The Rebel Podcast

Ep. 58 – Why Am I So Exhausted All The Time? – with Dr. Patricia Pimentel Selassie

In today’s episode with Dr. Selassie, we are going to dive into Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. People with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) often hear that they are liars, lazy, delusional, and/or crazy, and it’s an illness that affects women in disproportionately large numbers. It is so disheartening to feel unwell and hear from practitioners, friends, or family that there’s nothing wrong with you.

Dr. Selassie received her Naturopathic Doctorate degree from Bastyr University.  Known as “a doctor you can talk to,” her practice is centered on helping people be their healthiest best to live their life’s purpose.  She helps patient with conditions such as acne, eczema, thyroid disorder, autoimmune diseases, and fibroids.  She is a member of the Medical Review Board for the School for Applied Functional Medicine and a proud co-founder of Nat Med Coach.

What are the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

More than just being tired. The fatigue is profound and gets worse after even mild exertion, and it’s often accompanied by flu-like symptoms, cognitive dysfunction (“brain fog”), and any combination of about 45 other possible symptoms. Many people describe it as coming down with a nasty flu and never getting any better, or as if they’re constantly moving through mud.

Someone suffering from CFS is likely to have experienced four or more of the following symptoms for the past six months or more:

  • impaired memory or concentration
  • extreme, prolonged exhaustion and feelings of illness after physical or mental activity (post-exertional malaise)
  • unrefreshing sleep
  • muscle aches and pains
  • joint pain with no swelling or redness
  • a new type of headache or a change in your headache pattern
  • frequent sore throat
  • tender lymph nodes in your neck and near your breast

What causes Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

There are lifestyle factors that can lead to a state of chronic fatigue, including:

  • poor diet, leading to nutritional deficiencies
  • obesity
  • high stress
  • too little sleep

But there are a number of other potential catalysts for CFS, such as the Epstein-Barr virus, some other kind of nasty viral infection, or even hormonal imbalances.

Where do we go from here? How do we treat this debilitating disease?

Because the causes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are multifactorial, the way it’s treated has to be as well. This is both good and bad: there is no pill that’s going to fix the problem, but by addressing each of the possible causes, anybody can find a solution, and you’ll likely find the process easier with the help of a health coach and/or functional medicine or naturopathic doctor.

As Dr. Selassie says, what is the patient’s story? The causes and treatments will be different for every set of circumstances, but it’s impossible to know if an individual doesn’t feel safe and comfortable sharing their story.

Download this Episode MP3.


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Disclaimer: The activities and research discussed in these podcasts are suggestions only and are only advised to be undertaken following prior consultation with a health or medical professional. Fitness training, nutrition, and other physical pursuits should be tailored to the individual based upon an assessment of their personal needs.


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