Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) patients fall into the group of diseases that doctors debate are imagined in the patient’s mind or something that is biological in nature. The debate stirs because there is not a definitive test, like a blood test, to show that chronic fatigue syndrome exists.
Common among chronic fatigue syndrome patients is intermittent or persistent gut problems, including indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome. There are viral infections, such as Epstein Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, and parvovirus, among others, that are known to produce many of the same symptoms associated with chronic fatigue syndrome.
Researchers moved one step closer in demonstrating that chronic fatigue syndrome is something biological and possibly a way to help diagnose the disease. The study involved 165 patients diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and a control group who were considered healthy except for a gut disease. All of the subjects were subjected to endoscopy (which involves the threading of a long tube with a camera on the tip through the gullet and into the stomach.)
The result was that most of the patients, with gut problems, showed evidence of mild long-term inflammation. The chronic fatigue syndrome patients tested positive for enteroviruses in 80% of patients, while the control group tested positive in 20% of the patients. Although not conclusive as a diagnostic tool the inclusion of enteroviruses can be helpful in diagnosing CFS.