Here is the second part of Dr Eleanor Roberts’ article looking at ways in which the immune system may be disrupted in ME/CFS. Click here for part 1, and click here for Eleanor’s introduction to the immune system.
For some people with ME/CFS, their symptoms may be due to changes in the different species of bacteria found in the gut, and products from these leaking into the rest of the body. This can lead to a type of autoimmune-system reaction involving increased production of immunoglobulin (Ig) A and IgM from B-cells.
Gut permeability describes how tightly the cells that make up the lining of the stomach and intestines are bound together. Increased permeability (looser binding) may allow bacterial products into the bloodstream, leading to inflammation. Mast cells, which form part of the innate immune system and can be overactivated in people with ME/CFS, may be involved in this loosening of bonds between digestive-system cells.
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