I found some research information by Dr. Paul Cheney that discusses CFIDS and cardiac issues. Dr. Cheney has been a very proactive researcher on CFIDS over the last 20 years. He lost a lot of friends and help in the medical profession because of his neverending search for the cause of CFIDS. Dr. Cheney’s theory (through research) is that CFIDS compensates for Idiopathic Cardiomyopathy (he believes that most patients, but not all, have this heart problem).
If all of this is true, I have to admit I am rather concerned. If a cure for CFIDS is found and we are cured, then will we die from this heart condition? Dr. Cheney says that having CFIDS is what is keeping us alive. Hmmm…makes me wonder, and worry a lot! To read the entire article, click here.
Idiopathic = Cause unknown
Cardiomyopathy = structural or functional disease of the heart muscle
Dr. Cheney says that there are two types of heart failure. The first kind is the type of heart disease that any cardiologist can diagnose rather quickly. This is the type that CFIDS patients do not have. This is why it is missed. “What you have is Compensated Idiopathic Cardiomyopathy and your primary means of compensation for this is CFIDS itself”.
Dr. Cheney explains that by having CFIDS, this is the body’s way of saving us from dying of cardiomyopathy.
Dr. Cheney says that in the medical literature, at least 35% of those with a diagnosis of ICM will die within 5 years unless they receive a transplant. But in the 20 years he has been following CFIDS, he has never seen one case from a CFIDS patient go on to transplant or ever heard of one going on to transplant.
Dr. Cheney himself had ICM and received a heart transplant. He says his went to this stage because he does not have CFIDS.
“The disease (CFIDS) itself is protecting you from a deeper problem that has been totally missed, including me. I missed it, too. Because it is so well hidden”.
Cardiomyopathy is a failure of the muscle of the heart to pump adequate blood flow under psysiologic conditions necessary to function. There are two kinds of muscle failure (a) failure to contract, (b) failure to relax. Most (but not all) CFIDS patients have a failure to relax which impairs proper filling.
Those with inadequate cardiac output are deemed in failure. Those with adequate output simply have filling or diastolic dysfunction since its cause is a celular energy problem which causes diastolic dysfunction.
Dr. Cheney says that diagnosing diastolic dysfunction by echocardiography has not been well described.