Volume 16 Issue 9

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“Fatigue can overshadow your life, making everything seem like too much trouble.”
Kathleen A. Kendall-Tackett
 
Cover Story

Cover story

Study Shows the Source of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome May Be a Place Most Doctors and Sufferers Never Look…

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is brutal.  In fact, many sufferers describe the condition as debilitating.  

According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one million Americans have CFS—that's about one in every 300 or so people in the United States!

Chronic fatigue syndrome has eight official signs and symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Loss of memory or concentration
  • Sore throat
  • Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck or armpits
  • Unexplained muscle pain
  • Pain that moves from one joint to another without swelling or redness
  • Headache of a new type, pattern, or severity
  • Unrefreshing sleep
  • Extreme exhaustion lasting more than 24 hours after physical or mental exercise

Possibly the worst part about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is that it has completely puzzled doctors and researchers.  To date, the cause is officially unknown, and many treatments are largely guesswork without great results. But a recent discovery may change everything…

Researchers Might Have Found the Cause

Now, a team of scientists from Cornell University think they may have found the cause of CFS in what many think is an unlikely place: the gut.

According to Science Daily: “Now, for the first time, Cornell University researchers report they have identified biological markers of the disease in gut bacteria and inflammatory microbial agents in the blood.

“In a study published June 23 in the journal Microbiome, the team describes how they correctly diagnosed myalgic encephalomyeletis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) in 83 percent of patients through stool samples and blood work, offering a noninvasive diagnosis and a step toward understanding the cause of the disease.”

Dr. Maureen Hanson, the Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Cornell and the paper's senior author writes, “Our work demonstrates that the gut bacterial microbiome in chronic fatigue syndrome patients isn't normal, perhaps leading to gastrointestinal and inflammatory symptoms in victims of the disease… Furthermore, our detection of a biological abnormality provides further evidence against the ridiculous concept that the disease is psychological in origin.”

This is extremely important for a few reasons…

First – for many years, victims suffering with chronic fatigue syndrome were often ridiculed and called “lazy.”   Many were told it was all in their head.  If this research is accurate, then it is pretty clear this is not the case, and chronic fatigue is a real condition. 

Even more important, doctors and researchers now have a great starting place to explore new treatment options and possibly find a cure!

Dr. Ludovic Giloteaux, a postdoctoral researcher involved in the study adds, "In the future, we could see this technique as a complement to other noninvasive diagnoses, but if we have a better idea of what is going on with these gut microbes and patients, maybe clinicians could consider changing diets, using prebiotics such as dietary fibers or probiotics to help treat the disease"

Here is something important to note…

Even though CFS puzzled most doctors and researchers, this finding appears to validate the claims of some doctors who have treated CFS patients for years.

For quite some time, many chiropractors and some medical doctors with extensive knowledge of nutrition have proposed that an imbalance of gut flora was responsible for chronic fatigue syndrome.

Moreover, the establishment often ridiculed these doctors for claiming to help chronic fatigue patients with nutritional counseling, prebiotics, probiotics, etc. Now it looks like their claims may have been validated.

While we are on the subject of “gut health,”
here is more great news…

One of the important things the gut does is send signals that tell the brain it's full.

In one study, researchers found that feeding rats a high-fat diet reorganized the gut-to-brain neural pathway and triggered inflammation in brain regions responsible for feeding behavior.

Because previous research has shown that a high-fat diet can dramatically affect gut microbiota composition, the researchers in another study tested if these resident microbes may be the connection between the diet and neural changes. They found that when gut flora composition was restored, the rats' gut-brain signals and brain inflammation returned to normal as well. This resulted in the rats eating less and gaining less weight, even if they continued to consume a high-fat diet.

The research team concluded that the type of gut bacteria that thrive on a high-fat diet negatively affect the brain signals responsible for feeding behavior. In this study, the researchers had to use drugs to manipulate the gut flora of the rat subjects. But can food also do the trick?

According to Science Daily: “In a separate study, the researchers fed animals a high-fat diet and supplemented some of them with blueberry, a fruit packed with anthocyanins, a natural anti-microbial ingredient. Animals fed blueberries had a completely different microbiota profile, less inflammation, and more stable blood sugar levels. Thus, specific properties of bioactive foods may be used to target and improve the microbiota composition and overall health.”

There is no doubt, nutrition is one of the most important factors in health and often the most overlooked.

Inventor Thomas Edison once said, “The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.”

Research like this brings us one step closer to Edison’s prediction.  What’s incredible is how the more technologically advanced we become, the more researchers discover the importance and power of the body's own regulatory capabilities when given the correct nutrients and when freed from interference.

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