Please go back and read the first three parts to this series at these links:
- Part 1: CFS – The Central Cause: Mitochondrial Failure
- Part 2: Mitochondrial Failure- Testing For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Part 3: Mitochondrial Failure – Effects On Body
Mitochondrial failure affects many parts of the body: the skin, muscles, liver, stomach/gut, brain, heart lungs and kidneys.
- Effects On Brain
Dr. Myhill says on her website that brain scans of CFS patients she had seen resembled those of stroke patients. She says:
In October 2007 I attended a conference sponsored by the late Dr John Richardson. A Canadian physician Dr Byron Hyde showed us some functional scans of the brains of CFS patients. If I had not known the diagnosis, I would have diagnosed strokes.
She said that the blood supply to that particular area of the patients’ brains were very impaired. She says this explains the short-term memory problems, concentration problems, multi-tasking difficulties and slow mental processing. She goes on to say:
Furthermore brain cells are not particularly well stocked with mitochondria and therefore they run out of energy very quickly.
- Effects on Heart
Mitochondrial dysfunction or failure has two effects on the heart. The first problem is disturbance of the electrical conductivity. This causes dysrhythmias. Heart palpitations and missed heartbeats are common complaints among many CFS patients, myself included.
The second effect on the heart is due to poor exercise tolerance. According to Myhill, the heart muscle fatigues just like other muscles of the body. In turn, these CFS patients suffer from chest pains and fatigue. Dr. Myhill says long term this can cause defective heart valves because the muscles that hold open the mitral valve fatigue.
The difference between this type of heart failure and medically recognized congestive cardiac failure is that patients with CFS protect themselves from organ failure because of their fatigue symptoms. Patients with congestive cardiac failure initially do not get fatigue and often present with organ failures such as kidney failure or overt heart failure. At present I do not know why there is this difference.
- Effects on Lungs & Kidneys
Lung and kidney failure is not typically seen among CFS patients because the lungs and kidneys are protected against poor micro-circulation and this keeps the blood pressure up in these organs.