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 CFS  Holistic-online.com

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Causes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

A definitive cause for CFS has not been determined, although it was first (in the early 1980s) thought to be caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, which causes mononucleosis, or other viruses such as herpes and polio. Scientists have discarded that theory and now believe that CFS may be an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system reacts (or overreacts) to a perceived threat (such as a virus) by attacking otherwise healthy tissues. That has led to CFS sometimes being referred to as chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome, or CFIDS.

CFS is a multi symptomatic condition. Not any single factor contributes to it. It is the result of a number of different factors. This also suggests that the treatment of CFS needs to be multidimensional to take care of the various causes. The majority of people who develop CFS have led exceedingly busy, productive, and often stressful lives. Many experts believe that CFS develops as a combined result of:

Nutritional deficiency: Poor diet, especially excessive sugar, caffeine, alcohol, or chronic nutrient deficiency.
Acquired toxicity (from environment, food, and drugs). A history of recurrent courses of antibiotics, NSAIDS, or other medications.
Poor stress-coping abilities. Adrenal exhaustion and low DHEA from chronic stress or following a serious illness
Acquired systemic infections (from excessive use of antibiotics causing candidiasis, parasite overgrowth, etc.) 
Chronic infection-sinusitis, prostatitis, or dental abscesses 
Inhalant and food allergies and sensitivities 
Recurrent viral and bacterial infections (such as acne, sinusitis, cystitis)
The effect of vaccination and immunization on the immune system 
Bowel toxemia and infestation of fungi, protozoa, and parasites
Lifestyle factors (inadequate exercise, sleep, and relaxation)
Significant emotional stress and/or excessive work 
Hormonal imbalances (particularly in the thyroid)
Increased muscle tensions and breathing pattern changes (hyperventilation)
Genetic factors
Hypoglycemia 
Clinical hypothyroidism
Alcohol, drug, and tobacco abuse
Chemical exposure or sensitivity (can be triggered by paints, refinishing oils, or other chemicals) 
Mercury toxicity from amalgam dental fillings (they contain over 50 percent mercury) 
Dysbiosis/leaky gut syndrome 

Immune System

Many experts believe that a depressed level of immune function lies at the heart of CFS. There is considerable disagreement as to whether the immune system is the cause of CFS or is the result of CFS. 

CFS and Heart Connection

A Johns Hopkins University study found that 22 out of 23 subjects with CFS suffered a drop in blood pressure and a marked slowing of the heart rate after standing for a prolonged period of time. The result was a feeling of dizziness and exhaustion that lasted for days after the study was concluded. Many patients in this study found their symptoms improved after their blood pressure was stabilized.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome And Biological Dentistry 

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) can be due, at least in part, to amalgam fillings in the teeth, which contain over 50 percent mercury, a highly toxic substance. 

Viruses 

A number of viruses have been implicated in CFS. 

The herpes family of viruses (which includes the Epstein-Barr virus and oral and genital herpes viruses) has been a primary focus of interest. The Epstein- Barr virus (EBV), the cause of infectious mononucleosis, has received the most attention since its symptoms are duplicated in CFS sufferers, who also have very high EBV antibody levels. 

According to National Institutes of Health (NIH) there is no clear-cut evidence that the Epstein-Barr virus, or any other virus, is the primary cause of CFS .NIH also reports that recent studies found that a drug called acyclovir, which blocks multiplication of the Epstein-Barr virus, is not effective on CFS patients. 
It is possible that EBV is a major factor in CFS cases. But it is not the sole cause. It is possible that EBV might be reactivated due to other weaknesses in immune function. Other research has linked CFS to retroviruses, a group which includes the leukemia and AIDS viruses. 

Since more than one virus can be a factor in CFS, we can conclude that CFS is not caused by any particular virus pre se. The immune system of CFS victims is compromised to such an extent that the virus takes advantage of the situation. 

Psychological Factors 

In the past, many doctors have suggested that CFS is a psychosomatic disease. ("It is all in your head.") In some instances mental-emotional factors contribute to the condition, since we know that negative emotions and depression lower immune function.

There is no doubt that a positive or negative attitude greatly affects physical health. But the current theory is that anxiety and depression are the result of CFS rather than the main cause of CFS. Many CFS sufferers are over achievers with ambitious goals. The onset of CFS cripple them emotionally leading to the onset of anxiety and depression. So, treating CFS patients with antidepressants won't cure the underlying problem. It just treats the symptoms. 

There are other sources of fatigue other than CFS. These are listed in Sources of Fatigue. Some drugs are also associated with a high incidence of CFS. It will be covered next.

See Also: Sources of Fatigue

Next Topic: Drugs Associated With A Higher Incidence Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

[Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Home][Fibromyalgia Home][Diseases Home]

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