The hall mark symptom of chronic fatigue syndrome is overwhelming physical and mental exhaustion which is not made better with rest. It is also gives rise to a long list of debilitating symptoms.
Chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms checklist
There are striking similarities between the symptoms of hypothyroidism and those listed for chronic fatigue syndrome.
The two conditions overlap, as both are associated with what is essentially a functional breakdown in the body’s ability to generate energy at a basic cell level.
Chronic fatigue syndrome takes feeling tired to a whole new debilitating level.
Spot the signs…
- Aching joints.
- Chemical sensitivity.
- Digestive problems. Including nausea, bloating, constipation or diarrhoea.
- Fibromyalgia (muscle pain).
- Food intolerances.
- Heart palpitations; increased heart rate or shortness of breath with exertion or on standing.
- Low blood pressure. You may also feel dizzy if you get up too quickly.
- Neurological symptoms. Poor memory and concentration, muscle twitching, mild electric shock sensations in the muscles and tingling in the joints or muscles.
- Pain and tenderness of the liver
- Persistent fatigue.
- Reduced ability to cope with changes in temperature.
- Sleep problems.
- Sore throat and runny nose.
- Tender lymph nodes.
- Urinary problems.
- Vision loss.
How big a role do infections play in the onset of chronic fatigue syndrome?
Some infections, once thought to only cause short lived symptoms may in fact remain active in the body giving rise to a range of diverse symptoms depending on the original infection, or multiple infections involved.
Termed ‘latent infections’, these are not necessarily dormant infections. There is mounting evidence these infections continue to play a major role in disrupting healthy immune system activity.
Chronic fatigue syndrome is characterised by an immune system that is continually ‘switched on’. It is commonly assumed that some type immune dysfunction is occurring. This is a theory and has not been proven conclusively.
Is it possible the immune system remains activated as it is fighting against some type of latent infection? Many of the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome closely resemble those associated with a lingering infectious illness.
Some of the infections linked to chronic fatigue syndrome include:
- Barmah Forest virus
- Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium (linked to Lyme disease)
- Coxiella burnetii (linked to Q fever)
- Coxsackievirus A + B
- Epstein-Barr virus
- Hepatitis B virus
- Herpes virus
- Ross River virus
- Rubella virus (linked to German measles)
- Varicella zoster virus (linked to shingles)
- Xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV)
Due to the close connection between the thyroid and the immune system an effective treatment plan to recover your thyroid health should include a proper investigation into the possible role infections are playing on your health and vitality.
This is particularly important if you have a thyroid autoimmune disorder.
Of all the environmental factors with a potential to trigger autoimmunity, the most important seem to be viruses, bacteria, and other infectious pathogens. They have long been associated with autoimmune diseases.
Uncovering a latent infection, or even multiple infections may provide the missing pieces of the puzzle to help you recover your thyroid health. Your medical practitioner can request specific blood tests to check for viral infections commonly associated with chronic fatigue syndrome.
Apart from checking for chronic infections there is no single blood test or scan to accurately diagnosis chronic fatigue syndrome. The diagnosis is usually made after all other illnesses are excluded.
Hickie I, Davenport T, Wakefield D, et al. Post-infective and chronic fatigue syndromes precipitated by viral and non-viral pathogens: prospective cohort study. BMJ. 2006 Sep 16;333(7568):575. PubMed
King, Llewellyn. MECFS Alert – YouTube channel
Medline Plus. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. MedLine Plus
Sfriso P, Ghirardello A, Botsios C, et al. Infections and autoimmunity: the multifaceted relationship. J Leukoc Biol. 2010 Mar;87(3):385-95. PubMed
Stanford University School of Medicine. What is Infection-Associated Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? www.chronicfatigue.stanford.edu/overview
Vojdani, A. A Potential Link between Environmental Triggers and Autoimmunity. Autoimmune Dis.2014; 2014 PubMed
Wu, H J. Wu, E. The role of gut microbiota in immune homeostasis and autoimmunity. PubMed
Now I would love to hear from you. Do you think uncovering a latent infection may help your thyroid health recovery? To leave your comment, feedback or questions about this thyroid health blog post just use the comment box at the bottom of this page.
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