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Adrienne Dellwo

Signs of Autoimmunity in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

By December 19, 2012

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Research Brief

New research suggests abnormalities in an immune cell that could further the theory that chronic fatigue syndrome may be an autoimmune disease.

The cell in question is called the B cell. It comes from your bone marrow, and its job is to create antibodies that latch onto infectious agents in your body, marking them for destruction by other components of the immune system.

In this study, researchers discovered that people with chronic fatigue syndrome had higher numbers of some types of B cells than healthy people in the control group.

While they don't know exactly what this means, researchers speculate that it could be an indicator of autoimmune activity.

Chronic fatigue syndrome has long been believed to involve an immune system "stuck in overdrive," but scientists have thus far been unable to determine whether autoimmunity is part of the excess activity.

In autoimmunity, the immune system mistakenly identifies a type of healthy issue as an infectious agent and works to destroy it.


December 21, 2012 at 5:44 pm
(1) Ann U Smith says:

CFS sufferer for 23 years — I have had very high titers for epstein-barr virus (900-2500) from the begining of the illness (very sudden onset) – EBV infects the B cells – I’m in my late 70′s – managed to work for 13 years after diagnosis – office was 2 blocks fron World trade center so was in the dust cloud and ended up with toxic levels of lead which never chelated out – now I suffer relapse after relapse – VERY SEVERE with extreme balance problems- am at my wits end being so sick year after year – so maybe there’s something to this B cell connection

December 21, 2012 at 11:53 pm
(2) Helen says:

I now have several autoimmune diseases. I didn’t at the time of CDs diagnosis, but have several close family members with autoimmune diseases. I’m exhausted and sick and tired of being sick and tired.

December 22, 2012 at 6:40 am
(3) Rachael says:

I’ve said it many times on this forum … ME/CFS is an autoimmune illness. My illness is caused by an immune system that doesn’t know when to quit. That is why ME/CFS affects more women than men, just like all autoimmune illnesses. Women naturally have stronger inflammatory responses than men when their immune systems are triggered, and inflammation plays a key role in many autoimmune diseases. While this often results in superior immunity among women, it may also increase a woman’s risk of developing an autoimmune disorder if something goes wrong.

December 22, 2012 at 10:30 am
(4) cont. says:

My immune system is not just in perpetual overdrive against infectious agents (bacteria, viruses), but anything my immune system deems foreign, things such as aspartame, vaccinations, chemicals, prescription medications, alcohol etc.

December 24, 2012 at 11:28 am
(5) Dlee says:

I fell like I am being poisoned most of the time. My digestive tract is so screwed up. I’m afraid to eat , drink , take meds. Anything that goes in could start my gut churning , nausea &/ vomiting . I’m very weak & tired like I’m just recovering from the flu most of my good days , & the bad I’m exhausted in bed. Not much of a life but I am learning to manage a bit better.

December 25, 2012 at 8:38 am
(6) Shelly Burton says:

I have been diagnosed with FMS, but suffer from several autoimmune issues. Hypothyroid (Hashimoto’s Disease), arthritis, strange skin infections…so I think that unless I have been miss-diagnosed, FMS should also be looked at as having autoimmune problems.

February 14, 2013 at 11:02 am
(7) julie says:

I have had ME for two and a half years now since taking viral pneumonia and am severely affected with this devastating illness, especially with mobility. I strongly believe this is an auto immune problem too, as before confirmed diagnosis by a neurologist , my GP found me to have B12 defiency and dry eye which I have to take 3 different types of drops for. Both auto immune problems which I didn’t have prior to taking the pneumonia.

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