The following studies were presented at the American
for Chronic Fatigues (AACFS) CFS conference, held Jan. 27-29, 2001, in Seattle. Program books of the
conference with abstracts are $20 for AACFS members, $25 for nonmembers. Write to AACFS, c/o Harborview
Medical Center, 325 9th Ave., Box 359780, Seattle, WA 98104. Make checks payable to the AACFS.
Study examines exercise cessation
Researchers at Georgetown University Medical
Wash., D. C. deprived a group of 17 healthy individuals who routinely performed
aerobic activity of their normal workout for seven days to determine if they
would develop CFS-like symptoms.
The group’s cortisol, ACTH, IL-6 (interleukin), and catecholamine levels were recorded
at IV stick,
resting baseline, pre-exercise, peak exercise, and at 20 and 60 minutes of recovery.
Nine subjects developed CFS symptoms, and when researchers evaluated the data, they
found that the
group had lower resting cortisol levels throughout the test, lower heart rate variability and total power
for the 24 hours preceding baseline testing, and lower response to venipuncture. They also exhibited a
lower number of natural killer cells at baseline.
The study suggests a subset of vigorous individuals can develop CFS-like symptoms when
they do not
Lyden A et al. Physiologic correlates of chronic fatigue syndrome-like symptom development
in a subset
of healthy individuals deprived of routine aerobic exercise. Abstract number 137.
Coping styles in teens
A clinical research study evaluated the relationships
among symptom severity, persistency, coping style, and level of social support
in 69 teens.
The study looked at adaptive copying styles (confrontative, optimistic, palliative,
and maladaptive coping styles (evasive, fatalistic, emotive, and self-reliant) and found that they were
evenly used by participants. Both correlated positively with the physical, cognitive, and social factors
that impact fatigue.
No coping style directly impacted symptom severity or persistence, but the adaptive
style suggests increased social support and may improve patients’ perceived self-competence.
Hynick TJ et al. Adaptation to unexplained chronic fatigue in adolescents. Abstract
Managing food intolerances
Researchers at the School of Biological and Chemical
Sciences, University of Newcastle, Australia, assessed the clinical value of
diagnosing and managing food chemical intolerances in 76 CFS patients with
Symptom severity was evaluated before and after patients participated in an elimination
symptom improvement was reported by 89.5% of the patients when particular food chemicals and proteins
were excluded from their diets, including milk, wheat, commercially prepared bread, natural food chemicals
such as salicylates and glutamates, brewer’s yeast, and additives such as nitrites and nitrates, sulphur
preservatives, colorings, and antioxidants.
Symptom improvement included reduced fatigue, fevers, sore throats, muscle pain, headaches,
joints, difficulty concentrating, and unrefreshed or prolonged sleep.
The study suggests that food intolerances may be a co-morbid condition in a subgroup
of CFS patients.
Emms TM et al. Food intolerance in chronic fatigue syndrome. Abstract number 15.