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Link between Metabolic Syndrome and ME/CFS?

Discussion in 'Phoenix Rising Articles' started by Mark, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. Phoenix Rising Team

    Phoenix Rising Team

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    View the Post on the Blog

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    merylg likes this.
  2. jimells

    jimells Senior Member

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    Hi Jody, your essay is interesting, but what is the link between ME/CFS and 'metabolic syndrome'? Is there research that suggests one leads to the other? My impression is that many people may have both, but that would just make the conditions 'co-morbid', as I understand the term.

    I was fascinated to read on the Wikipedia page on Metabolic Syndrome that there are any number of definitions, just like our very own illness. And when did Blood pressure ≥ 130/85 mmHg become 'hypertension' instead of 'pre-hypertension', which, as I understand it, is not a clinical diagnosis, but a research category that was hijacked by the ever-alert drug industry?
    jeffrez likes this.
  3. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    I do not think one leads to the other. I do think there are common underlying factors, especially oxidative stress to the SCN in the hypothalamus. I might be blogging on this at some point.
    merylg likes this.
  4. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    jimells,

    alex has answered your first question for me. :) I don't know the answer to your second question about hypertension and pre-hypertension. I was just reporting the stats that I found in my research.
  5. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    if one looks at all the hormonal issues and sleep issues, they all can contribute to metabolic syndrome, insulin resistence. eg men with low testosterone have insulin resistence that can be reversed with testosterone replacement therapy. cortisol levels have a big impact on blood sugar and insulin resistence. the role of cortisol is to raise blod sugar, many intially have very high cortisol levels triggered from the initial stress(infection) causing high blood sugar levels which worsen insulin resistence. As the stress progresses and cortisol levels drop below normal we then find we dont have cortisol there to increase our blood sugar when we need it.

    So circadian rythm and cortisol rythm can both have a big impact on metabolic syndrome. I think getting these rythms right, adequate sleep and balancing other hormones is important as well as reducing carbs in the diet to a level one is comfortable with. we all seem to run on different levels of carbs. Also if one is carry abit of extra weight then reducing this can help improve insulin resistence as well as other hormonal issues.

    All easier said then done.
  6. SOC

    SOC Moderator and Senior Member

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    Would this be consistent with the non-specific antibodies theory? Autoantibodies damaging the pancreas (?) messing with insulin production causing pre-diabetic conditions, for example. Autoantibodies to the hypothalmus could also be contributing, too.......?
  7. Marco

    Marco Old blackguard

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    Nice piece of intuitive thinking Jody.

    I feel that there's a very strong link between metabolic syndrome/diabetes and ME/CFS (and other neuroinflammatory conditions) and I've discussed possible common mechanisms here :

    http://www.cortjohnson.org/blog/2013/02/15/glutamate-one-more-piece-in-the-chronic-fatigue-syndrome-mecfs-puzzle-the-neuroinflammatory-series-pt-ii/

    I've had similar experiences to you. Not at onset of ME/CFS but in 1997 my health took a sudden downturn with increased and many new symptoms including severe heat intolerance and constantly feeling 'inflamed'. Without any changes in lifestyle I suddenly managed to gain around 10lbs in two weeks and gained it around my waist which was a new one for me.

    Now I have many symptoms of neuropathy including numb hands with poor circulation, failing eyesight and frequent allodynia. I too find avoiding pre-prepared foods and simple carbs helpful.

    The symptoms of autonomic neuropathy, a common complication of diabetes, are certainly consistent with autonomic dysfunction/neuropathy in ME/CFS :

    Possible symptoms of autonomic neuropathy:

    Sweating: There may be no sweating or reduced sweating (anhidrosis and hypohidrosis), but excessive sweating (or hyperhidrosis) can occur as a compensatory mechanism

    Temperature regulation: Hypothermia and hyperpyrexia can result from disruption of the various temperature regulatory mechanisms. Sweating, shivering and vasoactive reflexes can be affected

    Face: Pallor

    Reduced or absent sweating

    Vision:

    Blurring of vision
    Tunnel vision
    Light sensitivity
    Difficulty focusing
    Reduced lacrimation
    Gradual reduction of pupillary size

    Cardiovascular:

    Orthostatic hypotension (often associated with or exacerbated by eating, exercise and raised temperature)
    Other orthostatic symptoms ( for example, nausea, palpitations, light-headedness, tinnitus, shortness of breath)
    Syncope (may occur with micturition, defaecation)
    Inability to stand without syncope (severe cases)
    Arrhythmias
    Supine hypertension
    Loss of diurnal variation in blood pressure (BP)

    Respiratory:

    In diabetics, reduced bronchoconstrictor reflexes have been detected (contributing to reduced responses to hypoxia)

    Gastrointestinal:
    Constipation
    Diarrhoea
    Incontinence
    Dry mouth
    Disturbance of taste

    Sexual:
    Impotence
    Ejaculatory failure
    Female sexual dysfunction

    Feet:
    Burning sensation
    Hair loss
    Pruritus
    Dry skin
    Pale, cold feet
    Worsening of symptoms at night

    http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/autonomic-neuropathy
  8. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    Interesting article, Jody - thanks.

    I gained a lot of weight during a particularly stressful and strenuous time, especially around the middle. Nothing would shift the weight until I tried low-carb. Last year I went gluten-free and reduced carbs further, the excess weight just fell away without effort or hunger, and muscles became usable again (possibly aided by one or more supplements). Many symptoms have improved.

    I note these two aspects of metabolic syndrome which are perhaps not typical in ME:

    decreased output of salt by the kidneys

    higher levels of cortisol

    I seem to lose a lot of salt in urine, and have suffered severe hyponatraemia. Many of us crave salt, suggesting perhaps that we are deficient.

    I take heapsreal's point about cortisol initially increasing and then falling in the course of some conditions, and I believe ME to be one such.

    My father had Type 2 diabetes, but the family diet was heavily carb-based, which won't have helped. My blood sugar seems pretty stable now that I am low-carb. I don't know what it was like before, but it felt as though it was swinging from high to low a lot.
    heapsreal likes this.
  9. John H Wolfe

    John H Wolfe Senior Member

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    Interesting article. For me it’s perfectly possible that there is/are (a) common pathophysiological link(s) that knock(s) metabolic systems out of kilter; in ‘Wolfe Hypothesis’ I touch on links between: 'long-form CNDP1 gene', 'NF-KB activation', and increased rates of glycolysis in ME/CFS

    The later may be epigenetic, which is where, arguably, the development of ME/CFS may be said to enhance a (latent) potential for growing/enhanced metabolic dysfunction e.g. dysmetabolic syndrome. Given the fact that many believe ME/CFS to be a neurological disorder, and many of us believe that the central nervous system (including the hippocampus) has a very important role to play in the pathology, the extent to which the purported correlation between dysmetabolic syndrome and these cerebrospinal abnormalities may enhance disorder associated with ME/CFS should be fairly apparent

    ME/CFS is often associated with blood sugar balance/control abnormalities, along with associated overproduction/dysregulation of stress hormones (intended, by the body, to correct for such abnormalities) e.g. epinephrine (adrenalin) and cortisol

    This may lead to enhanced weight gain or indeed weight loss, depending on how (the) common link(s) manifest(s) and how we adapt, in terms of our eating/activity habits - hence the differential presentation of ME/CFS patients in terms of weight: many 'overweight', but also many 'underweight'

    ME/CFS and dysmetabolic syndrome may therefore be viewed as intimately linked co-morbid diseases in a sub-set of PWME, whereas metabolic dysfunction more broadly, for me, may be interpreted as being part of the same disease state that we currently characterise (by symptomatological presentation) as ‘ME/CFS’
    heapsreal likes this.
  10. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Not just the pancreas, but so many hormone receptors that feed into insulin resistance, including steroid and insulin receptors, steroid binding proteins, etc.
    SOC likes this.
  11. Rrrr

    Rrrr Senior Member

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    thanks for this article!
  12. Allyson

    Allyson *****

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    Thanks Jody - I had also quereid this link as my famly has a strong history of tyoe 2 diabeties and cardiovascular illness - lookin gback now i see also probable UnDx ME/cfs too
    ANd i think the enforced inactivity alone could cuntirubute substantially.

    When ihad my blood volume measured recently and found i was low by about 700 mls I had even more reasone to suspect a link.
    Thanks again..hope it leads to some more research.
  13. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Glad you liked it, Rrr.:)
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  14. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    I hadn't really noticed till long after I became ill, that there are many diabetics on my mother's side of the family. I never thought about it having anything to do with me, but once I saw the possible connection and looked further into it, a few things began to fall into place.
    Allyson likes this.
  15. Nielk

    Nielk

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    Thanks Jody for this article. I have gained a lot of weight around my waist and am swollen all over my body. So, is watching sugar and simple carbs the only remedy?
  16. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Nielk,

    Speaking just from my own experience, I'd have to say, it probably isn't the only remedy. But it can make a big difference. And as has been mentioned in one of the comments above, each of us have our own unique needs when it comes to amounts of carbs in the diet. The diet I referred to from Dr. Andrew Weil is one regimen. I don't follow his recommendations to the letter, trial and error has helped me to know what works best for me.

    In the summer of 2002 I began to eat a low carb diet, and found that most of my worst symptoms decreased, or disappeared. During that summer I was hoping that maybe I was just hypoglycemic and that that was all that was wrong with me. Come fall, I began to fail and weaken again and I realized that there must be other factors to my poor health. But even with my autumn crash, I did not get as sick as I'd been in previous falls and winters.

    I'd recommend doing a google search on metabolic syndrome, and see what else may turn up that applies to you.
    Nielk likes this.
  17. Allyson

    Allyson *****

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    i understand that - ahem - exercise esp weights i svery good for stavig off and even reversing type 2 diabeties Neil.
    Another reason we are porne to it perhaps ans esercise - though i love it - cna make me so ill.

    Iid not make the point before that in havein g my blood volume tested It made me realise the link too. Low blood volume is going to cause temendous issues and is also going to combine with symdrome X to cause a much greater risk of embolism and thrombosis.


    cheers,
    Ally
  18. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    diabetes medication metformin which improves insulin sensitivity through a few mechanisms greatly helps weightloss when combined with a low carb diet and this combo also slashed cholesterol and trigylerides greatly. Its also used and recommended by many antiaging doc to helps prevent chronic illnesses and improve quality of live. worth talking to your doc about it. very different to insulin and doesnt lower blood sugar levels to below normal like insulin.
    Nielk and jeffrez like this.
  19. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    There is more to the treatment of insulin resistance then then watching ones weight and lowering carbs (of all kinds.. simple sugars and other kinds too), diet thou plays a huge part in treatment of this.

    I have seen 3 specialists (2 doctors and also a nutritionist who has the issue herself) who specialise in the area of hyperinsulinemia and metabolic syndrome (things I have) and throu doing what Im supposed to do for it, my hyperinsulinemia (prediabetes) is just worsing... Im probably needing a med for this eg metformin is commonly used. In my case I have these issues due to having polycystic ovulation syndrome (PCOS) rather then due to to the ME but I know from my own experience that these conditions do make ones ME symptoms worst.

    Since being on extremely low carb diets for my insulin issues .. I completely got rid of GERD which I'd been on prescription drugs previously for, have less first thing in the morning tiredness..the kind which keeps you in bed, have less throats (so the insulin issue must knock around my immune system), my moods are far more stable. I had intense mood swings when my insulin is too high, I suspect due to I also having MCS that my body is abnormally sensitive to insulin too. (I cant think now what other symptoms it helped but it helped more then just those ones).

    Those who have this issue should also follow a few more eatting rules then lowering carbs.
    - Always have protein every meal such as meat or eggs

    my specialist has told me to do this actually before eatting anything else (it helps the carbs be digested slower and hence to balance insulin)

    - Dont buy low fat dairy products.. you need the full cream/fat products .. as if you have an insulin issue you need the fat the the milk etc (helps with the insulin).

    - Those with severe insulin issues will even need to consider the carbs coming from things such as dairy and nuts and not be exceding certain limits. (one of nutritionists told me that to not eat more then 10-12 nuts per day due to their carbs.. her extremely strict low carb diet, far stricter then diabetic, diabetic diets are far too high in their carbs for my body.. really helped me a lot).

    -Note.. root veg are often high in carbs so Ive been told to avoid. Sweet corn is quite high in carbs.

    Fruits.. of cause contain fructose.. so on my low carb diet Im restricted to one small piece of fruit per day and some fruits are completely out on a low carb diet eg bananas are high carb, oranges...
    Jody and Nielk like this.
  20. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    Management of hyperinsulinemia and metabolic syndrome can be very difficult and one of the more difficult issues Im dealing with as far as its hard to cook special diets when you have ME too to deal with.

    I notice just breaching the diet once can have huge impacts on my body eg an immediate weight gain by the next day, it can also make my body hold fluids but not in a good way (so unfortunately not in a way to help my POTS but it can bloat me).
    Jody likes this.

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