(We include excerpts from this article as an independent confirmation of our 3-part program for CFS of Monolaurin, our heavy metal Detox and Foundation multi-nutrient. It is a bit technical but forgive us if we make some notes in places as to how it coincides with us. Source: American Association for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, c/o Harborview Medical Center, 325 Ninth Avenue, Box 359780, Seattle, WA 98104.)
Immune Response to Infections
Infection and Inflammation
Role of the Endocrine System in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Side Effects of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
The causes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are as yet undetermined, but studies have shown that multiple nutrient deficiencies, food intolerance, or extreme physical or mental stress may trigger chronic fatigue. Studies have also indicated that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome may be activated by the immune system, various abnormalities of the hypothalamic-pituitary axes, or by the reactivation of certain infectious agents in the body.
Some Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients were found to have low levels of PBMC beta-endorphin and other neurotransmitters. Thyroid deficiency (our iodine recommendation) may also be a contributing factor in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. A number of the triggers that may cause or exacerbate Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are discussed below.
Chronic Viral Infections
Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome resemble a post viral state and for this reason chronic viral conditions have been thought to contribute to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in some patients. Several viruses have been associated with Chronic Fatigue
Syndrome, including (Manian 1994):
Herpes virus, particularly human herpes virus 6 (HHV-6)
Epstein-Barr virus (a herpes virus which causes infectious mononucleosis)
Cytomegalovirus (a herpes virus)
Coxsackie viruses B1 and B4
If you are infected with a chronic, energy-depleting virus, there are conventional and alternative therapies that may be of help (monolaurin). It should be noted that most individuals have been exposed to pathogenic viruses that can be reactivated by adverse environmental conditions and cause chronic fatigue and other diseases.
Immune Response to Bacterial and Viral Antigens
There are two different types of T-helper cells that defend against different organisms: T-helper 1 cells target organisms that invade cells, such as viruses. Interleukin-12 (IL-12) stimulates Th1 activation. T-helper 2 cells (Th2) target organisms that are found outside of cells. Th2 cells are involved in humoral or antibody-mediated immunity and are triggered by interleukin-10 (IL-10), which is stimulated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, and allergens.
Viruses, especially herpes viruses (such as Lyme Disease, Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, and human herpes), make proteins that mimic IL-10, which activates the immune system and remains untouched by the body’s natural defenses.
Addressing the two different types of T-helper cells has been the focus of work by Paul Cheney, M.D. His protocols are designed to stimulate Th1 and inhibit Th2. In this way the viruses are able to “fool” the immune system.
Infection and Inflammation
A theory was published by Dr. Martin L. Pall, a professor of biochemistry and basic medical sciences at Washington State University, in 2001. The theory starts with the observation that infections that precede and may therefore induce Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and related conditions act to induce excessive production of inflammatory cytokines.
Breaking the chain of inflammation caused by chronic viral infections would require a three-part protocol:
1. The underlying viral infection should be addressed with antiviral supplements (including monolaurin).
2. Inflammation should be reduced with anti-inflammatory agents (including some of the nutrients in our Foundation).
3. The nitric oxide system should be supported with supplements (more Foundation).
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
(Detoxification) Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) is a controversial term. Synonyms for MCS are twentieth century disease, Environmental Illness, Total Allergy syndrome, Chemical AIDS, and Idiopathic Environmental Illness. It is believed by some that exposure to a chemical (or many chemicals) can trigger a complex of symptoms called MCS. It appears to affect young women at a higher rate than men. The individual demonstrates symptoms of MCS when exposed to many unrelated chemicals. (Cullen 1987a; 1987b).
One study points out that MCS, fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and post-traumatic stress disorder are overlapping diseases, sharing common symptoms. Very often, each disorder seems to be induced by a relatively short-term stress, which is followed by a chronic pathology, suggesting that the stress may act by inducing a self-perpetuating vicious cycle. (Beckman et al. 1993; Radi et al. 1994).
(Also heavy metal detoxification) The effect of dental metal (amalgam) removal was studied in 111 patients with metal hypersensitivity and symptoms resembling Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. A significant number of patients had metal-specific lymphocytes in the blood. Nickel was the most common, followed by inorganic mercury, phenyl-mercury, cadmium, and palladium. As compared to lymphocyte responses in healthy subjects, the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome group had significantly increased responses to several metals, especially to inorganic mercury, and phenyl-mercury.
Following dental metal removal, 83 patients (76%) reported long-term health improvement; 24 patients (22%) reported unchanged health; and two patients (2%) reported worsening of symptoms. Following dental metal replacement, the lymphocyte reactivity to metals decreased as well (Stejskal et al. 1999) (see “Mercury Amalgam Toxicity” in the May 2001 issue of Life Extension Magazine).
Studies have shown that oxidative stress (more free radicals than the body can neutralize) plays a role in the development of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (Fulle et al. 2000; Richards et al. 2000; Logan et al. 2001). When there are enough free radical scavengers present, such as glutathione (our Detox) and vitamins C, E, and A, along with zinc and other nutrients (our Foundation), through normal metabolic functioning, the body will “mop up” or neutralize the free radicals.
An article in the journal Life Science described a study that showed that patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome had lower serum transferrin levels and higher lipoprotein peroxidation. These results indicate that patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome have lower levels of serum transferrin and to other unidentified pro-oxidizing effects of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (Manuel y Keenoy et al. 2001).
Possible Related Side Effects of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Hypotension, particularly orthostatic hypotension (excessive fall in blood pressure), is a common symptom in chronic fatigue patients. Many people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome have chronic low blood pressure, which is made even worse on standing. This may be a particular problem in the morning, when standing can cause dizziness.
There are several mechanisms that govern blood pressure. Upon standing, a large amount of blood pools in the veins of the legs and trunk. The transient decrease in venous return to the heart results in a low blood pressure.
Several classes of drugs reduce blood pressure on standing as an important adverse effect. Or, when the body has an adequate supply of vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid (we have high amounts in the Foundation), homocysteine is detoxified, rendering compounds useful for other functions.
A study of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome women found that, in all the patients, the homocysteine levels were increased in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The authors concluded that “increased homocysteine levels in the central nervous system characterize patients fulfilling the criteria chronic fatigue syndrome.” They also noted that B12 deficiency caused a deficient remethylation of homocysteine. (Regland et al. 1997).
Glutathione functions as a modulator of cellular homeostasis, including detoxification of oxyradicals and metals. It also acts as a potent free radical scavenger that can help prevent damage to DNA and RNA, detoxify heavy metals, boost immune function, and assist the liver in detoxification through its various enzymes.
An article in the journal Medical Hypothesis proposed that glutathione, an antioxidant essential for lymphocyte function, may be depleted in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients. Glutathione is needed for both the immune system and for aerobic muscular contraction. The authors proposed that glutathione depletion by an activated immune system also causes the muscular fatigue and myalgia associated with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (Bounous et al. 1999).
Cysteine is a precursor to glutathione. It has been hypothesized that glutathione and cysteine metabolism may play a role in skeletal muscle wasting and muscle fatigue. The combination of abnormally low plasma cysteine and glutathione levels, low natural killer (NK) cell activity (with a resulting susceptibility to viral infection), skeletal muscle wasting or muscle fatigue, and increased rates of urea production define a complex of abnormalities that is tentatively called “low CG syndrome.” These symptoms are found in patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. (Droge et al. 1997).
(It should be no surprise that glutathione and cysteine are both in our Body Detox! Please check out our CFS Protocol to overcome CFS. It could change your life!)
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