A recent BBC Health article revealed details of some fresh research on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The article explained "These patients had higher levels of of cytokines, particularly one called interferon gamma, which has been linked to the fatigue that follows many viral infections."
Dr. Econs commented "Over the last four decades there has been mounting evidence that Chronic fatigue/Post-viral fatigue syndrome, Post-traumatic stress disorder, Fibromyalgia, ME and all such like ill-defined conditions are real biological syndromes. They are clearly distinct from psychological, stress-related conditions, although even the psychological/psychiatric conditions are also strongly associated with changes in one’s chemistry e.g. neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, serotonin, changes in the brain cell chemistry, pharmaco-active substances, toxic overload and epigenetic changes in the DNA.
Hundreds of clinical scientific reviews, published in medical journals have produced a long list of laboratory tests, which vary from low white cell counts and increased bilirubin to changes in the intestinal flora, sub-optimal performance of patients’ mitochondrial ATP, slow recovery of muscle and nerve cells reflected in slow disposal of lactic and pyruvic acid and, of course, lymphokines. All these finding seem to reinforce the view that the immune system holds the key as to how to help chronically fatigued people get back to fitness.
Lymphokines, cellular hormones acting as “immune transporters”, are so important because they reflect the state of the T-cells (Th2 lymphocytes), the same cells that initiate the mechanism leading to an allergic reaction and/or anaphylaxis and the “non-allergic” hypersensitivities, such as gluten, other foods or chemical agents.
The involvement of lymphokines in understanding the origins of chronic fatigue is another piece in the jigsaw puzzle: when the immune system is involved, we should be looking for underlying causal factors in a person’s life style, infections or a toxic overload. Most of these factors are yet to be adopted by the main stream Medicine and are left to a few academic centres to investigate them.