Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a debilitating condition exhibiting a wide range of symptoms that can vary with each individual. However, the most common characteristic is a relentless fatigue lasting for over six months, regardless of the amount of sleep or rest obtained. In the past CFS was widely considered a psychological state, when examinations and testing failed to pinpoint any other diseases or conditions and no other explanation could be given.
The Gut Connection
In June of 2016 Cornell University released the results of a study indicating that CFS is not in your head at all, but rather in your gut. Using blood and stool samples, researchers were able to correctly diagnose CFS (also known as ME, Myalgic Encephalomyeletis) by identifying biological markers (a substance indicating disease) in gut bacteria and inflammatory microbial (usually bacterial) agents.
In their study a lack of diversity was found in the gut bacteria, which normally houses tens of trillions of microorganisms ranging from 400-1000 difference species of known bacteria. This population, known as the microbiome are bacteria that exist in the gut with their own collection of genes that are a counterpart to the human genetics (genome). Communities of these bacteria in the microbiome respond to their surroundings when their environment changes. As a consequence, they can either be affected by certain diseases and conditions or actually cause them.
Cornell’s findings revealed that the gut bacteria in those diagnosed with CFS was not normal, which can lead to GI issues and inflammatory symptoms. To further support this claim, another study at the Ithaca campus examined bacteria in blood and stool samples from 48 CFS/ME patients and 39 healthy controls. Their findings revealed that a considerable amount of anti-inflammatory bacterial species in those with CFS/ME was greatly reduced. This finding also correlated with those found in Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis.
Evidence of Leaky Gut in Chronic Fatigue
In addition, inflammation markers in the blood of these patients also was attributed to a leaky gut condition, which is an increased permeability of the intestinal wall. A major function of the cells that line the wall is to regulate this permeability via “tight junctions,” which control the passage of material through the lining of the small intestine, allowing substances to leak into the bloodstream. Once broken down, these junctions allow gaps in the intestinal wall. Bacteria, viruses, fungi, undigested food and waste products can leak through these gaps into the bloodstream, creating inflammation and allergic reactions, as well as increasing the risk of many autoimmune diseases.
One cause in the breakdown of these tight junctions can be attributed to certain foods. With so many people struggling from the effects of modern day grains, gluten has become a particular problem. Gluten can cause the cells in the gut to release a protein called zonulin, which breaks apart the tight junctions. This is one reason it is important for anyone suffering with Chronic Fatigue to be checked for Celiac Disease, as well as a wheat (or other gluten containing grain) allergy or intolerance.
Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue
In addition to the overwhelming fatigue associated with this condition, several other symptoms can exist, such as:
• multiple joint pain and muscle pain
• inability to concentrate, short attention span
• headaches and migraines
• chills and night sweats
• flu-like symptoms, enlarged glands and sore throat
• food intolerance and digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome
Can My Chronic Fatigue be Helped?
Absolutely! As with many conditions, removing the source of the problem, correcting imbalances or deficiencies, and addressing nutritional issues to help heal the gut can be very effective. Call for a consultation today at 434-316-0001 to see how Genesis Health Solutions can help you get your life back!
At Genesis Health Solutions, we do not treat diseases or conditions, but apply a systematic approach aimed at removing sources that cause disease, correcting nutritional deficiencies and healing your body at the cellular level, where healing begins.
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