Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Now Linked to a Common Stomach Virus?

New research published in the Journal of Clinical Pathology suggests that chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as myalgic encephalitis (ME), is linked to a stomach virus.

More than 80 percent of the biopsy specimens from patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome tested positive for enteroviral particles, compared to 20 percent of specimens from healthy people.

Enteroviruses infect your bowel, causing severe but short lasting respiratory and gut infections. There are more than 70 different types of enteroviruses, and they can spread to the central nervous system, heart, and muscles.

In a significant portion of patients, the initial infection had occurred years earlier, but they were still showing evidence of mild, long-term inflammation.

Journal of Clinical Pathology September 14, 2007

Eurekalert September 13, 2007


Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), or as it is more recently called: Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS), has only been recognized by the CDC since 1988. Fortunately, most doctors have now abandoned their view that CFS is just something “in your head,” and no longer view it as a psychological disorder.

The CFIDS Association estimates that some 800,000 Americans suffer from this debilitating condition, with a mere 16 percent having been diagnosed.

The characteristics of CFS include:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Muscle and joint aches and pains
  • Muscle weakness
  • Chronic headaches
  • Swollen glands
  • Periodic fevers and chills
  • Sore throat
  • Numbness and tingling of the extremities
  • Inability to cope with any stress
  • Cognitive dysfunction
  • Insomnia

Viral infections, such as Epstein Barr, cytomegalovirus, and parvovirus, have also been seen to produce many of the symptoms associated with chronic fatigue syndrome, so it seems quite plausible that a mild, long-term gut infection could play a role.

The Yeast Connection

A close cousin of CFS, fibromyalgia, is a similar condition that shares many of the same symptoms. They are often spoken of in the same breath and may indeed be connected. Certainly their similarities, beginning with a shared feeling of profound fatigue make it easy to find a connection between the two.

Both of these conditions appear to be connected to yeast overgrowth, as a significant number of sufferers from these two syndromes find relief when they follow an anti-candida diet and other protocols to address Candida albicans yeast overgrowth.

Dr. William Crook is the single most influential physician that motivated my transition to “alternative” or natural medicine. He was a friend who passed away some five years ago now and was the author of the classic book, “The Yeast Connection.” His great legacy is being carried on at, where you can find out all the latest insights on how Candida yeast causes problems in your body, and how to alleviate them.

I first tried his theory in 1985 and it failed miserably because I just used the drugs to treat the yeast. About seven years later, I wised up and used dietary changes in addition to antifungals when needed and saw far better results.

So, Exactly What Help is There for CFS?

Some useful strategies include:

  • Proper diet according to your nutritional type, to maximize your overall health and physical energy
  • Supplements for digestive problems and nausea, including probiotics, digestive enzymes, and ginger
  • Effective use of energy psychology tools, such as EFT
  • Gentle exercise, such as yoga
  • Sleep and rest management

Many people with CFS are highly sensitive to conventional drug therapy and find much more relief taking natural nutrients and from non-invasive therapies.

The Emotional Connection                                                                                            

Eventually I realized that one of the primary reasons that this disease occurred was due to a suppressed immune system from untreated emotional traumas. When I started using technologies like energy psychology, I noted an entirely different level of improvement.

I have long stated that chronic fatigue is related to emotional challenges incurred in early childhood, typically below the age of five. Two major studies have in fact been published that support this view.

Although clearly there are also other factors involved (as not everyone with childhood trauma develops these problems), I believe it is vital to address the emotional system together with the physical.

In my practice, I have had enormous success with patients using energy psychology tools like the Emotional Freedom Technique, as it can usually address these issues easily and rapidly. EFT can also be very helpful as a non-drug treatment-aid for depression and anxiety, which is a common side effect of dealing with a chronic illness, as well as helping you decrease your stress level and promote good solid sleep.

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