According to an article in the Journal of Clinical Pathology, chronic fatigue syndrome is associated with chronic enterovirus infection of the stomach. The authors of the paper, John and Andrew Chia, cite their findings on 165 patients with CFS.
All 165 underwent endoscopy due to longstanding gut complaints. Stomach tissue specimens were taken as well, in order to look for for viral proteins, and were then compared with specimens taken from healthy subjects and those with other gut diseases, none of whom had been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, also known as Myalgic Encephalitis, or ME.
Long Term Problems Implicated
A majority of the biopsy specimens of the patients with gut problems showed evidence of mild long term inflammation. But few were positive for Helicobacter pylori, a common bacterial infection associated with peptic ulcers, gastritis, and duodenitis.
The interesting part? Over 80% of the specimens from the ME patients tested positive for enteroviral particles compared with only 7 of the 34 specimens from healthy people. Could this be the smoking gun for CFS?
There are a number of theories that have been proposed to explain the incidence of chronic fatigue syndrome. Heres a brief review of the theories beginning with the theory that CFS is caused by viral infections.
Enteroviruses are believed by some researchers to be the cause of CFS and these include such viruses as the herpes viruses (examples of these include the Epstein-Barr virus, human herpes virus types six as well as seven, herpes simplex virus types one as well as two, and the cytomegalovirus), the Coxsackie virus, the stealth virus, the retroviruses as well as a selection of other viruses.
Bacterial infections are sometimes proposed as a possible cause of chronic fatigue syndrome. These include such infections as tick-borne bacterial diseases such as Lyme disease, Q fever and Rickettsia as well as other bacterial infections such as the sexually transmitted disease chlamydia, brucella and mycoplasma.
Sometimes food-borne bacterial infections are believed to cause CFS and these include such conditions as E coli, Campylobacter jejuni, salmonella, Clostridium botulism, shigella, cholera and ciguatera. But that is not all. Other known food-borne bacterial infections include Listeria monocytogenes, toxoplasma, and Yersinia enterocolitica.
Parasitic infections such as tapeworms, flatworms, Giardia, cyclospora cayetanensis, E histolytica as well as trichinella spiralis and cryptosporidium parvum are theorized to cause CFS as are fungal infections such as chronic yeast infections which are related to the overgrowth of the yeast Candida albicans in the body.
Allergies, autoimmune disease and a leaky gut are all forms of immune system dysfunctions that are thought to be connected to CFS as are hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis conditions and dysfunctions. The latter includes such problems as hypothyroidism, growth hormone deficiency and hypoadrenalism/adrenal insufficiency.
Neurochemical imbalances can bring on CFS and these include such things as low or blocked serotonin and/or endorphin levels, blocked GABA (which stands for gamma-aminobutyric acid), too much Substance P and too much NMDA in the body.
Autonomic Nervous System
Autonomic nervous system dysfunctions and or dysautonomias are sometimes linked to CFS and these include neurally mediated hypotension (NMH) and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS). Heart problems such as abnormal pumping of the heart and cardiac viral infection are believed to be at fault for chronic fatigue syndrome.
Other possible causes given for the development of CFS include exposure to certain toxins and/or chemicals, as well as nutritional deficiencies such as a lack of vitamin B12 or magnesium, trauma or imbalance in the musculoskeletal system such as a neck injury or whiplash sustained in an accident and finally sleep disorders combined with an excess amount of stress.
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