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by Cort Johnson | Apr 15, 2022 

To view the full article click here https://www.healthrising.org/blog/2022/04/15/immune-hole-gut-chronic-fatigue-syndrome-long-covid/

The Gist:

  • The Jason-Katz ME/CFS project’s unique asset – samples and questionnaires taken before college students came down with infectious mononucleosis/glandular fever – came up with a startling finding: the college students who later came down with more severe ME/CFS – had gut problems and low levels of cytokines before coming infected with the infectious mononucleosis/glandular fever that ultimately triggered their ME/CFS.
  • The finding were remarkably predictive and indicated that patients with symptoms of an irritable bowel at baseline, and severe gastrointestinal symptoms when they contracted mononucleosis, as well as low levels of IL-13 and/or IL-5 at baseline had nearly an 80% chance of developing severe ME/CFS six months following IM.”
  • The study was small and its findings need to be validated but it suggested that an immune hole in the gut could have laid the way for the development of ME/CFS after the infection.
  • Over time we are learning more and more about how viruses can affect the immune system. For instance, studies suggest that gut microbiome plays a key role in fighting off the flu. Stomach problems similar to those in ME/CFS have been found in long COVID and it appears that the virus may reach the gut as well.
  • Animal studies suggest that antivirals may, in fact, provide an effective way to treat the kind of gut issues found in GWI, ME/CFS, and long COVID. With long COVID spurring interest into better antivirals and the gut we can expect to see more and better ways to modulate the gut microbiome – and perhaps close the immune hole that opened a door to these diseases.
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