New research has identified distinct immune changes in patients diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, providing evidence that the disabling disorder is a biological illness as opposed to a psychological disorder.
According to researchers at the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, the findings could help improve diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome, known medically as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS) or systemic exertion intolerance disease. Continue reading
Just as crowdfunding has changed finance and citizen journalism has transformed the media, the internet is altering the face of medicine and healthcare.
A striking example of that is Mendus (http://www.mendus.org), a website where members can design their own research studies.
Joshua Grant’s journey, seeking answers to his own health issues, led him to develop the site. Continue reading
This overview article gives a good explanation of the functions of the vagus nerve and how it could affect chronic illness and pain.
Vagus nerve stimulation is one of the most promising chronic pain interventions under development today.
An earlier blog on Health Rising featured an astonishing story of a woman whose very severe fibromyalgia was largely ameliorated by a vagus nerve stimulator implant.
a recent three part review did an overview of our understanding of what the vagus nerve does, how vagus nerve stimulation works and how it effective it is. Continue reading
Though this article refers to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, these symptoms often overlap with other chronic conditions, like Fibromyalgia. Also, people with EDS are often suspected of having mitochondrial issues.
It has been well documented that there is an abnormal increase in cytokines (chemicals released by the immune system) in CFS/ME patients following mild exercise. This causes another type of fatigue on top of the mitochondrial dysfunction fatigue discussed below. Cytokines in general, without the exercise trigger, can cause fatigue. There are probably additional causes of fatigue (such as orthostatic intolerance) as well.
Role of mitochondria in cellular function
I’ve long noticed the overlap between these syndromes and this article explains them in detail.
Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) is a genetic connective tissue disorder caused by structural deficiencies in collagen, the most abundant protein in the human body.
All the tissues of the body including ligaments, bones, tendons, muscles, skin, blood vessels, gums, eyes and large organs rely on collagen for their strength and flexibility.
Here’s a poll from Health Rising seeking to determine:
I don’t understand how they made the leap from measuring pressure pain to diagnosing hyperalgesia. Hyperalgesia is not the same thing as “pain threshold”, which is what they really seem to be measuring.
Chronic widespread pain is highly present in patients with the Ehlers-Danlos syndrome hypermobility type (EDS-HT), but up to now, evidence for generalized hyperalgesia is lacking.
The aim of this study is to investigate whether pressure pain thresholds (PPTs) at both symptomatic and asymptomatic body areas differ in EDS-HT patients compared to healthy subjects.
Twenty-three women with EDS-HT and 23 gender- and age-matched healthy controls participated. Continue reading
Lactate (L-lactate) is an organic compound produced during anaerobic energy metabolism.
It’s constantly being formed – even when we are at rest – but is formed in higher quantities when ATP levels are low and anaerobic energy metabolism is high. Several forms of lactate are also produced by anaerobic bacteria in the gut.
Lactate is not bad – it actually reduces muscle fatigue – but the presence of high levels of lactate (lactic acid) signal that the anaerobic energy production process – which produces toxic metabolites that cause pain and fatigue – is in full bore. Continue reading
Two years ago Jamison Hill was featured in a blog “Carrying that Weight: A Weightlifter’s Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Story” on Health Rising. He was also featured in the film “The Forgotten Plague”
He was young and supremely healthy and it didn’t make a bit of a difference when ME/CFS came calling.
When it went wrong for Jamison it all went wrong at once. No infection needed by the way; one day in 2010, something in him just broke.
He described what happened: Continue reading
A New York psychiatrist, Jeremy Coplan has been attempting to bridge the gap between mood and biological disorders for decades. Most studies to date have examined the overlap between mood disorders.
A large 2013 study, for instance, found that alterations in calcium channel genes increase the risk of coming down with a wide variety of psychological disorders.
In 2009 Coplan found that increased brain lactate – found in both chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia – is associated with panic-like symptoms in rats. Continue reading