can you heal chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia

I have been researching and supporting people with Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), Fibromyalgia and conditions that lead to this complex spectrum of pain and/ or fatigue symptoms for more than 15 years (also includes for example Lyme’s disease, post baby loss, post vaccine trauma and post-infectious myalgic encephalitis).

I have a clinic in Annacotty, Limerick (Ireland) and I offer a comprehensive integrative approach (I work alongside your medical team) to treating chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic fatigue in athletes, fibromyalgia and complex, chronic fatigue issues.

I don’t know if I would go so far as to say I am an expert (is anyone?); and I also know that I know more and care more than a lot of people out there when it comes to getting people better. To date I have excellent results treating chronic fatigue; probably because I won’t quit until I get answers.

Helping you (or your loved one if you are reading this on their behalf), matters greatly to me. Why? Because I have been there in that big black hole of chronic fatigue also. And it was awful.

My approach is a whole person-environment approach.

I see CFS/ fibromyalgia and similar as a syndrome rather than a disease; a complex of symptoms that have a variety of causes and triggers. Fatigue and chronic pain are symptoms; they are not the disease. Symptoms have causes; causes can be unravelled. The tricky thing with CFS and fibromyalgia is that there is rarely just one cause; and this is what presents such a challenge to the medical system AND why research is more difficult to conduct.

It has taken me years of research, reading and working with patients to see the bigger picture of these conditions.

In medical terms you could more accurately say that these are illness with multiple predisposing factors, precipitating experiences and perpetuating diet and lifestyle patterns. It is a big giant spider web of inter-related “threads”.

For example: patient in their late 30s with chronic fatigue.

The predisposing factors may be genetics.

The precipitating factors may be any and several of: mothers health and stress during and after pregnancy, type of birth, whether you were breastfed or bottle-fed, baby and childhood experiences, exposure to antibiotics, the environment that you were reared in (e.g. quality of water, airborne pollution, etc.), for some exposure to vaccines, medicationsor dental work, nutrition (stuff you need and didn’t get; stuff you didn’t need and got too much of), lifestyle, stress and activity levels, viral and bacterial infections, trauma (physical, emotional, chemical, spiritual), social networks and support systems in youth.

And finally the perpetuating factors may include poor diet, stressful career, poor sleep hygiene, lack of activity (vicious cycle here re fatigue/ pain and sleep quality and capacity to be active), lack of grounding and / or access to nature, lack of support network, isolation, highly sensitive person traits, ongoing infection, poor gut health, mercury amalgams or root canal, poor posture and spinal health and so forth.

Chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia are complex

Chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and so on is one giant mess of causes, triggers and systemic and homeostatic imbalances. It takes a lot of digging and detective work to unravel things back to the core so as to then develop a strategy and plan for healing.

Healing is possible; this is NOT a permanent condition in most cases. This is where I disagree with the medical profession because in my experience and that of my clients, CFS and fibromyalgia heal.

I see CFS and fibromyalgia as an environmental condition; the body is merely reacting and actually doing its best to heal and so that is where I start. We work with the body and support healing.

Please do not suffer in silence, don’t go it alone. Do seek support and advice.

CFS and fibromyalgia are a dance; a spectacular swirling dance between you, your gut microbes, your environment, and a lifetime of experiences and exposures.

We take a close look at your history.

I combine several skills and tools to support you on the journey back to health. I look at your entire health history, and even that of your parents and beyond. I consider the experiences that you have had on your path to now; whether from illness, infection, trauma, accidents, or adverse experiences, antibiotic or medication exposure, surgeries, and other environmental insults from the water we drink, the air we breathe and the food we eat and so on.

We go through the story of your health.

I spend time working through a questionnaire and any tests that you have done to date before I see you. Then we meet and discuss everything to do with your condition. I listen carefully, sometimes we add in energy healing so that I can connect and see what I can deduce intuitively. The body often gifts me great clues.

At the end of our first meeting I will have a good idea of what I feel may be going on and we discuss this and form a plan together for the next steps.

We explore what is going on uniquely to you.

  • Current symptoms; how does your fatigue “feel” and “impact you in daily life”.
  • Endocrine system – hormones (adrenal, thyroid, reproductive).
  • Cardiovascular system – orthostatic hypotension for example is common; we assess this.
  • Immune system function – dysfunction is common.
  • Infectious causes – viral, bacterial, yeast or fungal.
  • Dietary imbalances – does your body have what it needs to heal. is anything in your diet triggering problems.
  • Lifestyle triggers or adaptations that you have had to make.
  • Emotions, “Stress” and stress management skills.
  • Sleep.
  • Gut microbiome and its link with other important organs in the body (e.g. gut-brain, gut-lungs, gut-vagina, gut-liver and so on) – do you or have you ever experienced gastrointestinal symptoms or food poisoning?
  • Nervous system (including fight, fright or freeze responses, and “brain health”).
  • Environment – past and current.
  • Mitochondrial health and cell membrane health.
  • Inflammation and free-radical pathology.
  • Level of sensitivity to energy and environment; are you an empath or highly sensitive person?
  • Trauma – adverse baby or childhood experiences; adult trauma experiences.
  • Tolerance to exercise, musculoskeletal and skeletal imbalances.
  • anything else that is relevant and specific to you

We filter through what the research says, what experts and patients say, and what is your own unique experience and what has and has not worked to date.

Your gut instinct on this is tremendously important and every bit of work that you have done to date whether successful or not, negative or positive is invaluable information to us moving forwards. Hang in there!

We explore your health using tests (when necessary and helpful).

If tests are needed to explore the causes for your symptoms or identify imbalances then I have access to what is needed using state of the art accredited functional diagnostics tests.

I recommend tests when i believe:

  1. they are needed
  2. they are helpful
  3. they give us practical strategies moving forwards
  4. I will never ask you to just spend your money unless I feel that we cannot move forwards without the information that testing gives us.

Many factors combine to create symptoms including viral, bacterial or parasite infection, environmental exposures, gut function, microbiome and gut barrier dysfunction, mitochondrial dysfunction, inflammation (a symptom for which we must find the cause), vagal nerve, endocrine and neuro endocrine involvement, organ systems such as the adrenals, thyroid, gut-brain, gut-liver-gallbladder, and inflammasome, antioxidant and free radicals ROS and NOS and so much more.

CFS is curable; it’s just tricky to find and treat all the causes and triggers. Tricky and usually not impossible….

Phylo Bioscience GI-EcologiX
One of the most useful tests I lean on to inform me about a patients gut health.

The healing journey has many roads.

Every person is different. Your experience of CFS, fatigue, fibromyalgia or chronic pain is unique to you and so this is where we start.

Education and empowerment are key for me here; I must give you skills and tools to heal yourself, and I can only achieve this by us working closely as a team together.

I will guide you with what I intuitively feel are the best strategies for you in terms of diet, supplements, herbs, lifestyle changes, and other physical, emotional and spiritual healing modalities.

My goal is to recommend a plan that will resonate with your personality, lifestyle and individual journey.

It is my goal to be your support for as long as is needed; and no longer. I am not in this gig to string you on, waste your money or deceive and mislead. If you are like other patients that come to me; you will already have experienced enough of this. I ask you to place your trust in me and that means that I must earn it. Similarly I am trusting in you.

We go even deeper.

Who you are matters. More often than not persons facing challenges with chronic pain or fatigue are highly sensitive, deeply caring, hard working and have a tendency to not speak up or hold pain and emotional wounds deep. You care almost too much….

If you are like others that seek my support; you are amazing and I am a part of the puzzle that helps draw this out…

Your body has been under too much stress for too long and is now screaming for attention. It is vital that we move through and past this phase and back into health and well-being.

You aren’t here to be sick and suffering; you have a purpose for your life. There are things that you are passionate about and we must restore health and vitality so that you can achieve these things and live life to the full and give all that you are to this world to your fullest.

We work on how the mind, soul, and emotions may be linked to the experience of symptoms in the body. We unravel and release what the cells have held. We develop techniques to restore health. And if you wish we can work with what is calling the soul, and what your current challenges may mean for you on a deeper level. What are you learning now? What is next?

I have been there too….

You must invest at least 3 months of patience and commitment.

Healing takes time, patience, committment to making change. You must have awareness that there is much to be learned about yourself and understand that there will be certain costs involved.

To undo where you are does take work. I am not a magic cure and I also do believe that I am a valuable support system for you on the journey back to health. … the journey back to you.

We work on this as a team. Creating shifts in health takes time, don’t quit at the first hurdle. Hurdles are information.

What people say:

By the time of my first consultation with Andrea I had been off work for over 12 months with was initially classified as Glandular Fever and then later as Post Viral Syndrome and Chronic Fatigue. Over that time I tried many different therapies ranging from Acupuncture and Homeopathy to BioResonace Screening and even Faith Healing!

While some of these therapies were beneficial, my energy levels and overall health did not improve as much as I had hoped. In fact my health started to deteriorate even further as those first 12 months drew to a close. So it is fair to say that I was at a real low point when I initially made contact with Andrea. I did my best to remain confident of a full recovery but I had come to the conclusion that it would almost certainly take longer that I had ever envisioned.

It has now less than 9 months out from that first consultation and my health has improved so much more that I would have thought possible in such a relatively short space of time. My energy levels are well on the way back to where they were, I have gained back all the weight I had lost and other things such as my stamina, digestion, clarity and mood have improved and continue to improve week on week. I may not be totally out of the woods yet, but I can certainly see the light!

I feel certain the reason for this dramatic improvement is down to the work I have done with Andrea. Not that it has all been plain sailing, there definitely have been many challenging periods over the past 8 or so months. Especially at the beginning when my body really was very depleted and fatigued. During this time Andrea was always on hand (via email or in person) to advise and offer support.

I have found her approach to be such that at the beginning of our time together she did her utmost to find out as much as she could about me, my life situation and my illness. She did this by sending out an in-depth questionnaire and food diary prior to meeting up. Then after having a lengthy consultation where she set out her initial recommendations, she carried out her own research as well as advising me to undertake specific extra tests (e.g saliva test & stool test). This allowed Andrea to learn as much as possible about what she and I were facing. Which in subsequent reviews aided her in devising a more detailed plan of action that tackled the illness from many different angles. This in turn increased my chances of making a total, and speedy, recovery.

I have come to realise how fortunate I am to have found a Nutritional Therapist whom I respect and trust fully. Furthermore, it became obvious to me from an early point that Andrea is extremely hard working and dedicated and that, perhaps most importantly, she cares deeply for her clients. I have learned so much from her regarding my diet, vitamin and mineral needs and general lifestyle changes that I will keep with me going forward. What’s more I am now confident that when I finish my treatment with Andrea I will be healthier than I been in a long time, even prior to my illness! And at the end of the day that’s as much as I could have ever hoped for! Tom

In terms of feedback I have had a very positive experience with you and your appointments. You really gave me the right outlook towards diet, exercise, energy, definitions of success, timelines and toughness. You taught me how to support my body through balance, particularly with an approach in which less is more.

The person I was prior to the appointments versus the person I was afterwards were insanely different. I managed to work within my limitations and to some degree gradually abandon those limitations. I learned to remove my self pity and replace it with love for myself. Most importantly you taught me to listen to my body.

Your approach really helped to empower me and care for myself. Particularly when people are trying to deal with unexplained chronic illnesses this can be really important as you are your own doctor in a lot respects at the end of the day.
I liked how empathetic you are and the fact that you have also been on journey yourself. In terms of negative aspects none come to mind to be honest.
Thanks, S

I can help.

If my words resonate; if something is nudging you to contact me please don’t dismiss the call or delay action. Your life is waiting for you.

Click this link to make an appointment or this link to set up a 15 minute Skype call should you want to ask me some questions first.

Helpful links:

I can help you heal

Do you suffer fatigue, an oldie

A reboot for chronic fatigue syndrome research

I post research on instagram

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THe research on #chronicfatigue keeps getting better. I have been researching and supporting people with CFS/ Fibromyalgia for more than 15 years. It is not a pleasant condition; dont go it alone. Do seek support and advice from people combining the following skills: medical knowledge, functional medicine, for athletes a strong knowledge of training stress, awareness of somatic illness and acceptance of the links between #mindbodyspirit, #trauma awareness and acceptance of #adversebabyevents and #adversechildhoodexperiences, #herbalmedicine , #energyhealing, #nutrition , #healthsupplements . I can help. I use these approaches and I have amazing skilled colleagues that i also refer to should this be a good fit for you. Many factors combine to create symptoms including viral, bacterial or parasite infection, environmental exposures, gut function, microbiome and gut barrier dysfunction, mitochondrial dysfunction, inflammation ( a symptom must find cause), vagal nerve, endocrine and neuro endocrine involvement, organ systems such as the adrenals, thyroid, gut-brain, gut-liver-gallbladder, and inflammasome, antioxidant and free radicals ROS and NOS and so much more. CFS is curable it's just tricky to find and treat all the causes and triggers. Dont struggle alone more research https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29523751 #chronicillness #functionalmedicineclinic #achealthsolutions #andreacullenhealthsolutions #peakperformance #chronicfatigue #fibromyalgia #gutmicrobiome #inflammation #environmentalillness #postinfectious

A post shared by Andrea Cullen (@cullen41) on

A very good video from scientists and doctors discussing issues the medical system faces when dealing with chronic fatigue. The medical system IS doing its best; despite what many alternative therapists may say.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29523751

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6787592/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30564562

Thank you for taking the time to read my article. Reach out if I can help you get “unstuck”.

Andrea x

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