No Proof: Is CFS a Myth?

(c) 2011, Written by Will Blesch

I honestly cannot imagine what I would feel like if I was unceasingly tired. I woke up feeling somewhat ok this morning. Not too tired, but then again, not too energized either. But, I know I don’t have chronic fatigue, thank God.

The subject interests me though because I’ve known a person (my sister) who seriously drags through her day as though she never sleeps (even when she has slept a good eight hours) and who seems unnaturally tired after any kind of physical exertion. The idea has been tossed around in family circles that maybe she has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). To this day though, I don’t think she has seen a doctor to actually get a diagnosis.

Still, because of this, I decided to look at a brief history of the disease, and then take a look at what remedies may be available other than a dose of cocaine. (Sarcasm people. Sarcasm.)

As far back as the early 19th century, physicians described symptoms similar to those displayed by those with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. A single, agreed upon definition of the disease however, didn’t come around until 1988.

The sickness is rare, and according to the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, “All symptoms and diagnoses were more common in females than in males.”

There are a number of theories regarding the principle root of the affliction, which include such things as exposure to pesticides, hormonal problems, sleep dysfunction, immunological abnormalities, and stress.

Out of the potential causes listed above, there is evidence that supports a relationship between CFS and immunological abnormalities. As stated in the medical journal, Medical Hypotheses, “The neurological and endocrine changes that have been described in CFS patients support the view that CFS has an inflammatory pathogenesis when considered as a whole.” In addition, “This review therefore posits the hypothesis that CFS is a disease of long-term inflammatory processes of the brain.”

Another name for CFS is Post-Viral Fatigue Syndrome (PVFS). And, there is evidence to support the idea that common human viruses such as the Epstein-Barr virus (a virus in the Herpes family of viruses that normally causes infectious mononucleosis) may be a strong factor in developing CFS. As reported by the CDC in its analysis of the Epstein-Barr virus, further research into the relationship between the virus and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome should be conducted.

It is well-known that many disease processes begin with some type of chronic inflammation…and many viruses are the cause of those inflammations. However, there is not enough information available, and there are contradictory studies. Thus, the disease itself remains a mystery, and its causes still unknown.

“Because there is no blood test, brain scan or other lab test to diagnose CFS, it is a diagnosis of exclusion.” (CDC.gov)  This means the doctor has to rule out any number of other possible, physical causes of symptoms.

How does one treat a disease for which there is no known, proven cause? There are no pharmaceutical or prescription drugs available that are made specifically for the treatment of CFS. Because symptoms can change over time, treatment is further complicated. Programs for treatment, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), should, “be based on a combination of therapies that address coping techniques, symptoms and activity management.”

What it comes down to is this: Modern Medicine doesn’t have a clue how to treat CFS!

As I’ve noted in some of my other blog postings, there are alternative therapies out there that are shown to help reduce viral loads within the body. This includes the Epstein-Barr virus. Consuming Cinnamon is just one substance with known antiviral properties.

It makes sense to me, that if there is indeed a relationship between infection by common viruses and CFS, that one should do something to help reduce those viral loads, thereby reducing chronic inflammation…and therefore reducing the likelihood that one would develop CFS in the first place.

Now, I’m gonna go take a nap.

References:

Gallagher Thomas JM Hamilton WT White PD., “Incidence of fatigue symptoms and diagnoses presenting in UK primary care from 1990 to 2001.” Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, Dec. 2004

Alleva LM Korossy-Horwood R, Clark IA., “Chronic fatigue syndrome – A neuroimmunological model.” Medical Hypotheses, 5 April, 2011

“Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,www.cdc.gov WEB

“Epstein-Barr Virus”, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,www.cdc.gov WEB

Motohashi N, Yamagami C, Tokuda H, Okuda Y, Ichiishi E, Mukainaka T, Nishino H, Saito Y., “Structure-activity relationship in potentially anti-tumor promoting benzalacetone derivatives, as assayed by the epstein-barr virus early antigen activation.”, Mutation Research, 24 Jan. 2000

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3 Comments on “No Proof: Is CFS a Myth?”

  1. Team Oyeniyi says:

    I have a friend that had CFS. He went from working 18 hours a day to sleeping 18 hours a day. At his worst, he could not stay awake for much longer than 2 hours at a time. He had to change careers once he could work again. It took some four years for him to be able to lead even a remotely normal life. A few years after that he suffered a massive stroke.

  2. Will Blesch says:

    That is really horrible! Did your friend die of the stroke?

    • Team Oyeniyi says:

      I should have said, shouldn’t I? No, he didn’t, but the doctors said it was only because he was at work at the time and got immediate treatment (or as immediate as was possible). It took him quite a while to recover from the stroke too, but he speaks much better these days and did get his driver’s licence back last year.


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