Researchers find chronic fatigue syndrome linked to gut health
(NaturalHealth365) Chronic fatigue syndrome has mystified healthcare providers for years. It is a condition marked by debilitating fatigue after just normal amounts of exertion. This fatigue also isn’t alleviated by getting extra rest. The diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome requires a long list of tests to determine a wide variety of underlying health issues like, digestive problems, infections and heavy metal toxicity. (to name a few)
The cause of chronic fatigue syndrome is rarely just ‘one thing,’ and most always needs to be addressed on an individual basis. However, new evidence is indicating that chronic fatigue syndrome may be strongly linked to poor gut health and, in particular, the overall environment of the gut microbiome.
How poor gut health is linked to chronic fatigue syndrome
Cornell researchers have identified some key biological markers related to chronic fatigue syndrome in gut bacteria as well as inflammatory microbial agents in the bloodstream. A study published in the journal Microbiome detailed how the research team was able to correctly diagnose chronic fatigue syndrome through blood work and stool samples with a high degree of accuracy.
The results showed that bacteria levels in the gut microbiome of chronic fatigue sufferers isn’t normal. This in turn contributes to inflammatory and gastrointestinal symptoms. The detection of a biological abnormality provides clear evidence that chronic fatigue syndrome is NOT just psychological in nature.
In the study, one group with chronic fatigue syndrome and a control group without were both assessed in terms of the microbial DNA and bacteria in their stool samples. In affected patients, the bacterial diversity was greatly reduced, making the gut microbiome less than ideal.
Leaky gut could explain gastrointestinal symptoms and heightened immune response
There were also fewer anti-inflammatory bacterial species present in chronic fatigue syndrome patients. Researchers detected inflammation in the blood that was linked with a leaky gut and intestinal issues allowing bacteria into the bloodstream. Bacteria in the blood triggers the immune response, and this could play a role in the symptoms that characterize chronic fatigue syndrome.
Researchers were already aware that an overactive immune system is a contributor to chronic fatigue syndrome. Other symptoms include joint and muscle pain, migraines, fatigue even after sleep, and gastrointestinal issues. Post-exertional malaise is another condition related to chronic fatigue syndrome, in which patients require weeks of recovery time after just a minor amount of exertion.
These results pave the way for a noninvasive diagnostic procedure and hope for finally better understanding the nature and cause of this mysterious disease. The assessment and treatment of poor gut health, in chronic fatigue syndrome, could serve as a powerful complement to other noninvasive techniques. Steps such as improving the diet and using probiotics or dietary fibers could assist in treating this disease more effectively.
Researchers admit that they are not sure if the altered gut microbiome is a cause or a consequence of chronic fatigue syndrome. Regardless, these results point to the importance of gut health to overall health, especially in those showing symptoms of chronic fatigue.
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