Chronic Fatigue Syndrome News

Browse our library of news below or learn more about chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) symptoms, diagnosis and causes.

Could chronic fatigue syndrome be caused by hydrogen sulfide produced by gut bacteria?


Researchers say that hydrogen sulfide produced by certain species of gut bacteria found in chronic fatigue syndrome could be a possible cause for the disease and have developed a cheap and simple diagnostic test based on their work.

On May 28, 2009, chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) researcher Dr. Kenny De Meirleir, MD, PhD, spoke at a press conference in London unveiling his team's groundbreaking findings regarding the illness. Dr. De Meirleir is a Belgian scientist known for his "outside the box" ME/CFS thinking and research; he is a professor at the Vrije Universiteit, Brussels and Director of HIMMUNITAS Foundation, Brussels.

Dr. De Meirleir's presentation described the team's conclusions concerning the complex mechanisms of ME/CFS pathogenesis, a diagnostic test they have developed "for a major cause of ME," and possible therapeutic strategies.

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Experts Launch Think Tank for Mystery Disease


Ten leading scientists in Europe have formed a Think Tank for ME and will hold their first meeting on the 13th of June. They want to initiate an effective research effort to find the secret behind the mystery disease that cripples an increasing number of lives.

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, often referred to as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), is a disease which affects at least one million individuals in the US, and an even greater number in Europe. Despite the large number of people affected, there is a lack of serious large-scale research initiatives focused on the disease. The number of patients is rapidly increasing but healthcare personnel lack knowledge about existing research and possible treatments.

Last year's winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine, Professor Luc Montagnier of France, says, "Scientists have already uncovered a lot about ME, but this information does not reach professional healthcare personnel, and the disease is still not taken seriously. It is about time this changes." Montagnier, one of the discoverers of the HIV-virus, is a supporter of the Think Tank, but is unable to join the first meeting due to his demanding schedule.

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Probiotics help emotional symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome


A recent study using aprobiotic supplement containing a specific strain of Lactobacillus bacteria has found it to be beneficial in reducing emotional symptoms associated with chronic fatigue syndrome.

A few months ago The Environmental Illness Resource reported on a small research study looking at how regular ingestion of yoghurt containing probiotic bacteria affected symptoms experienced by chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) patients. That study found that the yoghurt, which the patients consumed twice daily for 4 weeks, produced benefits in either physical or mental health in most.

Traditionally probiotics have been used to assess their use in gastrointestinal disorders and more recently on conditions of immune dysfunction such as allergies and asthma due to a range of immunoregulatory functions they have been found to exhibit.

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Probiotics help some with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome


A new study from Sweden has found that some people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) are helped by the use of probiotics but treatment outcomes were mixed.

Swedish researchers in Stockholm conducted a small study using a probiotic yoghurt, Cultura Dofilus Natural Yogurt, in patients suffering from CFS. The results are on the face of it confusing; some patients felt better with regular consumption of the yoghurt while others actually felt worse.

The study was conducted by Dr. Birgitta Evengard and colleagues at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm and is published in Nutrition Journal.

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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients missing out on healthcare


A new study suggests people with fatiguing illnesses including chronic fatigue syndrome experience a number of barriers that prevent them from properly utilizing available healthcare services.

The study was carried out by prominent chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) researchers at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, including Dr. William Reeves who is head of the CDC's CFS research program. The study is published in the journal BMC Health Services Research.

The researchers note that:

  • Approximately 2.5% of adults in the United States may suffer from CFS and almost 4% report symptoms compatible with CFS.
  • Most people with CFS identified in population-based studies have been ill for 5 to 7 years.
  • They are profoundly functionally impaired; 25% are unemployed or receiving disability because of their illness, and families in which a member suffers CFS forego $20,000 in annual earnings and wages.
  • In spite of the burden imposed by CFS on individuals and the population, less than 20% of those with the illness have been diagnosed and received treatment.
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