CFS (Chronic fatigue syndrome) can cause sufferers to have unrelenting fatigue, no matter how much they rest. Pain and an inflammatory response throughout the body is also another related symptom. Many physicians in the past had attributed the condition to psychological origins. Reports of the condition were first made public as far back as 1934. Research from Cornell University recently discovered biological markers in both microbes in your blood stream and bacteria in your gut. With diagnostic changes and brain discovery changes, the scientists may be close to finding a causative agent that might improve treatment options. This condition is known as ME/CFS.
One of the most common symptoms is one of overwhelming exhaustion that worsens with physical or mental energy expenditure and will not get better with rest. Some other symptoms of the condition may be muscle pain, memory problems, headaches, sore throat, pain in multiple joints, difficulty sleeping, tender lymph nodes, visible muscle twitching, difficulty concentrating, short attention span, word find problems, excessive sweating, palpitations, fainting, clumsiness, enlarged glands, intermittent flu like symptoms, alcohol intolerance, irritable bowel-like symptoms, mood swings, temperature control, food intolerance, gastrointestinal problems and hypersensitivity to light and noise.
Other complications include depression, social isolation, lifestyle restrictions and increased absences at work. All ages, ethnic and racial groups and socioeconomic status are affected by this condition. Women do report symptoms 4 times more often than men and more occur during their 40’s and 50’s. David Tuller, coordinator at the University of California, Berkley, wrote that the average person who has this disease, before they got it, were not lazy people and were likely Type A and hard, hard workers. This disease sometimes leaves people bedridden.
It has been found that ME/CFS is in your gut. Blood and stool of 48 people were diagnosed with ME/CFS in a study by researchers from Cornell University and released in the journal Microbiome. They found a distinct lack in diversity in the gut microbiome in affected individuals and inflammatory markers in the blood. Changes could not be clearly identified as the cause or consequence of ME/CFS, but they were heartened by the presence of these markers in 83% of the samples. This has shown the possibility of treatment options to reduce symptoms.
The Washington Post reported from the same researchers that the inflammatory markers in the blood could be the result of a “leaky gut from intestinal problems that allow bacteria to enter the blood.” This is triggered by the development of “gaps” between membrane cells that line your intestinal tract that allow material meant to remain in your intestinal tract, to leak into your bloodstream. There are also changes in white matter in the brains of those who suffered from ME/CFS, showing concrete evidence of neurological changes resulting from the condition.
There are support and treatment options at home such as avoiding gluten and wheat products, reducing your net carbs and increasing your fiber intake. Eating fermented foods is also an option. Whole food vegetables, nuts and seeds to focus on are chia seeds, almonds, beans, berries, cauliflower, green beans, peas, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, onions, sweet potatoes, psyllium husk, flax seeds, beets, parsnips and turnips. Homemade yogurt, sauerkraut, olives, pickles and grass-fed cheese are some foods you might not have considered that will also help.
-Dr Fredda Branyon