You are on page 1of 4

The
Inflamed
Brain Presented by Beth Schipper, Mar 8, 2011

Symptoms
of
ME/CFS


One of the challenges of ME/CFS is our plethora of symptoms. Often they appear with little warning, and it can
be difficult to establish a cause. Physicians may dismiss the symptoms or treat them separately. The medications
taken to minimize one symptom may exacerbate another.

In his book The Disease of a Thousand Names [Lyndonville, Pollard Publications, 1991] , David S. Bell, M.D.
states: “We are witnessing a disease so fundamental in its origin that it affects all body systems but causes little damage.”

He notes, “A list of CFIDS symptoms is misleading. At first glance it appears that almost every symptom possible is part of
the list. This is another reason many physicians have not accepted the reality of CFIDS - there are simply too many
symptoms. But a patient relating these symptoms does not list them in a random manner. They fit a precise pattern that is
nearly identical from one patient to the next.”

“The pattern of symptoms is so reproducible in the usual case that patients are able to diagnose CFIDS in others in an
instant.”

“Following is a list of the myriad symptoms seen in CFIDS, including a rough estimate of the percentage of patients who
would have each symptom. Those symptoms that cause patients the greatest discomfort are asterisked (*).

• Fatigue or exhaustion 95% * • Double vision 10%


• Headache 90% * • Sensitivity to bright lights 80%
• Malaise 80% * • Numbness and/or tingling in extremities 60%
• Short-term memory loss 80% * • Fainting spells 40%
• Muscle pain 75% * • Light-headedness 75%
• Difficulty concentrating 70% * • Dizziness 30%
• Joint pain 65% * • Clumsiness 30%
• Depression 65% * • Insomnia 65%
• Abdominal pain 60% * • Fever or sensation of fever 85%
• Lymph node pain 50% * • Chills 30% +
• Sore throat 50% • Night sweats 50%
• Lack of restful sleep 90% * • Weight gain 40%
• Muscle weakness 30% * • Allergies 60%
• Bitter or metallic taste 25% • Chemical sensitivities 25%
• Balance disturbance 30% • Palpitations 55%
• Diarrhea 50% • Shortness of breath 30%
• Constipation 40% • Flushing rash of the face and cheeks 40%
• Bloating 60% • Swelling of the extremities or eyelids 20% +
• Panic attacks 30% • Burning on urination 20%
• Eye pain 30% • Sexual dysfunction 20%
• Scratchiness in eyes 60% • Hair loss 20%
• Blurring of vision 80%

At first glance many of these symptoms appear unrelated and confusing. But if they are examined in light of brain
inflammation and functions of the hypothalamus, a pattern begins to emerge.
ME/CFS
and
the
Inflamed
Brain


Myalgic Encephalomyelitis means:


My = muscle,
Algic = pain,
Encephalo = brain,
Mye = spinal cord,
Itis = inflammation.

In September of 2010 Professor Nancy Klimas (principal investigator of the National Institute for Health’s Centre
for Multidisciplinary Studies of (ME)CFS Pathophysiology at the University of Miami) stated:
“…there is a chronic inflammation, neuro-inflammation, and it upsets the whole balance of your system…the patients
become terribly ill... The immune system is really cranked up; it’s a tremendous amount of inflammation. I think that if
doctors could get this in their heads that it’s sort of like lupus or one of these really inflammatory disorders…it is that level
of inflammation. There’s a tremendous amount of inflammatory stuff going on, and there’s a lot of inflammation in the brain
itself.” http://www.litemiami.com/spotlite/index.aspx

Other recent studies are coming to the same conclusions. “A brain MRI study of chronic fatigue syndrome: Evidence of
brainstem dysfunction and altered homeostasis” is about to be published.
http://sacfs.asn.au/news/2011/03/03_01_publication_of_original_adelaide_cfs_mri_study.htm

Another study recently published stated, “Specific abnormalities found in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) relating to CFS and
nPTLS would suggest CNS involvement, and could facilitate mechanistic understanding.”
http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0017287

The
Hypothalamus

http://www.thebrainwiki.com/pmwiki.php?n=Forebrain.Hypothalamus?action=browse
The Hypothalamus is located right above the brain stem. One of its most important functions is to link the
nervous system to the endocrine system. The hypothalamus is responsible for certain activities of the autonomic
nervous system and produce hormones that control a number of key body functions.

Functions of the hypothalamus include:


• Homeostasis of the CNS
• Blood pressure regulation
• Heart rate
• Body temperature regulation
• Hunger/salt cravings
• Digestion
• Thirst
• Hydration
• Water preservation (urine concentration)
• Bladder function
• Metabolic functions
• Energy levels
• Wakefulness
• Sleep cycles
• Mood and behavioral regulation
• Sexual function

Many of the symptoms typical of ME/CFS relate directly or indirectly to these functions. When your symptoms
start to increase, reducing inflammation should be your first line of defense.

Reducing
Inflammation


GET RID OF STRESS! Chronic stress leads to chronic inflammation. Stress hormones trigger the release of
inflammatory chemicals into the body, and when the body is continually stressed the resulting inflammation will
throw the body out of balance and lead to even greater stress.

MEDITATION /GUIDED
IMAGERY :

• Free relaxation audio & video MP3 downloads: http://jasonnewland.com/#/relaxation-audios/4543314053

DEEP
BREATHING
EXERCISES :

• Meditation, Relaxation, Breathing Exercises and M.E.: http://www.hfme.org/researchmeditation.htm
• Yoga breathing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCwI-jrSq4Y&feature=related

STRETCHING
AND
GENTLE
YOGA
MOVEMENTS :

• Gentle Yoga: http://www.gentleyoga.com/
• 10 Minute Gentle Yoga Class: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJQ9fKvmsu8
• Morning & Evening Gentle Yoga: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYXdLyAfQME
• Chair Yoga Stretches: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_7cWn3z67I&feature=related

MINIMIZE
EXPOSURE
TO
ALL
TOXINS :

• How to Reduce Toxic Chemicals in Your Home: http://156.98.19.245/toxics/index.html

BIOFEEDBACK
UNITS :

• emWave: http://store.heartmath.org/emwave-handheld/emwave-handheld-silver
• Stress Eraser: http://stresseraser.com/;jsessionid=982D7254267845AA156638217BA1A4AD.web8

HEPA
FILTERS:

• HEPA Filters Reduce Blood Vessel Inflammation: http://www.mecfsforums.com/index.php?topic=5202.0
DRINK
PLENTY
OF
WATER:

• Why Water Is The Key To Detoxifying Your Body: http://seniorhealth.about.com/od/eatingwell/a/waterdetox.htm

SUPPLEMENTS
 (OMEGA
3,
V ITAMIN
C,
D,
E,
A NTIOXIDANTS):



• The Best Anti Inflammatory Supplements http://www.livestrong.com/article/288018-the-best-anti-inflammatory-
supplements/
• Vitamin Library: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/PAG00321/Vitamin-Library-Supplement-Facts.html

INFLAMMATION
FREE
DIET :

• Anti-Inflammatory Diet Tips: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART02012/anti-inflammatory-diet
• The IF Diet: What It Is and Why You Need It: http://www.myheartpatientdiet.com/2009/08/inflammation-free-
diet.html
• List of Foods That Cause Inflammation: http://www.myheartpatientdiet.com/2009/08/foods-that-cause-
inflammation_06.html
• Pocket Guide to IF ratings: http://nutrition.about.com/library/ninflam.htm
• Anti-Inflammatory Foods: http://nutrition.about.com/od/dietsformedicaldisorders/a/antiinflamfood.htm
• The Anti-Inflammatory Diet: http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/healthy/news/diet_antiinflammatory

ADDITIONAL
READING :

• Decreasing Brain Inflammation in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: http://planetthrive.com/2010/11/decreasing-brain-
inflammation/
• Managing Relapses and Adrenaline Surges in ME:
http://www.hfme.org/PDF/Managing_relapses_and_adrenaline_surges_in_ME.pdf
• Why ME/CFS may kill you: disorders in the inflammatory and oxidative and nitrosative stress (IO&NS) pathways may
explain cardiovascular disorders in ME/CFS http://www.rediviva.sav.sk/51i34/106.pdf

REFERENCES :

• http://www.meactionuk.org.uk/Dr_David_Bells_Symptom_List.htm http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/chronic-
fatigue-syndrome/DS00395/DSECTION=symptoms
• http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002380.htm
• http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypothalamus
• http://arizonaadvancedmedicine.com/articles/inflammation_francis.html

It really is all in your head!

This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent a disease, but is for educational purposes only. The information
provided is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. Please consult with a healthcare
professional before implementing any changes to your healthcare routine if you have or suspect you might have a health condition.