A New Clue Is Helping To Solve The Mystery Behind Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Research

 

By Leah Rosenbaum in Seeker.

 

A recent study shows that cytokines are elevated in patients with severe chronic fatigue syndrome, potentially paving the way for a more definitive test and cure.

Almost everyone feels sleepy in the morning without their first cup of coffee. But there’s a big difference between “I need caffeine” fatigue and “can’t get out of bed for six months” fatigue.

Myalgic encephalomyelitis, also known as chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), is a devastating illness. It is made even more painful by the fact that many doctors and researchers don’t grasp that ME/CFS is more than just feeling tired. The condition is a complex cluster of symptoms that includes flu-like symptoms, an inability to exercise, extreme sensitivity to stimuli such as light and sound, and even cognitive impairment.

One of the largest battles that patients of ME/CFS face is convincing people that they actually have a physical illness. Many doctors are quick to dismiss it as a psychological problem, a habit that was only reinforced by a 2011 study in the Lancet. This trial, funded by UK taxpayers and known as the PACE trial, recommended that patients need to exercise more and see a psychologist. Recently, scientists and advocates have argued that the data from this study was severely flawed.

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