Originally published November 12 2008
The Root Causes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Explained
by Sheryl Walters
(NaturalNews) The cause of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is not yet clear. It is a complex disorder which does not have one absolute cause behind it. Rather, there are multiple underlying causes that feed off of each other and together manifest as Chronic Fatigue. Further, the group of factors that may cause one person's illness may be different from another's with similar symptoms.
The following health imbalances have all been identified as possible factors that can lead to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
The Epstein Barr Virus (EBV), which causes mononucleosis (also called glandular fever), has been continually linked with Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia (FM). Many people with these conditions initially had EBV and never recovered. Recent studies continue to associate the two together. Other viruses are also commonly found in the blood of many people with CFS and FM.
People with these conditions, regularly test positive for elevated levels of RNase L, which is an enzyme found in the cells of the body. It is activated when the body is under attack from viruses. However it appears that the RNase L system of those with CFS is compromised, and is therefore unable to effectively fight the viruses.
There is an abundance of scientific evidence to suggest that people who have CFS have immune dysfunction. A high percentage of sufferers have elevated circulating cytokines, altered T lymphocyte numbers, and low natural killer cell cytotoxicity.
In basic terms, these people have immune systems that are under functioning.
This explains why people with CFS tend to frequently pick up coughs and colds. They also have trouble fighting off what they pick up. They are more susceptible to and affected by invaders such as viruses, bacteria, parasites, Candida, and toxins. People with CFS also have a higher occurrence of allergies than the healthy population.
The endocrine systems of people with CFS seem to be out of balance.
* Cortisol and DHEA-S are hormones released by the adrenal glands, and are invariably low in people with CFS. They work together to control how the body responds to stress. Low levels of these hormones can cause fatigue, hypoglycemia, poor brain function, allergic reactions, anxiety, and many other problems associated with this condition.
* Melatonin is a hormone released by the pineal gland. Its primary function is to control sleep patterns. During the day the pineal gland is stimulated by light and communicates to produce chemicals such as serotonin to wake the body up. When light levels fall the pineal gland signals the production of melatonin, preparing the body for sleep. Melatonin production appears to be disturbed in CFS, causing a lack of deep, restful sleep.
* Thyroxin is a hormone excreted by the thyroid gland. Studies consistently reveal an under-active thyroid in many people with CFS.
A significant proportion of people with CFS have food intolerances. There is often an improvement in their health when certain foods are eliminated.
Blood Pressure Drop When Physically Active
CFS sufferers regularly report a feeling of dizziness, weakness and a light headed feeling when they stand up. In fact some people experience this all the time, even when lying down. Studies have confirmed that a majority of these people have low blood pressure, especially when they exert themselves, because there is not significant blood flow to the brain.
People with CFS can sometimes suffer from cognitive difficulties. They often feel overwhelmed by sensory information, such as sounds and smells, especially in busy public places. Their skin is often sensitive to the touch as well. Experts believe this could be explained by neurological (brain) dysfunction, which processes information as vitally important when it is not, making these people feel overwhelmed. This suggests a deficiency in certain vital chemicals in the brain.
A high percentage of people with CFS and FM are affected by everyday chemicals. This is known as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. Perhaps the brain is more sensitive to chemicals, and causes the person to have a strong physical response. There also seems to be a consistently low level of the body's most powerful antioxidants, which impair its ability to fight off toxins and free radicals.
There is evidence that suggests a genetic link, or at least a genetic predisposition to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
People with Candida, or yeast overgrowth show many of the same symptoms as people with CFS. Studies reveal that the flora of the intestine can be disturbed by factors such as antibiotics, and allow Candida, which is always present in the body in a harmless form, to proliferate and cause ill health.
Research has shown that an elevated level of Candida overgrowth is associated with allergies, irritable bowel, fatigue, memory impairment, foggy brain, and muscle pain. In diagnostic labs where it is possible to test for yeast overgrowth, physicians consistently report a correlation between Candida antibodies and CFS. Many people who have these conditions have reported dramatic health improvements through anti-fungal agents and anti-fungal protocol.
Leaky Gut Syndrome
Leaky gut is when spaces develop in the gut wall, and toxins, bacteria, fungi, and undigested food can leak through. This can cause a deal of health problems, and is associated with CFS.
Heavy Metal Sensitivity
Many studies indicate that heavy metals play a role in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. There is evidence to suggest that aluminum, nickel, lead, and mercury (from mercury amalgam dental fillings) may be involved in causing CFS.
Deficiencies in multiple vitamins and minerals are generally present in people with CFS.
A significantly high percentage of people with this condition appear to be highly driven and put a lot of pressure on themselves. They are often perfectionists. This may reveal, and further research is needed, that stress may be a root cause of CFS. There is no doubt that people with CFS have an impaired stress response, and there is also much evidence to suggest that stress impairs the immune system.
About the authorSheryl is a kinesiologist, nutritionist and holistic practitioner.
Her website www.younglivingguide.com provides the latest research on preventing disease, looking naturally gorgeous, and feeling emotionally and physically fabulous. You can also find some of the most powerful super foods on the planet including raw chocolate, purple corn, and many others.
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