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.
Vaccines, Infections, & Consumer Goods May Lead to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
by Lourdes Salvador
Once thought to be “yuppie flu”, scientists have now confirmed that chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is most likely a deregulation of the immune system influenced by specific toxic agents, such as infections, vaccination, and consumer products.
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.
“Vaccination is depicted as playing an important role in CFS onset,” according to researcher Ortega-Hernandez and colleagues. A case study confirmed a cause and effect link between a hepatitis B vaccination and silicon breast implants leading to new onset chronic fatigue syndrome in a previously healthy woman.
There is also notable overlap between CFS and other autoimmune and infectious diseases. Ortega-Hernandez says, “Autoantibodies commonly described in some autoimmune diseases have been found in CFS patients as well.” Autoimmune diseases arise from an immune response attack against the body’s own cells.
Certain infections which result in antibody production have also been linked to CFS.
Ortega-Hernandez concludes that “evidence suggests that CFS is a complex disease in which several risk factors might interact to cause its full expression. Thus, although different alterations have been found in CFS patients, undoubtedly the main feature is central nervous system involvement with immunological alterations.”
He also proposes a new term, neuro-psycho-immunology, with the view that immunological alterations are thought to be associated with concomitant psychological and health disturbances.
Most others have labeled CFS a neuroendocrineimmune disorder, which is viewed by many as more accurate since CFS is not psychological in cause.
The depression seen in some cases of CFS is most likely due to endocrine and immune dysfunction and would resolve upon correcting endocrine and immune imbalances.
In a few cases, depression may be reactionary in terms of grief suffered as a result of the severe life changes illness presents.
Ortega-Hernandez OD, Shoenfeld Y. Infection, vaccination, and autoantibodies in chronic fatigue syndrome, cause or coincidence? Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2009 Sep;1173:600-9.
For more articles on this topic, see: MCSA News.
Copyrighted 2009 Lourdes Salvador & MCS America