Lourdes Salvador's Column
...Co-founder of MCS America discusses the latest Multiple Chemical Sensitivity issues.
Lourdes Salvador volunteers as a writer and social advocate for the recognition of multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS). She was a passionate advocate for the homeless and worked with her local governor to provide services to the homeless through a new approach she created to end homelessness. That passion soon turned to advocacy and activism for people with MCS and the medical professionals who serve them. She co-founded MCS Awareness in 2005 and went on to found MCS America in 2006. She serves as a partner for Environmental Education Week, a partner for the Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE), and a supporter for the American Cancer Society: Campaign for Smokefree Air.
Gene Responsible for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Identified
by Lourdes Salvador
In recent news, Alan Light, a research professor in the anesthesiology department, dispels the myth that chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is mere laziness.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is characterized by disabling fatigue, unrefreshing sleep, headaches, depression, cognitive dysfunction, and body pain.
More than 4 million Americans suffer from CFS. While more frequent in women aged 40-59 years, people of all ages, ethnicities, economic statuses, and both sexes may develop CFS.
Light explains that there is a gene that produces a protein which tells the muscles when they are too tired to keep working. When this gene signals, people feel fatigued and are encouraged to rest.
However, in persons with chronic fatigue syndrome, this gene signals the muscles too early. This leads to fatigue and exhaustion at much lower levels of activity than most of us experience.
Exercise acts to increase proteins which signal muscles fatigue. In normal people, these proteins are limited; however, in people with CFS these proteins increase rapidly and induce a feeling of exhaustion.
Though graded exercise therapy is often recommended for people with CFS, this finding shows that exercise is extremely counter-productive for people with CFS.
Light’s research does not identify what causes this gene to suddenly malfunction in previously healthy people, though he hopes that CFS will now be viewed as an actual disease.
Even more importantly, a simple genetic test could identify chronic fatigue syndrome for diagnostic purposes.
Other research has linked vaccinations, toxic environmental exposures, and various infections as triggers of CFS. Toxic exposures may act to alter genetic constitution. Vaccines may act to sensitize the immune system.
There is now sufficient evidence that chronic fatigue syndrome is real and disabling.
Light’s research may lead to potential treatments for CFS.
For more articles on this topic, see: MCSA News.
Copyrighted 2009 Lourdes Salvador & MCS America