Exercise Intolerance




From the Paradigm Change website.


One of the critical diagnostic criteria for myalgic encephalomyelitis (M.E.) is intolerance of abnormally small amounts of activity or exercise.

By definition, M.E. patients experience “post-exertional relapse” (also sometimes called “post-exertional malaise” or “post-exertional neuroimmune exhaustion”), with their condition getting measurably worse following activity or exercise.

In more severe cases of the illness, relapse can occur for days or weeks following even brief mild activity.

Dozens of studies have looked at this abnormal response to exercise, uncovering numerous physiological abnormalities.

M.E. patients experience abnormally increased inflammation, oxidative stress, C4a complement levels and intramuscular acidosis after exercise. For them, exercise also results in abnormal gene and heat shock protein expression, decreased cerebral oxygenation, lowered mitochondrial ATP, and extended abnormal pH.

Most people get a variety of positive effects from exercise, including increased energy, better sleep and decreased sensitivity to pain.  M.E. patients get the opposite:  increased fatigue, insomnia, higher levels of pain, and other negative symptoms.


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