People with chronic fatigue syndrome may have imbalances in their gut bacteria, a new study suggests.
The study found that people with chronic fatigue syndrome had higher levels of certain gut bacteria and lower levels of others compared to healthy people who didn’t have the condition.
The researchers then checked to see if these imbalances also characterized the subset of patients in the study who had irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), an intestinal disorder that is common in people with chronic fatigue syndrome. Results showed that patients did indeed have different patterns of gut bacteria disturbances depending on whether they had only chronic fatigue syndrome or both chronic fatigue syndrome and IBS.
The reason for the link between chronic fatigue syndrome and IBS is not clear; chronic fatigue syndrome may predispose patents to developing IBS, or the two conditions might share underlying causes, the researchers said.
It’s possible that one day researchers could use information about a patient’s gut bacteria, the metabolic pathways that those bacteria are involved in and the immune molecules present in the blood to more accurately diagnosis people with chronic fatigue syndrome and develop more specific treatments for the condition, the researchers said.
[The study can be found here.]
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