Integrative Nutrition Blog

The REAL Source of Your Chronic Fatigue

August 2, 2016

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A Cornell University research team has just brought to light new evidence that aims to resolve a most perplexing medical mystery and confirms that the source of chronic fatigue syndrome originates in the gut not the brain.

Published in the journal Microbiome  this past June, the study identified biological markers of chronic fatigue syndrome in gut bacteria and inflammatory agents in the blood.

Through stool samples and blood work, the team was able to able to correctly diagnose chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) in 83% of the subjects tested. The findings indicated that the diversity of types of bacteria were greatly reduced in CFS patients compared to those of healthy subjects.

According to Maureen Hanson, the Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Cornell, “Our detection of a biological abnormality provides further evidence against the ridiculous concept that the disease is psychological in origin.”

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), is a condition in which debilitating fatigue lasting 6-months or more isn’t alleviated by rest and cannot be connected to any other medical condition. It has long been regarded primarily as a psychological condition induced by stress. This new research, however, proves otherwise.

Ludovic Giloteaux, a postdoctoral researcher and first author of the study explains, “If we have a better idea of what is going on with these gut microbes and patients, maybe clinicians could consider changing diets, using prebiotics such as dietary fibers or probiotics to help treat the disease.”

At Integrative Nutrition, we understand that the gut – our body’s biggest immune system organ – remains a difficult area for the medical community to navigate, but is nonetheless a contributing factor in overall health. In fact, our bodies are comprised of 90% bacterial cells, and restoring gut health can help alleviate chronic conditions including: obesity, depression, acne, heart disease and more.

Could it be that through proper diet and nutrition, chronic fatigue syndrome can be controlled and even reversed? The research suggests yes.

But as Giloteaux points out, this isn’t something that doctors and clinicians tend to focus on. In fact, less than 3% of doctor visits are spent discussing nutrition.

This is where Integrative Nutrition Health Coaches can come in.

Health Coaches spend time and resources helping patients incorporate wholesome, nutritious options into their diets and lifestyles. As a supportive mentor, Health Coaches fill a huge gap in our current healthcare system by helping people implement the behavioral and lifestyle changes recommended by their doctors. 

Health Coaches understand that proper gut health begins with restoring the body’s source of good and bad bacteria – the microbiome. Facilitating and assisting in this process can ultimately help combat conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, leaky gut, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and other gut-related disorders.

By filling this void, Health Coaches have become part of the solution to this, and many other, perplexing medical mysteries.

How do you actively support the bacteria in your gut? Share in the comments below! 

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