What are common symptoms of CFS?

I am a numbers man. Many studies say something like “CFS have high A-B-C” which is correct if you look at the average of a group. Unfortunately, it may just be 30% of the patients that are high and 70% that are normal. I have attempted to track down abnormality by the percentage of patients with various conditions.

  • Magnesium deficiency 45% – 50% of CFS patients have low levels [2000]
  • CoQ 10 low in 45% of CFS patients have low levels [2009]
  • high levels of cytokines in 60% only, 40% of CFS patients do not have high levels of the typical 9 cytokines [1994].
  • Cortisol is low in 33% [2001]
  • Heart is smaller [2011] (61% [2008])
  • Iron – 69% of CFS patients are insufficient or deficient [2001] [2011].
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies are hit-and-miss for showing abnormalities [1997] [2000] [2010].  Approximately 27% [1993] – 32%[1997] has abnormal scans.
  • Positron emission tomography (PET) scan has 50% with abnormal scans [2003]
  • Single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) scans has 80% – 81% with abnormal scans [1992] [1994]
  • Shortness of breath (32%)
  • Dyspnea on effort (28%),
  • Rapid heartbeat or tachycardia (18% – 38%),
  • Chest pain (43%)
  • Neurally-mediated syncope (21%)
  • Fainting (43%),
  • Orthostatic dizziness (40% – 45%)
  • Coldness of feet (42%), were all frequent complaints.
  • Hypo-tension (28%) was occasionally noted.
  • Electrocardiograms with right axis deviation (21%) and
  • Severe sinus arrhythmia (34%)
  • Small heart shadow (cardiothoracic ratio <or=42%) patients (60%)
  • Low heart stroke volume (36%)

Infections found with Percentages

There are many other infections found that are over-represented with CFS compared to controls.

“A relatively uniform post-infective fatigue syndrome persists in a significant minority of patients for six months or more after clinical infection with several different viral and non-viral micro-organisms. Post-infective fatigue syndrome is a valid illness model for investigating one pathophysiological pathway to chronic fatigue syndrome.” [2006]

  • Q fever confirmed – 17%  [2006]
  • Ross River virus – 24%  [2006]
  • EBV (20%[2003] -23% [1991] – 27% [2006] – 57% [2004]) Epstein-Bar Virus (EBV)
  • Mycoplasma (50%[2003] – 52%[2003] – 69% [2004] [1998])
  • HHV6 (31% [2003]) Human Herpes Virus 6 (HHV6)

Bottom Line

The model that is the simplest to explain the same type symptoms across many infection is a stable dysfunctional microbiome. The precise symptoms are dependent on the specific bacteria involved. These bacteria are more varied and unique than DNA. High or low values are likely caused by specific groups of bacterias.