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March 18, 2010 at 8:15 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Now Linked to a Common Stomach Virus?

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome affects thousands of Americans yearly. It is associated with a persistent and extreme sense of fatigue that is not relieved by adequate amounts of rest. Individuals with the condition of chronic fatigue syndrome typically identify the following symptoms; joint and muscle pain, extreme fatigue, concentration and memory difficulties, headaches, depression, trouble sleeping, sore throat, lymph node swelling, and gastrointestinal difficulties. The goal of identification of the causes of chronic fatigue syndrome have yet to be delineated, however, it is associated with specific risk factors.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Possible Causes and Risk Factors

Chronic fatigue syndrome is remains a medical mystery, as no cause has been identified to cause CFS. There are several possible causes that have been identified that appear to increase the overall risk of CFS development listed below. This article will focus on the last identified cause: viral infections.

  • Allergies
  • Depression
  • Anemia (typically low iron)
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
  • Immune system malfunctions/deficiencies
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Changes in hormone levels
  • Viral infections

The Common Stomach Virus

The virus is a microscopic infection specialist. It is designed to effectively infect and reproduce within a host cell. There are many types of viruses causing a variety of conditions. Viruses also vary based on strain and are fully capable of evolution based on the principle of natural selection through environmental factors. All viruses infect through the same mechanistic process: attachment, penetration, un-coating, replication, assembly and release. Once this process has been completed, infection has occurred. The common stomach virus is typically one type of virus known as an enterovirus.

The Enterovirus

Enteroviruses are made of single stranded ribonucleic acid (RNA). Enterovirus infections are second only to the common cold virus and are responsible for a variety of mammalian diseases. The enterovirus has been linked through recent research to chronic fatigue syndrome. Chronic fatigue syndrome is associated with increased presence of several known enteroviruses of the gastrointestinal tract and acute respiratory infections in comparison to control groups without chronic fatigue syndrome.

Enterovirus and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Connections?

Currently, research is still being conducted in an attempt to identify and prove direct connections between the enterovirus infection and the development of chronic fatigue syndrome. As of now, there is a correlation between the presence of increased presence of either gastrointestinal or respiratory enterovirus infection and the development of chronic fatigue syndrome. However, this correlation has yet to be substantiated with enough scientific evidence to prove this connection.

Sources: http://www.webmd.com/chronic-fatigue-syndrome/news/20070913/stomach-virus-could-trigger-cfs

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/chronic-fatigue-syndrome/DS00395

Photo Credit: red5standingby

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