The body is an eco-system. I visualize it as the Great Barrier Reef, with all kinds of species crawling about and living in nooks and crannies.
pic by Vincenzo Piazza
There’s all kinds of bacteria and virusses living about our bodies. The imune system picks out the obvious offenders but it’s still pretty much a Wild West scenario where bad boys run and hide and the killer T cells hunt them down. Remember that awesome little movie of that white bloodcell gunning for a lone bacterium?
That’s how they get them, one at the time.
Unless there’s a full invasion getting on, then the whole body response is needed and the place is set afire (fever) to exphixiate the culprits. With considerable damage to the furnishings but hey, the goal justifies the means.
Here now are 3 theories of ME/CFS building upon this image:
- infection makes it literally impossible for the ecosystem to function normally. This is every infectious illness you can think of. It hinders bodily processes. Solution = eradicate the infection.
- infection induces the body wide Sickness Behaviour Response not because it’s a body wide infection but because it bugs the very wiring that tells the brain to engage in the body wide response. This would probably be the Nervus Vagus, its cells infected by a particular invader and thus thinking the whole body is under attack. Solution = get rid of bugs OR block this signalling to the brain
- this constant battling against invaders tires and strains the system so much that the very stress of the situation hinders its function overall. Since the ecosystem cannot be rid of its occupants a solution could be to teach the system to learn to live with it without assigning stress to it. Probably on a less intense level of life then that’s advertised. Solution: stress management aimed at the CNS and its brain components in particular.
It’s also possible that infection occurs in a particular part of the body that induces the very symptoms of ME/CFS. One such part are the endothelial cells that line every blood vessel in the body.
I’ve lost my train of thought. grrr
here’s the research paper on infection of the Nervus Vagus in relation to ME/CFS: http://www.pdf-archive.com/2013/06/23/vanelzakker-vnih-cfs-in-press/vanelzakker-vnih-cfs-in-press.pdf
here’s the post on infection of the endothelial cells: http://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?threads/what-is-the-mechanism-of-fatigue.38556/#post-616737
pic by Mark Morcom