Energy Failure In ME/CFS

From Life with ME by Sissel.

This is an English translation of the Norwegian blogpost “ME-syke har energisvikt.”

ME/CFS is an illness it’s hard to understand. And in the absence of a diagnostic test, the opinions are many and strong about both the illness and who suffer from it. But did you know that a 2-day bicycle test can identify the patients with defective energy metabolism?

In this blogpost, Jørn Tore Haugen has summarized 24 studies showing abnormal lactate and oxygen values ​​in CFS/ME-patients following such a bicycle test (CPET). He has also made an overview of lectures and webinars for those who want to learn more.

But first a short lesson about mitochondria – the cells’ energy powerhouse, and PEM – the hallmark symptom of ME/CFS.


The body’s petrol is called ATP. It’s made inside the cells by the help of mitochondria – which are found in all the cells except for the red blood cells. “The mitochondria are the body’s energy factories. When they fail, we can get seriously ill.” (Quote article in Aftenposten, 2017)

When the mitochondria fail, or processes in the mitochondria are inhibited, the energy production is impaired – and the cells make more lactic acid (lactate). At least seven research groups believe to link ME patients’ lack of energy to something in their blood. Several studies show that blood serum from ME patients changes the cells to healthy controls, while the patients’ cells are repaired when exposed to serum from healthy controls. Please read more in the blogpost: “CFS/ME – A “factor” in plasma?

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