alexa Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) or “Systemic Immune Disorder” (SID)?
ISSN: 2165-8048

Internal Medicine: Open Access
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Review Article

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) or “Systemic Immune Disorder” (SID)?

Frank Comhaire1* and Gabriël Devriendt2

1Department of Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases, Ghent University Hospital, Brakelmeersstraat, Sint Martens-Latem, Belgium

2Pures Institute, Kasteelhoek 12, Beernem, Belgium

*Corresponding Author:
Frank Comhaire
Department of Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases
Ghent University Hospital
Sint Martens-Latem,Belgium
Tel: 0032475618555
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: October 06, 2016; Accepted date: November 17, 2016; Published date: November 22, 2016

Citation: Comhaire F, Devriendt G (2016) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) or “Systemic Immune Disorder” (SID)? Intern Med 6:225..doi: 10.4172/2165-8048.1000225

Copyright: © 2016 Comhaire F, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



It is the opinion of the authors that the disease called chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), or fibromyalgia, or myalgic encephalomyelitis, is primarily due to a disorder of the immune system and should rather be called “systemic immune disorder”. This disorder probably results from external factors such as inadequate stress adaptation, or a (retro)-viral infection deregulating the function of the memory T-lymphocytes in persons who are predisposed because of genetic or epigenetic alterations. Chronic inflammation with overproduction of cytokines, reactive oxygen and nitrogen species causes mitochondrial dysfunction with metabolic disturbance resulting in muscular and cerebral signs and symptoms.
The reference treatment consisting of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and graded exercising (GET) considers CFS to be a somatoform disease, but was proven ineffective. Causal therapy should be directed toward restoring T-cell function and is now under assessment. Organ-directed treatment aims at improving stress tolerance, at reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, and at optimizing mitochondrial function by means of nutriceutical food supplementation. Symptomatic treatment uses antidepressants, sedatives and pain killers. Experimental treatments interfere with the immune system or attempt to activate brain metabolism, and need further assessment. Adverse effects of long-term medication must be avoided. In the opinion of the authors an acceptable therapeutic result can commonly be attained by combining meditation, such as mindfulness, adaptation of lifestyle and nutrition, with complementary food supplementation using nutriceuticals and plant extracts.


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