Will ME/CFS Eventually Kill Us?

There is now more information coming forth from Neuro Endocrinology Letters, dated 12/30/09, on ME/CFS patients dying earlier from heart disease than the normal population figures show.  According to what ProHealth reported the Neuro Endocrinology Letters:

There is evidence that disorders in inflammatory and oxidative and nitrosative (IO&NS) pathways and a lowered antioxidant status are important pathophysiological mechanisms underpinning myalgic encephalomyelitis / chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).

Important precipitating and perpetuating factors for ME/CFS are (amongst others):

• Bacterial and viral infections;

• Bacterial translocation due to an increased gut permeability;

• And psychological stress.

Recently, Jason, et al. (2006) reported that the mean age of patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis / chronic fatigue syndrome dying from heart failure, i.e., 58.7 years, is significantly lower than the age of those dying from heart failure in the general US population, i.e., 83.1 years.

These findings implicate that ME/CFS is a risk factor to cardiovascular disorder. This review demonstrates that disorders in various IO&NS pathways provide explanations for the earlier mortality due to cardiovascular disorders in ME/CFS.

The pathways include:

  •  Chronic low grade inflammation with extended production of nuclear factor kappa B and COX-2 and increased levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha.
  • Increased O&NS with increased peroxide levels, and phospholipid oxidation including oxidative damage to phosphatidylinositol.
  • Decreased levels of antioxidants – including CoQ1o, zinc, and DHEAS.
  •  Bacterial translocation as a result of leaky gut.
  • Decreased omega-3 polyunsatutared fatty acids (PUFAs), and increased omega-6 PUFA and saturated fatty acid levels.
  • The presence of viral and bacterial infections and psychological stressors.

The researchers believe each of these factors may contribute towards cardiovascular disease in ME/CFS patients.

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