Did you know that gut bacteria can influence how you feel, how your immune system responds to the environment, and your resistance to disease? As it turns out, a study has found a link between the tiny microbes in your digestive system and chronic fatigue.
What Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
We all go through phases when we are extra tired and aren’t getting a deep sleep, whether it’s caused by a stressful week at work, or from eating a lot of unhealthy food. However, there are individuals who suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and according to researchers, it may be due to germs in the gut.
CFS causes those who suffer from it to feel so exhausted that they cannot perform normal daily activities. The condition worsens with physical and mental activity, and rest doesn’t do anything to improve it.
CFS is also difficult to diagnose, which makes it a challenge to find the exact cause and effective treatment. About one million Americans suffer from this syndrome, and it affects more women than men, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
The Surprising Link between Germs and CFS
A study led by Dr. W. Ian Lipkin found a link between the different levels of six types of gut bacteria and CFS. Gut bacteria seem to affect the central nervous system and immune system.
The bacterial shift in each participant studied during the test affected the level of severity they experienced with CFS. Many participants with CFS also had irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), as the two often go hand in hand.
That being said, such abnormalities in the gut may only be a secondary factor in CFS; meaning they may not be the specific cause. There is still limited understanding as to what gastrointestinal flora has to do with illness, so more research is needed.
Best Natural Ways to Combat CFS
If you’re suffering with chronic fatigue syndrome, there are some things you can do to improve how you feel. You can make simple changes to your lifestyle to boost your gut health. You can take a quality probiotic, avoid the overuse of antibiotics, and reduce your sugar intake. Also, try adding fermented foods into your diet, like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kombucha.
As the saying goes, you are what you eat, so eat right and take steps to improve your well-being. As with all illnesses affecting your body, it is important to watch what you eat to maintain a healthy system. If you have been feeling exhausted despite getting more rest and eating right, be sure to visit your healthcare provider.
“Could Germs in the Gut Give Rise to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?” Medline Plus, April 27, 2017; https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_164991.html, last accessed May 3, 2017.
Rettner, R., “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Linked with Differences in Gut Bacteria,” Live Science, April 26, 2017; http://www.livescience.com/58859-chronic-fatigue-syndrome-gut-bacteria-ibs.html, last accessed May 3, 2017.
Marchione, V., “Gut bacteria found to be linked to chronic fatigue syndrome,” Bel Marra Health, May 1, 2017; http://www.belmarrahealth.com/gut-bacteria-found-linked-chronic-fatigue-syndrome/, last accessed May 3, 2017.
Group, E., “5 Tips to Help You Restore and Maintain Your Gut Health,” Global Healing Center, April 21, 2016; http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/5-tips-to-restore-and-maintain-your-gut-health/, last accessed May 3, 2017.