CFS/M.E. has different health presentations with diagnostic crossovers that can manifest in similar ways. Diagnosed as a group of significantly debilitating medical conditions, which are characterised by persistent fatigue and other specific symptoms, lasting for a minimum of six months in adults and three months in children or adolescents.
Generally the condition will have an initial activator or ‘trigger’ and even though you may recover, your mitochondria (your cellular body powerhouse present in every cell in your body) may well have changed structure. The reason for this being that mitochondria replicate themselves, so if your ‘mitos’ are not working optimally, they reproduce sub optimal new ‘mitos’ and you remain feeling unwell. Meaning CFS/M.E. could remain part of your physiology for the duration of your lifetime – so your ‘mitos’ need feeding.
Within this lack of energy cycle, there is very often an inflammatory response inside the body cell in the mitochondria, which in turn impairs cellular respiration and the function of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the energy carrier. ATP being the major energy currency of every cell and the “most widely distributed high-energy compound within the human body. It is also active in building complex molecules, helps convert and remove lactic acid, contracts muscles and generates electricity in nerves, along with much more.
All fuel sources from nature and foodstuffs from living organisms produce ATP, which in turn powers virtually every activity of the cell. Lack of ATP is a little like your body being in ‘flight (scared) mode’, or anaerobic respiration and is simply not sustainable over a long period of time. When the body runs out of energy it begins to shut down to protect its organs. Hence why you feel tired.
Neurologically there has been some corroboration as to how the brain is also part of the overall ATP- CFS/M.E. picture. MRI imaging of individuals classed as ‘normal’ in brain activity vs CFS/M.E. sufferers when they are experiencing a “crash” were compared. The scans displayed a marked difference between the neurotransmitters of ‘normal’ and CFS/M.E. sufferers. They also showed how there can be a reduced flow in blood (which would impair oxygen saturation), potentially reducing the pulse rate, lowering blood pressure and blood flow around the body, including through the heart muscles. These findings are thought to be behind the cause cognitive of impairment in sufferers and possible chest twinges.
The medical profession has on occasion, split the condition of CFS/ME into two, placing people into either the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome camp or the Myalgic Encephalomyelitis camp. Whichever the camp and whatever the beliefs of individual professionals, the conditions are similar if not in fact one in the same, having dramatic health negatives and long term impact on an individual.
CFS/ME as mentioned has varying symptoms, although the fatigue is always a present factor, the illness can manifest and change over short periods of time, or during the course of the years. This can be age dependent, hormone related etc…