Treatments & Services / Chronic fatigue syndrome & myalgic encephalomyelitis

Chronic fatigue syndrome &
myalgic encephalomyelitis


With our chronic fatigue patients, at Breakspear Medical Group, we search for infectious agents such as Epstein-Barr virus, Parvovirus B19 and bacterial, rickettsial and parasitic organisms using a variety of tests and laboratories.

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) affect many thousands of people of all types and ages.

The symptoms of both CFS and ME include:

  • debilitating low energy levels
  • painful muscles and joints
  • disordered sleep
  • gastric disturbances
  • poor memory and concentration
  • neuropsychological complaints
  • painful lymph nodes
  • prolonged fatigue after exercise

How Breakspear Medical Group can help with CFS and ME

Breakspear has always had a policy of identifying causes and then offering treatment. 

With our chronic fatigue patients, we search for infectious agents such as Epstein-Barr virus, Parvovirus B19 and bacterial, rickettsial and parasitic organisms using a variety of tests and laboratories.

The treatments the clinic offers are anti-viral treatments, high-dose gamma globulin to treat Parvovirus and complex treatments for rickettsial and bacterial disease.  We also use hyperthermia treatment to simulate the pyrexia of illness and support nutrition.  Where people with CFS and/or ME have developed intolerances to foods, these are also recognised and treated using antigen-specific, low-dose immunotherapy.

At Breakspear Medical Group, we have found that the basis of prolonged ill health in CFS or ME involves "cytokine shift". In this condition the protein messengers between cells (cytokines) work together to cause allergy and increased reactivity by a mechanism involving antibodies instead of the normal activity against infectious agents, such as viruses. This is a cytokine shift from a "TH1" to a "TH2" pattern.

The situation is further complicated as these two patterns interact. In CFS or ME patients, allergies are perpetuated and the ability to wipe out viruses is compromised. However, it is possible to reverse this shift with a number of chronic fatigue treatment programmes that we offer. We start with a series of skin and blood tests for bacterial sensitivities, urine test for microbial organism products and peptides (indolyl-acryloylglycine), and we also use a stool test for lysozyme, a product of white cells called granulocytes, monocytes and macrophages. (This is a marker for damage to the gut lining by bacteria or by inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.)


One of many chronic fatigue recovery stories

Lady Clare Kerr, Breakspear Hospital Trust Trustee

Lady Clare Kerr wrote a compelling article for The Times which explains about her recovery from chronic fatigue at Breakspear Medical Group. Lady Clare Kerr is now a patron of the Environmental Medicine Foundation.

Then we stabilise allergies by using low-dose immunotherapy that stops allergic reactions, giving respite to the chronic fatigue or myalgic encephalomyelitis sufferer. We also initiate a number of treatment programmes to stimulate the TH1 arm of the immune system that can deal with viruses. Amongst the other treatments we use are mushroom products, and Transfer Factor, which is an oral supplement.

Other agents that can stimulate TH1 include some hormone products and bacterial agents such as Bacille Calmette Guérin (BCG), normally used in the protection against tuberculosis. We also now have available a bacterial product, known to help modulate the immune system. This is a high potency probiotic preparation called Escherichia coli. This and Bifidobacteria have a local effect, protecting against gut mucosal injury through both TH1 and TH2 responses.

Combination therapies for the treatment of chronic fatigue and myalgic encephalomyelitis are more effective than single agents.

Find out more about Breakspear Medical Group's Chronic Fatigue Treatment Programme

You may wish to print out our colour pdf summary of the CFS/ME Treatment Programme.  Alternatively, you may request a printed version of the CFS/ME Treatment Programme by requesting more information by email.

For further, in depth explanations of our CFS/ME programme, you may wish to read An Overview of the Management of Chronic Fatigue and Investigations, which explains in detail the processes affected by CFS/ME and the neurophysiological assessments of autonomic function undertaken by Dr Peter Julu, Specialist Autonomic Neurophysiologist.

For a price list, see Information for Patients.

If you have any specific questions regarding prices, estimates and treatment programmes, please contact one of our Patient Liaison Officers, by phone 01442 261 333 ext. 293, or email:


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