In a study conducted by the Center for Disease Control, patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) were compared with individuals who did not have indications of CFS, but who also displayed sedentary lifestyles. Interestingly, when muscle oxygen delivery for both CFS subjects and the control subjects was measured immediately following exercise, it was determined that there was a significant oxygen reduction to the muscles of those with CFS. Though the results do suggest that CFS patients receive reduced oxygen levels to their muscles, which also explains the pain and fatigue CFS patients report in their muscles, further testing is warranted.
What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
People who suffer from CFS experience extreme fatigue, muscle weakness and pain, and all over malaise. However, because there is no specific test that determines CFS, and because many common illnesses and diseases can cause the same symptoms, it's difficult to diagnose this illness until all other possibilities have been eliminated. If, however, oxygen delivery to muscles is actually impaired in CFS patients, this test may well be the breakthrough scientists, physicians and patients have been waiting for. Factors that make CFS even more difficult to define include the fact that symptoms witnessed in CFS patients may come and go. Other illnesses that exhibit this same tendency include anemia, depression, anxiety, and a variety of mental disorders. Currently, patients are diagnosed with CFS only after other illnesses have been eliminated and varying degrees of pain, malaise, and fatigue have lasted for six months or more. Patients also must display at least four of the following issues:
- Substantial impairment in concentration and/or short term memory loss
- Tenderness of the throat (sore throat)
- Tender lymph nodes
- All over muscle pain
- Multi-joint pain without swelling or redness
- Headaches that follow a new pattern or be more severe than usual
- Insomnia, or waking after a full night of sleep and still feeling tired
- Malaise lasting more than a full day
If and when all avenues have been explored, and still no clean diagnosis has been determined, it may be time to ask about CFS. The sooner you are diagnosed, the sooner you can get better.
Depleted Oxygen and Hypoxia
According to Dr. Stephen Levine, renowned molecular biologist, the lack of oxygen in body tissue is the fundamental cause for all degenerative disease. Recently, scientists have also determined that current oxygen levels on planet Earth are less than half the amounts our ancient ancestors enjoyed. When the variety of illnesses and disease today are added to this information, it makes sense then that more and more people are suffering from hypoxia, which occurs when the body is deprived of the oxygen levels necessary for healthy functioning. One of the symptoms CFS patients exhibit is the feeling of being oxygen depleted, and indeed their muscles appear to corroborate that finding.