Chronic fatigue syndrome linked to gut bacteria

If you’ve got chronic fatigue syndrome, you know that many mainstream docs still don’t believe this debilitating disease is a “real” medical condition.

Everything in your body may seem “off” – flagging energy levels, irritable gut, interrupted sleep, even painful joints – yet they’ll still tell you it’s probably “all in your head.”

But according to a new study, there’s new hope for accurate diagnosis AND treatment of chronic fatigue – because it’s NOT all in your head.

It may, however, be all in your GUT!

The study out of Columbia University found that people with CFS have abnormal levels of specific species of gut bacteria.

Now, if the word “species” makes it sound like you have a zoo in your gut, that’s not actually so far off.

You’ve got a “microbiome” of millions of bacteria in your gut. The “good” guys help with everything from digestion to immunity – but unfriendly ones can wreak havoc on your health.

It’s a jungle in there!

In the study, the researchers tested the faecal samples for bacterial species of 50 chronic fatigue patients and 50 healthy patients.

It turns out that those with CFS had higher levels of certain gut bacteria – including Clostridium – compared to those without it.

Clostridium should sound familiar to you – and scare the heck out of you – since it’s a type of pathogenic bacteria that can cause both botulism and a bout with deadly diarrhoea, C. diff.

Not only that, but CFS patients’ unique symptoms lined up with distinct bacterial patterns.

For example, CFS patients with irritable bowel syndrome – which affects up to 90 per cent of those with CFS – had high levels of Alistipes (a type of bacteria you DON’T want) and low levels of Faecalibacterium (bacteria you DO want).

Now, there’s no need to be familiar with these hard-to-pronounce bugs in order to understand the study’s conclusions.

The bottom line was that the critters in your gut play a role in CFS… and they might even determine which symptoms you develop.

The researchers speculate that someday, doctors may even be able to “subtype” patients with CFS by surveying the “zoo” in their guts – and then offer them treatments tailored to whatever species they find.

Until that becomes possible, probiotics – the “good” bacteria found in fermented foods like yogurt, kombucha, and sauerkraut – are your best bet for restoring and maintaining a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut.

Previous research has shown that CFS patients can ease their symptoms by adding probiotics to their diets.

If you don’t care for the sour taste of probiotic foods, look for a daily probiotic supplement from a maker you trust – and choose one that has multiple strains of good bugs as well as colony-forming units (CFUs) in the billions.

And remember that sugar and processed foods are “bad” bugs’ favourite fuel.

For the healthiest gut environment, do as our caveman ancestors did and stick with meats, vegetables, fruits, and nuts — all a delicious part of the Paleo diet.

Wishing you the best of health,

Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Nutrition & Healing

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Gut Bacteria Hold Key to Diagnosing, Treating Chronic Fatigue,

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