentre.co.uk

Nutri-People is a UK directory of nutritionists. Of course, each practitioner may vary in personal preferences and biases.
http://www.nutripeople.co.uk

British Nutrition Foundation web site is below. It contains a list of registered Dieticians and Nutritionists. Of course, each practitioner may vary in personal preferences and biases.
http://www.nutrition.org.uk


Belgium Practitioners

Dr Kenny De Meirleir is the founder of the Himmunitas Foundation clinic. The address is Himmunitas, De Tyraslaan 111, 1120 Neder-Over-Heembeek (Brussels), Belgium. Tel: 0032 (0) 2 266 8740. Contact email: info at ehmb dot be.


USA Practitioners:

Dr Dietrich Klinghardt is a holistic health practitioner and inventor of Autonomic Response Testing (ART), a type of Kinesiological/muscle testing. He runs a training academy in Seattle, USA, called the Klinghardt Acadmey for the Healing Arts.
http://www.klinghardtacademy.com

End Fatigue is Jacob Teitelbaum's web site. He sells a range of supplements for CFS. He is also a consultant for CFS and FMS sufferers. He can recommend consultants in your area. His book From Fatigued To Fantastic is also worth buying as a reference guide for certain areas, but contains no information on toxicity and detoxification.
http://www.endfatigue.com

Dr Claire Riendeau ND, NMD, DiHom cPhD is an experienced Naturopath and ART Practitioner who runs the Conscious Living Center in Reno, NV.
http://www.consciouslivingcenter.com/

Dr Larry Sharp is a doctor based in Forth Worth, Texas and specialises in CFS patients. FAQs about his treatment approach are shown at the second link on his site.
www.cfidsdoctor.com
www.cfidsdoctor.com/CFIDSfaqs.asp

Dr Ricardo Boye is a Naturopath and Nutritionist based at The Spa on Green Street in Gainsville, GA. He also practises in Houston, TX. He also hosts a regular weekly radio show. He uses muscle testing and other methods.
http://www.spaongreenstreet.com/index.htm

Dr Qingcai Zhang is a practitioner of integrated Traditional Chinese Medicine and is familiar with treating Lyme Disease (bad bacterial infection) and Babesiosis (parasite infection).
http://www.dr-zhang.com

Dr Marcus Ettinger is a naturopath based in Orange, California, and favours biofilm protocols for the treatment of many pathogenic organisms such as Candida albicans and Lyme Disease.
http://www.advancedhealing.com

Dr Tracy Wakefield Southwick, DNM, CH, CNHP, is a Naturopath and Herbalist who runs a clinic in Houston, Texas called Heights of Health. She has recently moved to West London but the clinic is run by qualified and trained practitioners. She is the founder of Energetic Cellular Release (ECR) - an enhanced form of NAET, a type of kinesiology for treating allergies.
http://www.heightsofhealth.com/

Perlmutter Health Center (PHC) in Naples, Florida, was founded by Dr David Perlmutter, MD and Neurologist. He is an author of The Better Brain Book, Power Up Your Brain and Raise a Smarter Child by Kindergarten. He is the Chief Medical Officer at Xymogen and his foundation formulas are used in the Xymogen products BrainSustain and Nrf2 Activator. PHC offers neurology, digestive disorders, preventative medicine and nutrition services. It also has a department 'Perlmutter Hyperbaric Center' which offers Hyperbaric Oxygen (HBO) therapy for Cerebral Palsy, MS, Bell's Palsy, Meniere's Disease, Lyme Disease, Parkinson's Disease, Strokes and wound healing. Dr Mercola's Natural Health Center in Hoffman Estates, IL, was founded by Dr Joseph Mercola, whose training is in Osteopathy. Mercola is a well known health blogger, author and distributor of health products. He no longer practises at his clinic. He is not exactly a specialist in CFS and FMS, nor chelation therapy, but has a broad experience of health issues, lifestyle and nutrition. The main physician at his clinic now is Dr Jeffrey Bergin, an experienced chiropractor. The clinic also has a nutritionist and 4 therapists.
http://naturalhealthcenter.mercola.com/

True Health Medical Center in Naperville, IL, was founded by Dr Anju Usman, MD. The clinic features a number of other pratitioners. As well as running a clinic, Usman is well known for her work with autism and also biofilm protocols - Kirkman Labs use her formula in their product 'Biofilm Defense'.
http://www.truehealthmedical.com/

Dr Rao MD is a holistic practitioner with a very large moustache based in New York.
http://www.drraomd.com

The Holtorg Medical Group, Inc., the Center for Hormone Imbalance, Hypothyroidism and Fatigue is located in Torrance, CA. They offer in house hormone testing at their laboratory.
http://hormoneandlongevitycenter.com

Dr Ritchie C. Shoemaker MD, of ChronicNeurotoxins, Inc. and Surviving Mold focusses mainly on neurotoxicity and dysbiosis and heavily favours the VCS test.
http://www.chronicneurotoxins.com
http://www.survivingmold.com

Comprehensive Medical Center - a biological approach to medicine - are based in Kirkland, WA. They offer Naturopathic medicine, Acupuncture, Homotoxicology, Pleomorphic Medicine/Sanum Remedies, Neural Therapy and ART (Autonomic Response Testing) (Dr Klinghart's) and Hormone Therapy.
http://www.commedctr.com

Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers, Inc. is company that runs its own clinics in various parts of the US. The practitioners specialise in CFS and FMS, and tend to offer a similar treatment protocol/approach.
www.fibroandfatigue.com

ProHealth Solutions offer a variety of services including Nutritional surveys and Counseling, Tissue Mineral Hair Analysis, Lymphatic Inspections and Movement Therapy, Colon Hydrotherapy, Detoxification counseling, Hydrotherapy and Aromatherapy Spa Services, Liver Cleansing and Detoxification, Massage Therapy, Kinesiology, Hypnotherapy, Herbal and Clay Detoxifying Body Wraps. They are also a supplier of a number of health supplements and products, including BioPro pendants, Garden of Life, Vitalzym, Paleomeal (c/f Whey Healthier) and Mt Capra.
www.prohealthsolutions.com

Bastyr Center for Natural Health, part of the Bastyr University, is based in Seattle, WA. They offer a wide variety of natural health services and host a number of practitioners. Bastyr University campus is in Kenmore, WA, and offers a number of degree courses in disciplines such as Naturopathic Medicine, Nutrition, Acupuncture, Health Psychology, Herbal Sciences etc. It is also involved in research.
http://www.bastyrcenter.org/
http://www.bastyr.edu/

Whittemore Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease, based in Reno, NV, is engaged in research and trials as well as accepting patients. Dr Donnica Moore is the main MD there.
http://www.wpinstitute.org


USA Associations

The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) has a directory of qualified naturopaths in your area.
http://www.naturopathic.org

Find a Nutritionist is a web resource with a listing of US based nutritionists.
http://www.findanutritionist.com

Canada Practitioners:

Dr Byron Marshall Hyde is the founder of the Nightingale Research Foundation (founded in 1988) to better understand ME, CFS, Fibromyalgia and post-immunisation injuries. He lectures, has authored various books and is outspoken about the differences between CFS and ME (e.g. name-us.org), which I only partly agree with personally. He sees patients in Ottawa, Ontario.
http://www.nightingale.ca/
http://www.name-us.org/DefintionsPages/DefHyde.htm


Australia:

Robyn Chuter, BHSc, ND, GDCouns, Naturopath, Counsellor & EFT Therapist is founder of Empower Total Health in Caringbah, Australia.
http://www.empowertotalhealth.com.au

Blake Graham, BSc., is a Clinical Nutritionist with Nutritional Healing, based in Subiaco, Perth, Australia. He specialises in CFS, having recovered from this himself. He favours synthetic chelation agents, such as DMPS, for eliminating heavy metals.
http://www.nutritional-healing.com.au/content/home.php


International Associations and Practitioner Referrals:

Genova Diagnostics (formerly known as The Great Smokies Laboratory) is an excellent resource for a wide variety of blood/urine/faecal tests, such as Amino Acid Analysis Profile and Metabolic Analysis Profile. The site contains detailed information, sample reports and interpretation guidelines for a wide variety of test types. It also contains a contact form for information about practitioners in your area that use Genova.
http://www.gdx.net/home

Co-Cure is a web site containing a list of recommended practitioners (by the moderators) in a number of countries. I do not necessarily recommend those listed, and at least one is listed in the 'Alternative Approaches' section on this page.
http://www.co-cure.org/Good-Doc.htm

Environmental Illness Resource's web site contains a variety of different types of information including a find a practitioner page for the USA, UK, Canada and Australia (recommended by author's of web site). There is also a useful lab test section.
http://www.ei-resource.org

International Guide to the World of Alternative Mental Health.
http://www.alternativementalhealth.com

Worldwide Health Center .net is a practitioner and organisation database.
http://www.worldwidehealthcenter.net

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