Metabolic Switch

It’s as if a switch has been flicked. Evidence is mounting that chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is caused by the body swapping to less efficient ways of generating energy.

Also known as ME or myalgic encephalomyelitis, CFS affects some 250,000 people in the UK. The main symptom is persistent physical and mental exhaustion that doesn’t improve with sleep or rest. It often begins after a mild infection, but its causes are unknown. Some have argued that CFS is a psychological condition, and that it is best treated through strategies like cognitive behavioural therapy.

But several lines of investigation are now suggesting that the profound and painful lack of energy seen in the condition could in many cases be due to people losing their ability to burn carbohydrate sugars in the normal way to generate cellular energy.

Instead, the cells of people with CFS stop making as much energy from sugar as usual, and start relying more on lower-yielding fuels, such as amino acids and fats. This kind of metabolic switch produces lactate, which can cause pain when it accumulates in muscles.

Together, this would explain both the shortness of energy, and why even mild exercise can be exhausting and painful.

newscientist.com/article/21...|NSNS|2017-Echobox#link_time=1486999269

7 Replies

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  • This would explain why I feel like crap after eating carbohydrate ???,yawning got to lay down to sleep slurred speech people think that I am drunk

  • This is very interesting and explains a lot. I really hope this is the reason behind chronic fatigue because at least it provides a level of understanding that most people will accept as it would be totally fact based. If this is the case, it also means there is hope for a cure and scientists will start working towards it. Just think those 25% and children would benefit greatly.

  • Positive results from Dr Myhill ketogenic diet support this model of altered energy production.

  • New scientist shows this ideas getting some traction.

  • How much faster would serious science have advanced if given research funding commensurate with impact / patient numbers than if pseudoscience had taken what funding came.

  • I can appreciate this suggestion. However why do I get severe pains behind eyes and diarrhoea . Also how does this cause me to collapse when I stand, or be unable to speak on waking. What would cause my ashen pallor and rigid jaws ? I think a lot more work is needed on this idea.

    Also why I am much better after my insulin when my sugar levels are low ?

  • All of the metabolism closed down has knock on effects through out the body why it's called systemic exertion intolerance disease in the institute of medicine report.

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