[Book] Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: a treatment guide – Erica Verillo

chronic fatigue syndrome - erica verrillo

The American writer Erica Verrillo contacted me recently to notice me that her book has been translated into French. The English version has a rating of 4.5 / 5 on Amazon, so I didn’t hesitate to try and read it.

The book addresses the CFS/EM as a whole. She accomplished here a state of the art of everything we know today. It is very complete, without going too deep into details: each point is understandable by anyone, and highly referenced for those who wish to deepen the subject. This work is even more impressive knowing that the author suffers from Chronic Fatigue, spending most of her time in bed!

erica verillo works in bed

Content of the book

Overview of the CFS/ME

We obviously cannot talk about CFS without settling the context, and Erica knows it. This chapter sets the tone for the rest of the book, starting with the definition of the disease, its history and the difficulty of diagnosis. Everything is very accurate and relevant.

Mechanisms and theories

The following mechanisms are explained in a simple and clear way. For each mechanism, there is a theory that blames it as the root cause of CFS/EM. Fascinating.

  • The endocrine system
  • The nervous system and the limbic hypothesis of Dr. Goldstein
  • Immune dysfunction
  • Vascular system and diastolic dysfunction
  • Digestive system
  • Oxidative stress and the hypothesis of Pall NO / ONOO
  • Glutathione depletion – hypothesis of methylation block
  • Mitochondrial insufficiency
  • Channelopathies


The symptoms usually associated with the CFS are then listed and explained. Everything is there! For those who do not believe me, here is the list:

  • Allergy: Airborne allergies: pollen, mold, dander (flakes)
    of animals, fur and feathers, dust, food
  • Chemical Sensitivities: Chemical contaminants from indoor and
    outdoor air , substances and drugs, clothing and
    personal care productsCandidosis (moniliasis)
  • Symptoms of cardiac and cardiovascular dysfunction:
    blood circulation : orthostatic intolerance,
    postural orthostatic tachycardia (POTS ), NMH (neurally mediated or mediated hypotension
    ), shortness of breath (dyspnea) / lack of air
  • Cognitive and emotional issues: difficulty of concentration, reduced ability to short-term memory, impaired ability to perform tasks, linguistic inversion of words, word search, difficulties with math problems, difficulties and emotional problems
  • Digestive disorders: Esophagus: spasms, difficulty swallowing, decreased
    appetite, reflux / burning; Stomach: nausea; The small intestine: the syndrome of the permeable intestine, SIBO (bacterial proliferation of the small intestine); Large intestine: IBS (IBS: irritable bowel syndrome), flatulence, diarrhea or constipation; Rectum: proctalgia fugax, tenesmus; Gallbladder; Liver
  • Dizziness and vertigo
  • Endocrine Disorders: Thyroid gland; Adrenal glands
  • Fatigue (asthenia): Fatigue after effort; Lethargy and lassitude;
    Mental agitation and physical weakness
  • Flu-like symptoms: sore throat, tenderness of the lymph
    nodes, fever and chills, sweating
  • Gynecological problems: irregular menstruation / perimenopause / early menopause, premenstrual syndrome, endometriosis
  • Headache (headache): migraine, tension headaches or
  • Hearing problems: hearing loss, tinnitus, pain,
    itching, hearing loss
  • hypoglycemia
  • Joint problems (polyarthralgia): rigidity and pain
  • Loss of libido
  • Muscular problems: weakness (paresis), tremors, loss of
    coordination, involuntary contractions
  • Oral problems: gingivitis, sensitive teeth, ulcerations; Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ); change in the sensation of taste
  • Pain: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Spasms,
    Fibromyalgia Symptoms Secondary Infections: Viral Infections, Fungal Infections (Yeast Infections)
  • Seizures and convulsive activity: seizures of absence (Petit Mal),
    simple partial seizures , ” sensory disturbances ”, Grand seizures
  • Wrong
  • Shingles
  • Sinusitis
  • Problems of skin, hair and nails: pallor; Rash;
    dry skin, desquamation; Acne, cutaneous hypersensitivity,
    spontaneous bruising , paresthesia, loss of fingerprints, Rosacea; Hair;
  • Nails
  • Sleep disorders: insomnia or difficulty falling asleep and maintaining
    sleep, change in the phases of sleep, hypersomnia,
    light sleep, hypnagogic sleep, dyskinesia, myoclonus,
    dreams and nightmares, night sweats
  • Urinary Tract Problems: Cystitis, Interstitial Cystitis, Prostatitis
  • Problems of vision and eyes: problems of visual processing,
    photophobia, floats and tasks in the field of vision, tearing or
    dryness of the eyes, lack of convergence and double and fuzzy vision,
    tunnel vision or tunnel vision, night blindness, bad perception of
    depth, nystagmus, cataracts, Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Sensitivity and intolerance to extreme ambient temperatures
  • Weight: Loss or weight gain

the list is long - parchment - comic


With both pharmaceutical and natural angles, there is then an almost complete list of the CFS/ME meds and treatments you can think of:

  • Pharmaceutical products
    • Ampligen
    • Antibiotics
    • Anticonvulsants: Neurontin (gabapentin), Gabitril (tiagabine), Lyrica (pre-gabaline)
    • Antidepressants (drugs): doxepin, amitriptyline, nortriptyline, desipramine, imipramine, t imipramine, clomipramine, fluoxetine,
      sertraline, paroxetine, citalopram, excitalpram, bupropion, phenalzine,
      tranycypromine, Trazodone, venlafaxine, duloxetine, mirtazapine
    • Antifungal Agents: Nystatin, Diflucan, Nizoral, Sporanex
    • Antihistamines: Benadryl (diphenhydramine), Claritin (loratadine), Allegra (fexofenadine), Zyrtec (cetirizine), Chlor-Trimeton (chlorpheniramine maleate), Atarax and Vistaril (hydroxyzine), Dramamine (meclizine), DiVertigo
    • Antiviral agents: acyclovir, famcyclovir, amantadine, valacyclovir,
    • Artesunate
    • Benzodiazepines: clonazepam, diazepam, alprazolam
    • Beta-blockers: propranolol (Inderal), atenolol (Tenormin), labetolol
      (Normodyne), nebivolol (Bystolic)
    • Blockers or calcium channel blockers: Nicardipine, Nimodipine,
    • Nifedipine, Verapamil
    • Stimulants of the central nervous system: Ritalin, Dexedrine, Lonamine
      (phentermine), Provigil, Strattera
    • Cytotec (misoprostol)
    • Diamox (Acetazolamide)
    • Epogen (Procrit)
    • Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine)
    • Florinef (fludrocortisone)
    • Gamma GlobulinGcMAF
    • guaifenesin
    • Blockers of Histamine (H2): Tagamet (cimetidine), Zantac (ranitidine)
    • Hormones: Growth Hormone, Testosterone, Thyroid Hormones
    • hydrocortisone
    • Hypnotics: Ambien, Lunesta, Roxerem, Xyrem
    • Kutapressine (see Nexavir)
    • midodrine
    • naltrexone
    • Nexavir (formerly Kutapressin)
    • Nitroglycerine
    • Oxytocin
    • Analgesics (pain relief): Aspirin, NSAIDs (
      non-steroidal anti- inflammatory drugs), Tylenol, Aleve, Ultram, Narcotics
    • pentoxifylline
    • Plaquenil
    • Pyridostigmine (Mestinon)
    • Questran (cholestyramine)
    • rituximab
  • Nutritional Supplements and Medicinal Herbs
    • 5-HTP
    • Alpha Ketoglutarate (AKG)
    • Alpha-lipoic acidAminoacids: Carnitine, Glutamine, Lysine,
    • Taurine
    • Antioxidants
    • Betaine HCl
    • Bioflavanoids: Grape Seed Extracts, Pycnogenol, Quercetin
    • Butyric acid
    • Choline
    • CoQ10 (ubiquinone, ubiquinol)
    • D-Ribose
    • Digestive enzymes
    • DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone)
    • Essential Fatty Acids: Fish Oil, Flax Seed Oil, Evening Primrose Oil or Oenothera Oil, Borage Seed Oil
    • FOS (fructooligosaccharides)
    • GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid)
    • Galantamine
    • Glucosamine sulphate
    • Glutathione
    • Herbs: Aloe vera, Astragalus, Chamomile, Echinacea, Garlic, Ginger,
      Ginkgo, Ginseng, Goldenseal, Gotu de cola, Kava, Licorice, Lomatium,
      Milk thistle, St. John’s Wort, Uva Ursi, Valerian
    • Histame
    • Inosine
    • Inositol
    • Malic acid
    • Melatonin
    • Minerals: Calcium, Magnesium, Selenium, Colloidal Silver, ZincMonolaurin
    • Mushroom Extracts: LEM (Shiitake), Maitake, Cordyceps
    • NAC (N-acetylcysteine)
    • NADH (ENADA)
    • Piracetam
    • Probiotics
    • Royal jelly
    • Sambucol
    • SAM (S-Adenosyl-methionine)
    • Vitamins: Vitamin A, beta-carotene, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E and tocotrienols
    • Whey Products: Colostrum, Undenatured Whey Protein,
    • Probioplex

big races - comic


Then come, logically, the possible therapies:

  • Acupressure
  • Acupuncture
  • Aromatherapy
  • Bach Remedies
  • Rest
  • Biofeedback Therapy
  • Chelation therapy
  • Chiropractic
  • CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy)
  • Exercise: GET (graduated physiotherapy)
  • Homeopathy
  • HydrothérapieHypnose
  • Massage: craniosacral massage, lymphatic drainage,
    myofascial release , Perrin technique, Reflexology, Shiatsu
  • Meditation: the amygdala training program
  • Decrease the pace of activities and not exaggerate
  • TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation)
  • Visualization and imagery
  • Yoga

Adaptation strategies

Erica finally gives many essential tips for coping with the disease and feeling better:

  • Reduction and elimination of stress
  • Cleaning: removing toxins from the house
  • Foods and diet

The last chapter deals with the special case of children and teenagers.

An American book, but not too much

This book is somewhat centered on the United States. Especially, the doctors and organizations mentioned are mainly from the country of the author. But that doesn’t make the explanations less interesting: as a French, I read it with a great pleasure.

A mini encyclopedia

The content is intended to be as comprehensive as possible. Thus, you don’t need to read it in one go: you can always read about the symptoms or treatments that interest you. Each chapter is independent from the rest!

For my part, I read it in order and enjoyed it very much that way. And even then you can always skip the chapters that you already know about, or if you’re just not interested. This won’t prevent the reader from reading the rest.


“Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: treatment guide” is a real encyclopedia of the CFS/EM! Erica Verrillo knows the disease: there is no universal solution, no miracle pill. Everyone is experiencing its own version of the CFS, and everyone has to find what works best for them. Through this book, she helps us understand what is happening to us. She provides us with numerous tracks to explore in order to get better, and maybe even heal.

Given the amount of work that this book represents, I was very surprised by its low cost! A low price often gives the feeling that you’re gonna find cheap content… we found an exception! The author told me that she wanted to spread it to as many people as possible. It’s beautiful!


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