Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is characterized by severe disabling fatigue lasting for more than 6 months associated with physical and mental disturbances such as headache, arthralgia, myalgia, memory impairment, sore throat and tender lymph nodes. The exact pathogenesis is still unknown.
CFS has been defined as “a virally induced, cytokine-mediated psycho-neuro-immunologic disorder that occurs in genetically predisposed individuals.”(1)
The current concept is that CFS is a multi factorial condition in which an infective agent such as a chronic viral infection in a susceptible host can cause an abnormal immune response. When the response fails to be switched-off, a chronic immune activation occurs and is clinically expressed as the symptomatology of CFS.
Low natural killer (NK) lymphocyte cell count is one factor in this process.
Treatment with intravenous nutrients and hyperthermia has been shown to increase NK cell function and help reverse the CFS pattern.
Where chronic viral infection is likely, use of broad spectrum antiviral antimicrobials may also help.
(1) Definition by Jay Goldstein MD, Director of the Chronic Fatigue Institute in Beverley Hills, California, from Collinge, W. Recovering From Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, The Body Press, New York, 1993, p 23-24.