Researchers Find Evidence Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Is an Inflammatory Disease

Researchers found inflammatory markers in blood that corresponded with chronic fatigue syndrome severity.

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You’re Going to Want to Show This to Everyone Who Says Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Isn’t Real.

A study linked myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) to markers of inflammation in the blood.

This often-doubted condition has a real, biological basis and may be diagnosable with a blood test.

After analyzing 51 proteins found in blood (cytokines), two were much different in those with ME/CFS.

Among those with the condition, levels of 17 cytokines varied based on the severity of their symptoms.

Among those with the condition, levels of 17 cytokines varied based on symptom severity.

Of those, 13 were found to be “pro-inflammatory,” suggesting inflammation drives ME/CFS.

This connection may explain many of the symptoms which are often described as “flulike.”

The study also shed light on a possible reason why more women have ME/CFS than men.

Women tend to have more leptin, one of the cytokines associated with disease severity.

Researchers say their findings could lead to a diagnostic blood test as well as pave the way for future treatments.

More research is needed to establish any cause and effect between the inflammatory cytokines and ME/CFS.

“I have seen the horrors of this disease, multiplied by hundreds of patients. It’s been observed and talked about for 35 years now, sometimes with the onus of being described as a psychological condition. But chronic fatigue syndrome is by no means a figment of the imagination. This is real.”

– Dr. Jose Montoya, Lead study author, oversees the Stanford ME/CFS Initiative

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