The Energy Equation - combatting CFS

Rebecca Cotterall developed the first symptoms of CFS at 13. Unable to continue her normal life, she had to stop attending school and gravely reduce her social interactions. After a lucky chance, Rebecca met Dr. Sarah Myhill who helped turn her life around.

Rebecca was a top-grade student and a keen swimmer who had no problem frequently clocking up 100 lengths. So doctors were suspicious when at 13, her energy levels suddenly plummeted.

“It just hit me. I was exhausted. I couldn’t get out of bed, and my mum had to do everything for me. I even struggled to chew my food.”

After being monitored in hospital for three weeks, Rebecca was diagnosed with CFS and given a wheelchair to get around. “There was nothing much they could do for me,” said Rebecca. “I just had to live with it.”

Rebecca’s life radically changed. She attended a “special school” for an hour three times a week, and only saw her friends at home for just 20 minutes at a time.

Remarkably, Rebecca managed to complete her schooling with five GCSEs and went on to attend college. But just three weeks into her course, she suffered a relapse, and ended up having to quit and move back in with her parents.

"I was in a worse state than I was when it all started. Really bad depression set in. I thought: Am I ever going to get better? Am I ever going to be able to do anything with my life? I was suicidal.”

Rebecca was prescribed antidepressants and started having cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to manage her depression. But what she really wanted was a way to beat her chronic fatigue, which was what was causing her to feel so low.
The root of the problem

Fortunately, a doctor Rebecca was seeing recommended she get in touch with Dr Sarah Myhill, a specialist in CFS, who has a record of treating thousands of people with the same condition.

Dr Myhill had a very different approach to treating CFS compared with the conventional medical approach, Rebecca discovered—one that aimed to uncover and treat what was actually causing the CFS in the first place.

“I went to see her in Wales, and she talked to me like a real person. She came up with clear strategies to tackle the CFS.”

One of the strategies was a ‘Stone Age’ diet—a stark contrast to Rebecca’s typical teenage diet of lots of carbs, processed foods and fizzy drinks.. Myhill believes that the standard Western diet is responsible for a whole host of health symptoms, including fatigue, so she generally recommends a Stone Age diet—also known as the ‘Paleolithic’ or ‘Caveman’ diet—to all her patients.

“I cut out gluten, refined sugar, dairy and all processed foods. I focused on eating whole foods including fresh vegetables, nuts, seeds, eggs, fish and good-quality meat, and drinking lots of filtered water.”

Dr Myhill also arranged for Rebecca to undergo several tests to establish how well her mitochondria and adrenal glands were functioning, and whether she had high levels of toxic heavy metals.

“It turned out my mitochondria were on the floor,” said Rebecca, “and I had high levels of nickel.”

Based on her results, Dr Myhill recommended a detox regimen for Rebecca to follow, which included avoiding common toxic chemicals and taking far infrared (FIR) saunas, along with a list of supplements to take.
No quick fix

It took a lot of time and commitment, but Rebecca’s health gradually began to improve.

“It was a good 12 months before I noticed a real difference,” said Rebecca. “But I stuck to it. I’m a very determined person.”

Rebecca improved to such an extent that she felt she was ready to study again. But she didn’t go back to university. Instead, she enrolled at the College of Naturopathic Medicine (CNM) with a new dream of becoming a nutritional therapist.
“After seeing the results of a better diet and lifestyle, I knew I wanted to help others like me with this newfound knowledge.”

It took her five years instead of the usual three but, in June 2015, Rebecca graduated with a diploma in Naturopathic Nutrition.

Rebecca went on to set up her own business and is healing clients of her own.

“It’s a lot harder than just taking a pill; it takes a lot of time and effort,” she says. “But the pay-off is so, so good.”

Dr Myhill’s must-do's
Dr Sarah Myhill has spent more than 30 years studying and treating chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), which she describes in her book Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as not a diagnosis, but a clinical picture of symptoms that can have many causes.

One of these causes is diet, specifically high in allergens, artificial additives and foods with a high glycaemic index (GI). This is why she recommends a Stone Age diet, which is low-GI, avoids common allergens like grains and dairy, and is as natural as possible.

Besides a change of diet, Myhill also has a number of other must-dos for treating CFS:

  • Correct mitochondrial function with d-ribose, magnesium injections, NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide), acetyl-l-carnitine and coenzyme Q10
  • Address poor antioxidant status with B12, coenzyme Q10, SOD (superoxide dismutase) and glutathione peroxidase
  • Get plenty of sleep so mitochondria can be repaired: aim for nine hours between 9.30 pm and 6.30 am
  • Try detox regimens such as far-infrared (FIR) saunas and chelation therapy, to unload heavy metals, pesticides, social poisons (alcohol, tobacco, recreational drugs), volatile organic compounds and prescription drugs
  • Optimize gut function by making sure you have sufficient stomach acid, pancreatic function and fermentation in the large bowel
  • Pace your activities to avoid undue mitochondrial stress
  • Address secondary damage such as immune disturbances, hormone gland (like the thyroid) failure and slow liver detoxification
  • Correct underlying problems such as underactive thyroid, underactive adrenals and low melatonin levels
  • Identify chronic allergies/infections, which can arise from fermentation in the gut caused by microbes to which the immune system is reacting inappropriately.
Come listen to Dr. Sarah Myhill speak at the Get Well Show on Thursday 12th and Friday 13th November where she'll discuss the energy equation in more detail and how to naturally cure diabetes.

Get your tickets now!
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