Heart disease. Diabetes. Cancer. Depression. Autism. Alzheimer”s disease. Autoimmune disorders. A growing body of scientific research linked these conditions to imbalances in gut bacteria- the makeup of “good” and “bad” bacteria that live in our digestive tracts.
A new study suggests that chronic fatigue syndrome- a hard to diagnose condition – may be influenced by a person 's gut bacteria. The findings by Cornell University researchers are the first to seriously refute the idea that the syndrome is a psychological disorder.
They found that people who have chronic fatigue syndrome have a different profile of bacterial specias in their gut microbiome. Specifically, sufferers have less diversity of bacteria. They also have more types of microbes that promote inflammation.
Up to 4 million Americans have chronic fatigue syndrome, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But only 1in 5 with the condition have been diagnosed. Symptoms include severe fatigue, malase, joint and muscle pain, headaches, and gastro-intestinal problems such as irritable bowel syndrome.
The researchers noted that the lower levels of microbial diversity seen in the chronic fatigue patients is similar to those seen in people with Crohn 's disease and ulcerative collitis. The study adds to the research on health conditions related to what is called the gut-brain axis.
Altering and improving the gut environment with probiotics and foods that contain “good” bacteria- such as yogurt, aged cheeses, and kimchi- have been shown to help with digestive disorders and hopefully with chronic fatigue syndrome.