Chronic fatigue syndrome: A top social cost disease

Chronic fatigue

A case of chronic fatigue syndrome (or CFS) is defined by the following conditions: chronic persistent fatigue for at least six months will not alleviated by rest, which exacerbates with little effort and that causes a reduction in previous levels of occupational, social activities or personal.

In order to be diagnosed with CFS it requires that the patient has four or more of the following symptoms for at least six months in a year: severe disorders of memory and concentration, sore throat, pain in the cervical lymph glands and axillary, aching muscles and joints without inflammation or swelling of the same, headache of a type different from that optionally present in the past, a non-restorative sleep, weakness post exercise that lasts for at least 24 hours.

Chronic fatigue
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How comes?

Chronic fatigue syndrome can appear slowly or suddenly. Patients who appears slowly become progressively more tired in the space of a few weeks or a few months; those in which it appears suddenly feel unexpectedly, from one day to the atro, tired.

Those who are affected by the CFS often complain of muscle aches, problems of concentration and insomnia; patients feel exhausted and tired; extreme fatigue makes it difficult to engage in normal activities that most of us plays without thinking. It is easy to imagine that in these conditions, it is almost impossible to carry out any work or social activities and here the patient’s support falls almost entirely on the family

The causes of CFS

Unfortunately, to date there are no certainties about the disease: the causes remain unknown, even if you start to think that there are correlations with defects of the immune system, nervous and endocrine systems. Equally unknown are the treatments: they can only be treated collateral symptoms, such as depression or power problems, but not the disease itself, which in most cases forced to abandon work and social relationships.

The complexity of the CFS and the existence of various obstacles to its understanding necessitates an integrated approach to the study of this disease and similar disorders.

The concept of fatigue is not clear itself, and develop an operational definition of fatigue was always a problem. Many patients simply define this disease as a kind of chronic flu that lasted for years.

In 2010 they were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the results of a long-awaited study that would confirm the presence of some of the group virus (MLV) in the blood of patients with CFS although this study requires further confirmation.

Unfortunately for now there is no drug that can cure definitely the disease, although patients often can reap the benefits of pharmacological interventions (antivirals, corticosteroids, immunomodulators, supplements, etc.) And lifestyle changes, even leading someone to healing and a fair number of other symptoms significant improvements.”

New hope for the cure: The causes in the intestinal micro biome?

A Cornell University study, published in the scientific journal Microbiome, has, for the first time, identified biological markers in the intestinal microbiooma associated with the disease, thus providing a possible explanation of the causes. The research could give you the tools to get to define a diagnostic test, simple and minimally invasive,

The researchers, molecular biologists and geneticists of the university in New York, examined blood samples of 83 people and stools: 48 with chronic fatigue diagnosis and 39 healthy. Of all have sequenced the DNA in feces to identify the bacterial species present in the microbiome and its composition. The result was that the microbial community of patients with chronic fatigue had a different composition in fact bacterial species were reduced, and it was also lower the presence of microorganisms from the anti-inflammatory capacity.

A little ‘the same condition of those who are suffering from Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, as it said in a statement released by Cornell University.


The basis for CFS, then, according to this study, there would be some kind of hypochondriac neuroses, or even a form of depression, but, as for some years in fact tend to believe even by much of the scientific community, more simply a biological abnormality, precise and localized in the gut.

This means that in the short term we could have a non-invasive test for the diagnosis of a condition which currently requires a long list of tests many of which aimed to rule out other conditions that could cause the lying symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.

All this would also result in a significant reduction in time to reach the definitive diagnosis, for which, at present, it takes years and very invasive tests.

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