Both chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia are poorly understood in the medical community. Current evidence points to chronic infection and its damage to immune system function as likely causes. Reference 1 describes evidence for the XMRV virus as the cause for many cases of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Regulation of the immune response is like walking a tightrope. When the immune system produces too much inflammation, the result can be a fatal case of sepsis. With too little inflammation, the pathogen may survive to set up camp in a weakened host. Chronic inflammation can keep the germs from killing us, but at a high cost to our health. It doesn't matter so much what kind of germ it is, just how long it's able to keep the battle going. Even gum infections can have serious effects on our overall health (Reference 2).
Teresa Eakman, in her book “One and the Same," points out extensive similarities in the reported symptoms of chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and systemic infection with the Candida fungus. Candida used to be known just for vaginal yeast infections. It is now recognized as a potentially much more serious pathogen.
Fungal infections in general used to be considered “clinically insignificant”, according to Reference 4. But over the last 20 years, systemic fungal infections have been on the rise. For patients with seriously impaired immune systems, infections by Candida and Aspergillus fungi can be life threatening. They are often diagnosed at autopsy. And they are notoriously difficult to diagnose while the patient is still alive: Reference 5 reports that blood cultures can be negative in up to 50 percent of cases that are later demonstrated in autopsies.
Patients with cancer, AIDS, or organ transplants are at most risk for serious fungal infections. But no one is guaranteed safety. Because of the difficulty in diagnosis, we all have to be on the lookout for ourselves.
1. Retrovirus XMRV and Chronic Fatigue:
2. Chronic inflammation of the gums: