Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, How Naturopaths Help


Chronic Fatigue

How Naturopaths can help


Recently we were asked to go in the audience for Insight SBS on the topic Chronic Fatigue

Being a Naturopath it is something we see in clinic a lot, and as like any condition – no one size fits all.

I was disappointed in the discussion on insight as only 2 doctors were interviewed, who presented with older research information and when the guest speakers spoke about what helped them the most, most of them mentioned the words either “My Naturopath” or “Natural Alternatives” yet – this wasn’t further questioned, or asked specifics of what worked for them, instead a back and forth between doctors and researchers saying “there is no answer yet, but we are close” …

While I didn’t get asked a question, you’ll probably see my frustrated face throughout because of the lack of discussion around natural alternatives and how Naturopaths have supported this condition for quite some time – AND getting results.

So how is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Characterised?

By intense fatigue lasting for over 6 months

Tiredness that does not recover after a night’s sleep

Fatigue accounting for 50% reduction in daily activities

Unknown cause, but sometimes starts with Glandular Fever


A man in the audience had two children one after another fall ill from Chronic Fatigue, he mentioned his only regret was that he didn’t take the condition seriously as his kids were teenagers and he thought at first they needed to get on with it, he was unaware of the severity. When questioned you could see and hear the frustration surrounding the current medical model around the treatment for Chronic Fatigue.


The current medical model does not look at an individual person with the condition instead replies with “Currently there is no curative treatment that exists for patients with chronic fatigue syndrome” – nor do they have the time to actually treat or look at the individual as a whole.

It was clear from the panel being interviewed that several measures were needed and all different for each individual. For some working with an exercise physiologist worked well, for others it didn’t.

I noticed it worked with the Athletes being interviewed one being a football player the other an Australian netball player – I concluded their recovery with exercise worked because they were used to training themselves in that way – an end goal.

To give an example of how the fatigue effected them – they were bed ridden – they couldn’t get out of bed or do daily tasks, this would exhaust them. So the “exercise” prescribed would be something to the tune of getting the mail out of the letter box.

For others who weren’t athletes exercise therapy didn’t seem to have the same effect, instead “natural therapies “did – however again, this wasn’t further questioned or explained, instead a bunch of doctors spoke about old research and how they don’t know the underlying cause.


They failed to really answer the number one thing that effects the treatment of individuals medically regardless of what the patient presents with.


The need for individualised patient care and the time that takes


A 15-minute appointment about a chronic cannot-get-out-of-bed condition – needs longer than 15 minutes with a doctor for a thorough assessment!


This is what Naturopaths do. Natural health care professionals spend up to 1.5 hours with their clients one on one to work with the individual holistically.


What does holistically mean? That person – as a WHOLE, not just a part.

It was clear from the panel of speakers the term “Chronic Fatigue” meant something completely different to each of them, however they were all treated the same by the medical system – told to rest, it will pass.

Factors that we look at to combat or may be the underlying cause of Fatigue



Food Sensitivities

Mental Health

Gut health – the connection to the vagus nerve – Gut-Brain Connection


Nutritional intake

Immune Dysfunction


Environmental Toxins

Nutrient Deficiencies

Hormone balance

Thyroid Disease

Mitochondrial Dysfunction

How can this be addressed in a 15-minute consult????


How is that patient care?

Chronic Fatigue is multifactorial – there are so many different variables, there isn’t one cause, and it is a REAL condition and needs to be treated as such.

I feel for all the speakers on insight that night as the struggle for answers is real but the struggle for support is even more frustrating and alarming.

This is why natural health medicine needs to be taken more seriously in this country.

If you’ve had a Naturopath help you on your journey we’d love to hear how !

Catch me on Insight here

Iron Deficiency in Postpartum

Iron Deficiency in Pregnancy and Postpartum


Iron is required in pregnancy for the fetus and placenta as well as the growing uterus.

Not to mention mumma who is carrying the baby!

If iron stores are already deficient prior to conception, there is a strong chance the mother can become anaemic during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Imagine the havoc this creates when her already depleted stores become non-existent due to the unborn babies rapid growth cycle and need for Iron.

Iron is further lost through loss of blood in labour and a necessity during lactation.

Couple this with an already borderline deficiency and you’ve got yourself a recipe for extreme fatigue and overwhelm. As if you aren’t feeling it enough!

Because of the functions of Iron, this can be misdiagnosed and overlooked due to the symptoms feeling and looking the same as postpartum depletion.

We check in at the doctors on our babies, making sure they hit milestones, get check ups etc.

The first 6-12 months can become all about the baby, when prior to, it was all the check ups making sure mum and baby are all ok.


SO, When did the current medical model forget to check the mother throughout this crucial time!!




Provides Energy

Necessary for appropriate Immune function

Cognitive function

Mineral balance

Quality sleep

Hormone balance

Thyroid function

Iron is a co-factor in the steps for melatonin and adrenaline production.  (think sleep, mood, stress hormones)

Necessary for proper metabolism of B vitamins

Feeling a heavy body fatigue? That’s cause Iron is required for the conversion of lysine to carnitine – carnitine shovels fatty acids into the mitochondria and muscles rely on carnitine for functioning.


Common signs and symptoms of Iron deficiency Anemia



Loss of appetite

Unrelenting fatigue


Shortness of Breath


You can quickly see here how fatigue, common cold and flu, “baby brain”, lack of sleep and weight loss can easily look like just the perks of being a new mum can’t you… “oh you’re a new mum its normal for you to feel exhausted and run down”……..


To what point though?


The answer is simple – to the point where you are getting regular check ups and BLOOD TESTS – to monitor your levels and YOUR health.




You may be prescribed something you’ve heard is “fabulous” on Radio and by your Doctor

Ferrograd C – (Form of Iron called Ferrous Sulfate)

MYTH – Mega doses of Ferrous Sulfate, found in Ferrograd C, are not beneficial or better absorbed and mostly cause constipation.

Large doses of Ferrous Sulfate (Inorganic iron) will BLOCK ZINC absorption!  this is why they cause nausea and constipation as the unabsorbed iron binds to zinc picolinate and stops it’s absorption.

By taking this form of Iron are actually depleting another much needed Mineral in the process. (More on the importance of Zinc, later)


So what form should I be taking?

Supplements with organic iron.

Formulas that contain amino acid chelate, citrate or glycinate –  are generally better absorbed. They are non-constipating and easier on sensitive tummies.

It’s important you seek professional advice and talk to a Naturopath about the right form and dosage of Iron for you as well as a proper interpretation of your blood tests.

 Iron needs and amounts change in pre-natal, pregnancy, lactation, postpartum and menopause.

If you require more information please get in touch, I’d love to help you throughout your pregnancy and postpartum period.



Sign up to our newsletter to recieve our handout “Being in control of your Iron Stores”

Click the link to receive your FREE handout with more information about your reading and understanding your Iron levels




The impact of maternal iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia on child’s health

 Anemia in Pregnancy

Movement & Natural Health packages

Sometimes we have goals in life that are hard to achieve without someone there backing your every move.

Have you ever wanted a personal trainer who understands your body as a whole, not just a part?

What about one who has extensive knowledge and understanding of how your body needs nutrient dense fuel to sustain your activities, balance your hormones and stabilise your mood?

In the 15 years being a personal trainer I have learnt many life lessons, worked with many different walks of life, as well as coach, mentor, motivate and support people throughout there health and fitness journey.

I am excited that I can collaborate my skills and expertise as a Natural Health practitioner offering full Nutrition advice and support as well as tackle complex and acute health concerns under the Bachelor of Health science degree as a Naturopath (Natural Medicine) and diploma of Fitness.

I named myself a “Holistic personal trainer”

Because I have been on my own journey to “holistic health” myself, I believe I can share my experience and now knowledge with people who are looking for something to support them as the whole person that they in-fact are, not just a muscle group.

Most of my life I ignored the best intentions my mother tried to install into me surrounding a healthy diet. I grew up on whatever food I wanted to eat (fussy as!) and believed if I worked out hard enough that that would counteract all my lifestyle and dietary choices.

Of course as a teenager and well into your 20’s you are invincible and mostly this can feel true.

If only I had listened! I remember being in my 20’s and having 30 somethings tell me “you’ll feel different when you are older” “It will catch up”, my mum said the same. Boy I wished I had of listened.

Working in environments where overtraining, excess weight lifting, under-reating carbohydrates and overeating of protein was the norm (and to the most part in these said environments, still can be the case) it was a downward spiral to my own individual health.

Always believing that because I exercised, everything else I did to my body didn’t matter.

It has taken 20 long years and many days of fatigue, burn out, bad gut issues and hormonal troubles to realise we as humans cannot sustain this way of thinking let alone of being.

So without blabbing on too much more about why I am so passionate about being a Holistic practitioner and trainer and how my passions emerged and grew

This is the reason I am here, to teach people to re-connect with themselves,.

Unplug from the screens an re-charge themselves.

Following true intuition, embracing a healthy lifestyle, sustaining eating habits, managing stress, falling and staying asleep, balancing hormone patterns and creating a balanced



I’m no longer the trainer who just say drop and give me 10 burpess for no other purpose than to make you out of breath and walk away with a bad back.

I have intention in my work in that movement is incorporated within your wellness package as well as natural health consults to address health concerns and tackle right down into finding route causes for symptoms you may have been experiencing for way too long and never got to the bottom of

Tuning right in and listening to our body again instead of to the latest fad or trend.Tailoring your wellness package of movement and health specifically for


I offer guidance and support around your tailored training needs for your body and your dietary needs.

There are no boundaries or rules,  just a realistic approach to


If this is something of interest to you please don’t hesitate to enquire below




Are you a personal trainer?


Do you feel like your workout plans are getting a bit stale? Need a new approach? Perhaps you need help planning or structuring programs or need help working and adapting with different conditions and ages.


Sarah has been working in the Fitness Industry for 15 years mentoring and educating students teaching Cert 3 & 4 fitness. Facilitating and running group fitness classes including boxing, kettlebells, stretch, weights and bootcamps. As well as one on one specialties including kettlebell conditioning for general fitness as well as competition fitness programming.


Be at peace with your clients and get them real results with a holistic view to training and programming.




Sarah also offers collaboration with personal trainers and their clients to cross refer to support your clients nutritionally and emotionally to better achieve their goals.

Sound like something you are interested in but not sure? Write to sarah for an obligation free chat.

Sarah is always more than happy to help!






The Healing power of Nature

In Naturopathy the primary aim is to address the root cause of your problem

Naturopathy encompasses a holistic approach

As a Naturopath I recognise that people need to be heard in order for their health to be understood. I hold space for you to be heard, truly listened to, with your whole health history considered and looked over thoroughly. Feel truly cared for heard.

A no fuss bandaid free approach with the aim to understand your body as a whole, and treating it like so.

Using Lifestyle measures, Dietary advice and changes, Herbal Medicine and Nutrient supplements to support you on your health journey.

Naturopaths study the intricate details of how medications can effect you long term. As well as nutrient deficiencies and interactions, Some typical ailments we work with might be allergies, immune and hormone health, endocrine dysfunction and fertility to name a few.

Functional testing is apart of our integrative approach to your wellness as well as nutritional advice, mentoring and support.

Sarah specialises in, but not limited to…

  • Postpartum support for the family, from Mum and Dad, Newborns and toddlers health
  • Mens & Womens Health – reproductive, libido, endocrine, metabolic syndrome, healthy weight loss
  • Wholefood approach to Nutrition – realistic and studied methods for health conditions
  • Athletic nutrition support



Book now

Make a Booking










How much are you relying on it for “energy”?


When we are already stressed – whether that be physical, mental, emotional stress

When we rely on caffeine for energy that morning cup you are having on the rush in to work sends a message to the pituitary gland telling your adrenal glands to make stress hormones cortisol and or adrenalin.

When these hormones are released your blood sugars spike. Providing you with yes, “energy”. Adrenalin is communicating with your body telling it its in danger, of course you are going to feel pumped! Cortisol lets your body know hey I don’t think we are getting food anytime soon. All other body systems shut down or go haywire!


The production of these hormones can be perceived and promoted by REAL stress,

However, if you are already depleted, tired, wired, anxious, stressed, unrested –this production of hormones can be brought on by caffeine, activating the fight or flight response causing you to feel uneasy, reactive and initiate a see saw of a day.


Back to Biochemical basics for a minute – If you are in fight or flight mode – your body needs its fuel from glucose (sugar). Wondering why you later crave it? Or experience a slump at 3pm when the caffeine starts wearing off and you reach for that sugary snack? Your craving it to refuel that artificial tank you’ve created!


Additional glucose in the blood raises insulin –  the hormone that stores fat. Whatever glucose is not used turns to glycogen to be stored in muscles and what is left over stores as fat – it’s a viscious cycle and a scary one that most people don’t understand


“If I have a coffee on an empty stomach I will loose weight won’t i?” a common question I am asked!


I’m not saying its not ok to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee but let’s get honest about how and why you are consuming it! Are you sitting down calmly enjoying it or wanting it in your veins to pump you???


  • Are you having it on the run?
  • Are you 100% needing a caffeine hit in the morning to get you going? What happened to whole food for that?
  • Is it dulling your appetite? Making you unstable for the rest of the day where you need to have coffee again for the perk or crave sweets in the afternoon?
  • Does it loosen your bowels? The only way you can “go” in the morning?
  • Do you go for it more when you are sleep deprived or stressed?(no good!)
  • Is your sleep effected?


The way in which caffeine effects you can simply be related to the pace in which you run at in your day to day life. If you are darting everywhere running on the to do list, in and out of meetings, feeling stressed about your phone going off, that meeting you have to be at, that colleague you don’t want to deal with – but slowly noticing differences in your body, feeling jittery, anxious, wired but tired…. Time you got real with yourself about what caffeine is or could be doing to you!



Delicious, Nutritious, Easy, Avocado Cups

Avocado Cups

Author: Sarah Fehlberg
Recipe type: Easy
Cuisine: Barbecue
Prep time:  
Cook time:  
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Lime juice

Chilli flakes


Half an Avocado and grill on the bbq till a little bit brown

Add in a Mexican type salsa of using the remaining ingredients chopped and blended together.

Even some warm black beans mushed in the middle would be divine!

Grilled Mezze Fajitas



Author: Sarah Fehlberg
Recipe type: Easy
Cuisine: Barbecue
Prep time:  
Cook time:  
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Green, Red and yellow Capsicum strips




Red and Brown Onion


Salt & Pepper


Chop the vegetables into strips for the BBQ

Season with Salt and Pepper to Taste –you can add whatever spice you like – some of my ideas are Garlic, Lime Juice, Chilli, Oregano, Smoked Paprika, Cumin – the list goes on – get creative!

Grill on BBQ until soft and brown – You can then use your favourite style of wrap to create a delicious fajita – sprinkle with sesame seeds and/or tahini/lime dressing – YUM!!!!

Can add a lovely fresh salad on the top of Avo, Cucumber, Tomato and coriander !


Black Bean Burger Patties (Vegan Friendly)

Author: Sarah Fehlberg
Recipe type: Easy
Prep time:  
Cook time:  
Total time:  

1 can of organic black beans washed and drained – mashed up

½ cup of brown rice cooked, strained and cooled

½ red onion finely chopped

Garlic cloves to taste finely chopped

Pinch of chilli flakes

Pinch of cumin

Squirt of lime juice

1 chia egg or if not vegan add normal egg


To replace an egg, use 1 tablespoon of chia seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons of water and let the mixture sit for 15 to 20 minutes or you can prepare it the night before. Mix the chia

seeds and water together in a small bowl and let it sit for 10 – 15 minutes until the mixture becomes gel.

Mash all ingredients together into balls the size of your palm – then put on BBQ with a cooking oil of choice and squash into a patty – brown each side and enjoy on a Cooked Portobello mushroom as a base along with tahini dressing, tomato, cucumber and salad leaves – DELICIOUS!!!!

You can add corn, zucchini, carrot and greens to this also! Get creative!