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Prepared for Feb, 2002 North Kitsap CFIDS Support Group.

Notes

The start of CFIDS may be any illness (bacteria or viral infection typically) to which the body would respond with coagulation to kill or isolate the infection. If there is a genetic defect in undoing this coagulation, there may be a slow recovery from the illness -- during this recovery period, the body may have less oxygen than normal. This is a very friendly environment to non-oxygen loving bacteria which normally cannot get established in the body.

Once one of these opportunistic infections (typically mycoplasma, rickettsia etc)  become established, they similarly trigger more coagulation (which makes these infections happy and healthy!). The immune system becomes stuck on (up-regulated) because the body detects these infections and keep reacting.

The low oxygen environment causes a multitude of additional effects:

  • higher production of lactic acid
  • change of blood pH (typically ~ 0.01 to 0.02 pH)

These changes cascade into still more changes. Some examples:

  • Change of stomach acid pH due to change of blood pH.
    • Death of "good bacteria"
      • Resulting in mal-absorption
      • Resulting in digestion problems
  • Decrease in the ability of the blood to carry oxygen (the Bohr Effect) due to the change of pH

The increase of coagulation (depending on type) may also produce additional effects:

  • Slower blood (less oxygen arriving)
  • Buildup of toxins
    • Ability to move toxin in blood is reduced
      • Since toxins cannot be expelled, they are eliminated by storing in fat (unexpected weight gain)
    • Coagulation may reduce liver function
  •  Diabetics are know to have a very high rate of hypercoagulation (whether coagulation caused the diabetes OR diabetes caused the coagulation is still being debated.

The infections may also cause cascades, for example mycoplasma is know to re-activate past viral infections. Similarly, many of these infections product toxins that will constrict blood vessel size ("farming the body") to keep the environment friendly. A byproduct of this is a herxheimer reaction when something starts to kill off the infection -- causing a worsening of symptoms for a short while.

Life style may compound matter, for example Stress: the presence of adrenaline causes a 400x increase in the rate of growth for mycoplasma in a petri dish.

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