There is a vicious cycle within Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, where-by long-term chronic stress can be the main determiner to our stress thresh-hold in the long-term.

This is neuro-plasticity, meaning changeable.  Simply put our nervous systems are capable of forming new pathways for better or for worse.  Neuroplasticity means our brains respond to stimulation, which over time, literally changes the structure of the brain to grow new neuro-pathways causing physiological changes and therefore new responses to dealing with new stressors. Through neuroimaging, it is possible to visibly see these changes, as an increase and a lengthening of neuron dendrites.  Literally building new neural pathways which are wired for stress!

LIMBIC KINDLING & MCS

This is a model of neuroplasticity is also known as ‘Limbic Kindling’, the kindling of our nervous system and brain to respond to chemicals.  Chemicals are saturated into our homes and personal care regimes.  Everything from upholstery, hair dyes, cosmetics car fumes, etc and other toxins such as heavy metals from our soil, water and therefore in our food.

Multiple stressors from multiple sources including environmental toxicity have the power to kindle our brain to act on its own as if it were experiencing the stress when it is not!  Acute infections can also kindle the brain to the same effect.

This over-stimulation is of the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis and ultimately lowers our threshold to environmental pollutants so that less chemical or other trigger stimulants are required to activate a chronic stress response.  An assembly for hypersensitivity and reactivity has then occurred.


LOW DOPAMINE

As the brain becomes affected we can observe changes that affect the physiology of the body.  For instance, we frequently observe the correlation of lowered dopamine typical of CFS sufferers.

Low dopamine reduces Basal Ganglia typically responsible for;

  • Movement changes, such as involuntary or slowed movements
  • Muscle tone
  • Problems finding words

REST, DIGEST, DETOXIFY

Where there is chronic overstimulation of the Sympathetic Nervous System, this is also known to down-regulate the Parasympathetic Nervous System which other-wise engages the rest, digest and detoxifies states of well-being.

The Vagus Nerve, (otherwise known as the nerve of compassion) is governed by the Parasympathetic Nervous System, which induces states of resting, gratitude, happiness, stillness, peace.  This is a profoundly anti-inflammatory state of being.  Good Vagus nerve activity can be induced by deep breathing, where the out-breath is twice as long as the in-breath.  

Benefits of good Vagus Nerve activity

  • Regeneration of the organs and cells by activating stem cells.

  • Thickens the brain, which normally shrinks with age.

  • Boosts the immune function. Modulates the nervous system.

  • Reduces depression

  • And lastly Improves the quality of life! 


LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE

Kindling’s effect on the Sympathetic nervous system also affects lymphatic drainage as lymphatic circulation is rhythmically pumper by the SNS.  Lymphatics cannot rely upon the heart to pump fluids around the body, only a series of valves and SNS regulate this important clearance pathway.

Changes to the lymphatic system can also lead to oxidative stress and cardiomyopathy.  


FURTHER DAMAGE

Intestinal Permeability

Chronic nervous system stress, kindled is known to increase intestinal permeability and therefore opportunistic infections to translocate across the intestinal mucosal lining.

Pyrroluria and Porphyria

Stress causes Pyrols in the urine.  Pyrols leach B6, Manganese and Zinc from our system. Heam is made from Pyrols, so are P450 enzymes (phase 1 detoxification). Therefore where there are high Pyrols there may also correlate low P450 enzymes.  Reduced P450 enzymes mean reduced liver detoxification, leading to Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and toxicity.  

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is understood in clinical terms to be a stress-related condition under-pined by multiple stressors experienced by the nervous system on multiple levels.  Multiple causative triggers can combine to re-kindle (re-wire) the nervous system to an increased propensity to stress sensitivity.

Triggers can be experienced on the emotional, mental, physical, biological, electrical, spiritual levels.

Arising from the multiple entry points comes multiple causative factors of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Each possible causative factor needs to be assessed and addressed if recovery can be expected.


Possible Causative Factors

 

1.  INFECTIONS

Vagus nerve infection, Immune dysfunction, viral infections, and co-infections. Other infections; Teeth, and undetected bacterial infections in the teeth.  Undiagnosed Strep going on for years from having the tonsils removed.

Viruses that may underpin CFS

Epstein Bar / HHV6 / Enterovirus / Cytomegalovirus / Parvovirus B19 / Retroviruses

Co-infections that may underpin CFS

Mycoplasma / Chlamydia / Chronic Borrelia / Bucella / Rickettsia / Babesia


2.  EMOTIONAL & MENTAL

Psycho-Emotional causes of stress stemming from childhood trauma or ongoing abuse from a parent or spouse. Unfortunately, the body does not differentiate between physical and psychological stressors.  They simply all have the same impact. Therefore emotional stressors can also have a physical outcome, exemplified by studies where trauma has been linked with resulting Leaky-Gut or IBS.


3.  BIOLOGICAL

Increased cellular stress in the form of heavy metal toxicity.  Poor detoxification functions in the liver. Poor mitochondrial function.  Poor gut function and resulting pathogenic bacteria in the gut, gut dysbiosis due to severe food intolerances.


4.  ELECTRICAL

Home WIFI, electrical sensitivity, mobile phones, laptops, etc


5.  SPIRITUAL

Discordance with self, no place in this world, self-identity lacks purpose.


Optimising systems is paramount to recovery.  Strengthen the milieu interior and we stand a far greater chance of de-activating viruses and recovery.

When considering Chronic Fatigue, it helps to know where within our biological systems do we create energy?  And how do we create energy?
Mitochondria2

Mitochondria are rod-shaped organelles that can be considered the power generators of the cell, converting oxygen and nutrients into a substance known as Adenosine Tri-Phosphate (ATP).

ATP is the chemical energy “currency” of the cell that powers the cell’s metabolic activities. This process is called aerobic respiration and is the reason we breathe oxygen.

Without mitochondria, humans and animals would likely not exist because we need large amounts of energy in order to survive. In fact, mitochondria enable cells to produce 15 times more ATP (energy currency) than they could otherwise.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as we have discussed is a multi-factorial health condition, with a number of imbalances contributing to the overall experience of CFS.  However mitochondrial imbalance can explain more than any other contributory factor Post Exertional Fatigue, which is a key player within differential diagnosis.

Mitochondria’s key function is the Recycling of ATP to ADP and back to ATP.

This cycle relies upon various nutrient substrates such as D Ribose, Carnitine, B3, Co-enzyme A, Co-enzyme Q10.  The role of these substrates is to move into the cell in the process of completing the important recycling metabolic process.

As the nutrients are harnessed, Adenosine Tri-Phosphate becomes Adenosine Di-Phosphate (ATP > ADP). This process actually releases energy, whilst becoming carbon dioxide and water.


Rate Limiting Factors

Firstly a deficiency in any of the substrates mentioned above create a BLOCK within the cycle.  Therefore nutrient deficiency plays into mitochondrial insufficiency.

And because Carnitine, Co-enzyme Q10, and other substrates result from a process called methylation (a biological process that will be expanded on in subsequent Blog posts), when a person under-methylates there is automatically a material deficiency regarding these substrates.

However, other things also BLOCK this cycle, like heavy metals, hair dyes, and excessive oxidative stress. Excessive oxidative stress destroys both the fatty membrane of the cells and the mitochondria itself.

Further to, there is a protein called translocator protein responsible for moving ATP and ADP from the mitochondria cell to the cytosol of the cell.  When mitochondria sense that ADP/ATP has been depleted, used up for cells function, etc, then this triggers mitochondria to produce more ATP. So this constant recycling occurs.

The key thing about those individuals who struggle with a rate-limiting factor is when they push through, meaning that they carry on doing exercise when or even in some cases just daily chores and tasks throughout their day, and they are not capable recycling the ADP to ATP then the body goes into emergency mode.  What this means is that the body then targets ADP to be broken down instead because there is not ample ATP because boundaries have been crossed.

ADP is then broken down to AMP, which is a purine and is lost to the system since it is then urinated out of the body.  Understood by leaders in the field of CFS to be a metabolic disaster.  This is where Post Exertional Fatigue comes from.  Usually, the person pushes through and can feel fine, and even feel fine the following day. But the day after that could be when they crash!!!

AMP cannot be recycled.  ADP then has to be built from scratch before it is then recycled to ATP.

However Mitochondrial function is not enough to create CFS on its own.  Rather understood a down-stream consequence of other factors. 

A key factor in how the disease is managed as well as forged is the personality type of the person.  If you are a perfectionist for instance who finds it hard to pace, then typically as soon as the person has some energy they use it up again.