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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome A Kick In The Guts

Wednesday 11 January 2017


From the University of Melbourne's Pursuit:


Woman on a ledge


Research suggests that chronic fatigue is linked to gut bacteria and how our bodies convert food into energy

By Florienne Loder, University of Melbourne

As the New Year gets going, are you still feeling tired and run down? Do you feel like you could sleep for a week and that you’ve reached the limit of your energy? Some regular sleep is probably all you need to revitalise you. But for some it’s nowhere near that simple.

What if your fatigue is so severe that you have had to substantially cut down on regular work, education or social activities?

This is what people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), experience. As the name implies, ME/CFS is a chronic, often severely disabling disease that comes with a myriad of symptoms rooted from the autonomic nervous system, immune system, endocrine system and gut. A good night’s sleep is not going to fix this severely debilitating disorder and treatments are hard to come by.

People with ME/CFS commonly experience headaches, muscle and joint pain, unrefreshing sleep, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath and problems in thinking and memory. They may not be able to regulate body temperature, and experience visual disturbances and extreme photosensitivity, balance problems, and irritable bowel, among other symptoms.

ME/CFS is prone to being misdiagnosed, and there are concerns that many health care providers still mistake it for a mental condition. US medical research funding agency the National Institutes of Health announced in 2015 that it was increasing research funding into ME/CFS.

Chris Armstrong, a researcher at the University of Melbourne’s Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, is the lead author on some recent studies that associate metabolites and microbiota in faeces, blood and urine with ME/CFS.


Full article…



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