Gut Check: A Key to Understanding Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

chronic fatigue syndrome

At Mitchell Medical Group we specialize in diagnosing and treating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The common thread in these patients according to two new major studies involves the gut and the immune system. For many years, patients with chronic fatigue syndrome were thought to have a mysterious infectious disease – or at worst were suffering with a psychiatric illness that prevented them from living their lives. Finally, research is clarifying the underlying differences between patients that suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome and those who are healthy.

Differences in Gut Bacteria between CFS and Healthy People

In April 2017, Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health published the article: “Chronic fatigue syndrome linked to imbalanced microbiome: Scientists identify abnormal levels of specific gut bacteria in individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome, including those with and without co-morbid IBS.” This was published on April 26th  in the journal Microbiome 2017.

The study looked at 50 patients with CFS compared to 50 healthy individuals. Interestingly, half (25) of the CFS patients also had Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). The main finding was the differences in gut bacteria: CFS patients had an abundance of Faecalibacterium, Roseburia, Dorea, Coprococcus, Ruminococcus and Coprobacillu. The main take away is that the stool in CFS patients is different than patients that don’t have it!

Immune Markers are Different in CFS

Stanford researchers published another ground-breaking article about CFS in 2017: “Cytokine signature associated with disease severity in chronic fatigue syndrome patients.” In the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) led by Jose Montaya and Mark Davis, the articles identified 17 cytokines (immune markers) that were different in CFS patients vs. healthy individuals. The markers such as TNF-beta specifically was elevated and this indicated inflammation.  The problem for CFS patients not in a clinical study is that these tests are hard to be tested for and the laboratory doing them has to be highly specialized for it to be reliable.

So, what does this mean practically for CFS patients?

In our practice, we follow Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum’s S.H.I.N.E protocol (Sleep, Hormone balance, Infection treatment, Nutrition and Exercise) to help improve our patients’ quality of life. We also go a step further, which is now supported by these two breakthrough research studies. At Mitchell Medical Group we proactively do a “Gut Check” by evaluating for Candida or yeast overgrowth and associated leaky gut through special immune testing. We find that by correcting the yeast overload in the body along with vitamin supplementation helps patients start to get their energy back. In addition, our sublingual Candida drops help build immunity for long term protection.

The other treatment that we offer in specific cases is Gamma globulin injections. If you remember in the Stanford groups’ research, immune markers called cytokines were abnormal. Gamma globulin is the body’s immune antibodies that can help reduce or block the effect of harmful immune inflammation reactions – this is why it is used in life-threatening autoimmune reactions involving blood cells, organs or skin rashes.

The bottom line: researchers are getting closer to understanding what is wrong in patients with Chronic fatigue syndrome – but until they know exactly what is the cause of the issue our practice will continue to strengthen your gut and immune system to keep you in the game until the next breakthrough.

– Dr. Dean Mitchell
Mitchell Medical Group in NYC & Long Island

3 COMMENTS

  1. Guy Dorman says:

    I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue, hasimoto’s, depression, and leaky gut. My main symptoms have been extreme fatigue and insomnia. Before all these problems I was fine. I went through a lot of changes retiring after working with mentally challenged individuals, moved to another city, got married, had a part-time job and then a full-time job working in living facility and hurt my back lifting a patient. I went through rehabilitation and woke up one morning and had no energy. I’m just trying to find a compassionate dr that will help me get better. Do you take health select. Sincerely Guy Dorman 8065357960

  2. Guy Dorman says:

    I also have I believe developed CFS/ME

    Sincerely,
    Guy Dorman

    1. Leslie Whittaker says:

      Hi Guy,
      We work with these medical issues every week and have natural and conventional treatments.
      We do not take HealthSelect or any insurances but you can call our office Monday at (212) 397-0157 to speak with Maria to get a better understanding of our treatment protocol and consultation fees.

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