When a person becomes extraordinarily tired to the point where he or she can’t get through the day, doctors do an extensive evaluation to find the cause. They check for an infection, a hidden cancer, poison, an autoimmune disease, lack of minerals and so forth. When they have tested for every known disease and can’t find a cause, they tell their patients: “You have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.” This means the doctor does not have the foggiest idea what is causing the person’s fatigue.
Angelo Mosso’s Experiments in 1880
In the 1880′s an Italian physiologist named Angelo Mosso drew blood from a dog that had just been forced to exercise to exhaustion. Then he injected that blood into a rested dog and he reported that the rested dog immediately became exhausted.
Wilhelm Weichardt’s Vaccine in 1904
In 1904, a German physiologist named Wilhelm Weichardt announced that he had discovered a vaccine against fatigue. He thought that tiredness was caused by a toxin in the bloodstream and that he could inject that toxin into animals to produce an antitoxin that would get rid of the toxin. He thought that fatigue is like an infection. When a germ gets into your body, you make specific proteins called antibodies that attach to that germ and kill it.
He thought that the blood of exhausted rats contained a toxin that made them tired. He also thought that, in the same way that antibodies can cure infections, antibodies against the toxin causing fatigue would disable the toxin and cure fatigue.
He forced rats to exercise until they were exhausted and then drew blood from their veins. Then he injected the rats’ blood into horses which he thought would produce an antitoxin. Then he withdrew blood from the horses and injected small amounts of this fictional antitoxin into humans and reported that the subjects regained their vigor.
Over the next ten years, he reported that he could abolish fatigue by spraying the antitoxin into children’s classrooms, pumping antitoxin as a gas into worker’s offices and injecting it into soldiers. Unfortunately, he was the only one who could get such fantastic results; nobody else could reproduce them.
21st Century Theories
Today, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is still around and there is no consistently effective treatment. People who were previously healthy suddenly become so tired that they can’t function effectively. Some cases may be caused by a virus that scientists cannot find, while others may be linked to emotional illness such as depression. The tragedy today is that many of these people spend their last dollars for treatments that have not been shown to be of any benefit. There is no evidence that chronic fatigue syndrome can be cured by avoiding sugar or any other food, by cleansing with enemas, by taking antifungal medicines to kill yeast, by receiving allergy injections for non-existent allergies, or by taking any combination of vitamins, minerals or supplements.
If You have Overwhelming Fatigue
Go to your doctor and ask for a complete medical work up for hidden tumors, hidden infections, muscle diseases and so forth. Your doctor may find a treatable explanation for your tiredness, but often he or she will find no cause and will tell you that you have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which means he doesn’t know the cause. Get a second opinion, and try to avoid costly treatments that will not help you.
More on the history of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome