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What is your personal theory or understanding of ME/CFS?


Senior Member
Dear All,
I have been ill with ME/CFS symptoms and even diagnosed with Fibromyalgia for 18 years but was recently diagnosed as D-Lactic acidosis which is a form of Bacterial Overgrowth, which may be the cause of illness in a subset of ME/CFS patients.

I have recently been formally diagnosed with D-Lactic acidosis (without short bowel syndrome) in February 2017. The same symptoms were misunderstood or ignored by Doctors for so long because all other tests had been virtually normal.

I have been trying to make others aware of the similarity of ME/CFS to D-Lactic acidosis that Sheedy et al have written about and reported on after finding D-Lactic producing bacteria in CFS patients (report below).

D-la causes Flu like symptoms, fatigue, muscle weakness, breathing difficulty, difficulty thinking, neurological symptoms and pain; but symptoms can be far more serious during exacerbations. Some consultants believe that D-La may be greatly under diagnosed because some patients have borderline symptoms and symptoms are known to fluctuate. I also believe that there may be more than one form of Bacterial Overgrowth that can cause a range of variants and different symptoms through the production of different Organic Acids; which in D-Lactic acidosis, the production of D-Lactate is a neurotoxin and poison that enters spinal fluid to cause multiple systemic symptoms.

IBS and SIBO are forms of Bacterial Overgrowth as is C.Diff and I believe that Fecal Transplant from a suitable donor may reverse these conditions depending on causation (there are a number of conditions including Diabetes that can cause also cause Bacterial Overgrowth).

D-La can be a very serious condition and I had neurological symptoms very similar to Jennifer Bria which would fluctuate from mild to extreme and had varying symptoms ranging from muscle pain and weakness, slurred speech, difficulty thinking to confusion, fatigue and breathing difficulty as though I had climbed a mountain without oxygen, hypoglycemia or dizziness along with abdominal symptoms, difficulty after eating carbohydrates and periods of sometimes severe abdominal pain and sickness.

I was diagnosed after noticing that my symptoms would temporarily stop after using antibiotics (metronidazole). I made an appointment with a Consultant Gastrointerologist who specializes in D-Lactic acidosis and was virtually diagnosed on the spot because I respond to antibiotics. In D-La Carbs and sugars cannot be properly metabolised and cause fluctuating levels of D-Lactic acid which can be found in spinal fluid causing neurological symptoms that act much like a poison.

Anyone with these symptoms or who respond to antibiotics can test themselves for D-La through total 0% abstention diet for all Carbohydrates and simple sugars. Results can take 64 plus hours and remaining on the diet for 4 to 6 weeks could be life changing as it was for me! Dr. Sarah Myhill has been advising the same diet for ME/CFS patients for years. The diet is difficult and symptoms will return if it is failed, even small amounts of Carbs and Sugars can cause the return of symptoms. The diet should only be considered after consulting a Doctor to make sure that it is appropriate.

I believe that this may be an environmental issue because it is man made; Antibiotics alone can select for different forms of Bacterial Overgrowth (an unnatural form of selection). The huge amount of antibiotics used in both medicine, and farming under battery conditions and early weening of piglets that are taken away from their natural immunity mean that animals are fed antibiotics that enter meat and water systems. Antibiotics select for Overgrowth in the Gut through giving some Bacterial Species an advantage through Resistance and disadvantage other Bacteria to cause an unbalanced microbiome which processes our foods. Gut Bacteria also produce 90% of Seratonin and other vital neurotransmitters, that affect our brain function and mood.

D-Lactic acidosis acts as a hidden infection, because there is no raise in temperature due to only metabolites in the form of D-Lactic acid entering the blood stream; although the metabolites can also cause leaky gut through damage to the mucosal lining, which can cause secondary problems including autoimmune disease.

Increased D-Lactic Acid Intestinal Bacteria in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  8. HENRY L. BUTT5 and
+Author Affiliations

  1. Kenny.De.Meirleir@vub.ac.be

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Patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) are affected by symptoms of cognitive dysfunction and neurological impairment, the cause of which has yet to be elucidated. However, these symptoms are strikingly similar to those of patients presented with D-lactic acidosis. A significant increase of Gram positive facultative anaerobic faecal microorganisms in 108 CFS patients as compared to 177 control subjects (p<0.01) is presented in this report. The viable count of D-lactic acid producing Enterococcus and Streptococcus spp. in the faecal samples from the CFS group (3.5×107 cfu/L and 9.8×107 cfu/L respectively) were significantly higher than those for the control group (5.0×106 cfu/L and 8.9×104cfu/L respectively). Analysis of exometabolic profiles of Enterococcus faecalis and Streptococcus sanguinis, representatives of Enterococcus and Streptococcus spp. respectively, by NMR and HPLC showed that these organisms produced significantly more lactic acid (p<0.01) from 13C-labeled glucose, than the Gram negative Escherichia coli. Further, both E. faecalis and S. sanguinis secrete more D-lactic acid than E. coli. This study suggests a probable link between intestinal colonization of Gram positive facultative anaerobic D-lactic acid bacteria and symptom expressions in a subgroup of patients with CFS. Given the fact that this might explain not only neurocognitive dysfunction in CFS patients but also mitochondrial dysfunction, these findings may have important clinical implications.

see the full report online.