Chronic Fatigue Syndrome


Chronic Fatigue Syndrome


There are numerous theories for the question, What are the chronic fatigue syndrome causes? In October of 2009, new science was released and there is a strong link of a particular gene in a high percentage of those diagnosed with CFS. This is good news for those looking for CFS causes.


No Exact Chronic Fatigue Causes


There is no universal set of chronic fatigue syndrome causes that can explain all cases of CFS. It is not possible to conclusively diagnose CFS with either blood tests or brain scans. There are no diagnostic signs or laboratory markers that will indicate the existence of the syndrome.


The pathophysophyology is still considered inchoate or not fully formed or developed.


There seem to be two schools of thought on the diagnosis of CFS. One divides the syndrome into specific endophenotypes which looks to a clear genetic connection of a psychological component.


With the movement toward evidence based medicine, more and more are are accepting CFS as a unique heterogeneous (not just one thing) disease. In reality it could be five or more conditions with environmental and genetic causes causes combined.


That the criteria is partially self reported symptoms and partly a combination of genetic factors, brain abnormalities, a hyper-reactive immune system, viral or other infectious agents, and psychiatric or emotional conditions makes CFS hard to diagnose unless someone specializes in this syndrome.


Studies show that CFS patients often have overlapping conditions. These include autoimmune rheumatic disease, and infectious diseases, infectious agents with resulting antibodies, certain neuroendocrine-immune abnormalities and the presence of autoantibodies found in some autoimmune diseases.


One case report noted a connection between silicone breast implant leakage and hepatitis B virus vaccination map be one of the causes of chronic fatigue syndrome. This suggests a connection with the immune system and infections, vaccinations, and chemical exposures like silicone.


Immunological, Psychological and Health Disturbances


The evidence pointing to central nervous system involvement with immunosuppressive or immunological alterations has created a new term to help with the diagnosis of the syndrome. Neuro-psycho-immunology will produce a new set of studies to investigate syndromes like chronic fatigue syndrome.


These causes can be linked to the complaints of disabling fatigue, depression, memory difficulty, and concomitant skeletal and muscular pain.


Genetic Evidence and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Causes


There has been strong evidence that there is a connection with genes and CFS.


Numerous studies looking at the genetic profile of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome have found numerous connections. From individual genes to gene clusters, there are numerous findings that support the theories on the genetic connection.


Genes related to the parts of brain activity that mediate the stress response are among those that have been identified.


Other studies indicate that there are alterations in genes that have an immune function, transfer of energy to cells or communication between cells. This is an important clue for looking for a treatment.


Some genes are related to blood disease, immune system function, and infection.


Viral Influence


One theory is that infections may be what causes chronic fatigue syndrome. However not all CFS are related to viruses.Newly discovered (October 2009), the journal Science reported new findings that XMRV has been linked to Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS). XMRV is a retrovirus. The study found that the virus can be transmitted between blood cells. This means that it is infectious.


XMRV has already been studied in prostate cancer and has been confirmed as being transmissible between body fluids and is not airborne. This means that it is one more potential risk for transfused blood that currently is not on the list of potential diseases or conditions transmitted by blood transfusions.


Those with CFS will often have the antibodies to the organisms causing fatigue as well as other symptoms associated with CFS. These antibodies are not considered a cause of CFS necessarily however they are found in increased incidence in those who have CFS. This is another evidence of the nature of the condition.


The antibodies to the organisms include those for cytomegalovirus, Lyme disease, candida or yeast infection, herpesvirus type 6 (HHV-6), Epstein-Barr, human T cell lymphotropic virus (HTLV), measles, coxsackie B, or parvovirus.


There is no evidence of chronic fatigue syndrome being spread by hand shaking, coughing or sex. There is no evidence such exposure as being one of the chronic fatigue syndrome causes.


Hormones and the Central Nervous System


Since there are a sleep abnormalities, the systems that control this are suspected as part of the problem.


Abnormalities Include:


  • abnormally high serotonin levels


  • cortisol levels low (stress hormone made by adrenal glands)


  • circadian rhythm disruption (sleep disturbances)


Poor Nutrition


Vitamin, Mineral and Protein deficiencies, of course, can either contribute to the effects of CFS or may lead to CFS.  Regardless, it is difficult to eat your way to health in the US today.


Immune System Abnormalities


CFS is also known as Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome.


Studies point to numerous immune system connections. The only consistent finding relating to the immune system is that there is an immune connection. This provides a clue as to how to manage CFS.




Many suffering from CFS also have chemical sensitivity and numerous allergies are theoretically considered to be potential CFS triggers. Not all who have allergies have CFS though.


Included in the allergies is mercury. Some people apparently have an allergy to mercury.


This is widely disputed but may be one of the chronic fatigue syndrome causes. Interestingly, the American Dental Association denies the problem satiating there are very few cases in medical journals. A quick 15 minute review of PubMed turned up over 300 reported instances.


This is not considered to be one of the chronic fatigue syndrome causes by main stream science.


AutoImmune System


The autoimmune system is not believed to be a cause of CFS. There are similarities in profiles but no association has been proven or even suspected that it is a chronic fatigue syndrome cause.


Psychological Causes


There are no studies that show a cause relationship with any personality or psyc-social factors.


Similar to CFS But...


Several other conditions need to be ruled out prior to a CFS diagnosis.


  • adrenal insufficiency


  • malignancy


  • AIDS


  • kidney disease


  • liver disease</LI


  • Lyme disease


  • fibromyalgia


  • thyroid disease


  • psychosomatic illness


These are the main stream science view of chronic fatigue syndrome causes. There is another school of thought on the chronic fatigue syndrome causes. It relates to toxic foods and neuro-toxins in the food we eat.