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Curcumin and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

hospitalA condition where typical exertions cause unbearable fatigue that is not alleviated by having a rest, chronic fatigue syndrome puzzled many physicians for decades. There are identified triggers, and its diagnosis demands extensive trials administered by a medical expert.

Chronic fatigue syndrome or CFS causes unrelenting exhaustion that affects daily life and does not go away with rest or sleep.

The disease is also called ME, which means encephalomyelitis. There are some debates over the appropriate term to use for the condition. Chronic fatigue syndrome is a serious disease that can cause long-standing illness and disability, but many individuals, predominantly kids and young people can improve over time.

An estimated 250,000 people in the United Kingdom are affected by CFS. Anyone can have it, even if it is more common in women than men. It normally develops when individuals are in their early 20s to mid-40s. It can also affect kids usually when they are in between the ages of 13 and 15.

Most chronic fatigue syndrome cases are mild or moderate. Nonetheless, 1 out of 4 CFS patients is experiencing severe symptoms. In mild condition, a person is capable of taking care of himself, but may need rest days from work. Those who have moderate symptoms may have reduced mobility and may have troubled sleep patterns. CFS in severe form will allow a patient to perform minimal daily tasks, but have considerably reduced mobility and have difficulty focusing.

There is no known cause of chronic fatigue syndrome. Yet, there are various theories like a viral infection, immune system problems, and hormonal problems. Likewise, some believe that psychiatric issues like emotional trauma and stress cause CFS. Some individuals are believed to be more vulnerable to the disease because of their genetic makeup, as it is more common for several families.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued specific guidelines for the chronic fatigue syndrome’s diagnosis and management.

According to the NICE, a diagnosis of CFS should be considered if a patient meets some criteria regarding their fatigue. For instance, a person has problems in terms of sleeping, thinking and concentrating.

If a patient experiences these symptoms for a couple of months, then a diagnosis can be confirmed.

Usually, the CFS treatment reduces the symptoms. But, every patient reacts to treatment differently, the treatment plan should be tailored especially for a particular patient.

Some of the most common treatments include a CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), a graded exercise therapy, and medication to manage nausea, pain and sleeping problems.

Most CFS patients improve eventually, even though some people do not make a full recovery. In addition, it is expected that there will be moments when the symptoms get worse or better. Children and young people suffering from this condition are inclined to recover completely.

At present, for the very first time, researchers announce that they have classified biological markers of chronic fatigue syndrome in gut bacteria. They also identified inflammatory agents in the human blood. The researchers from Cornell University discovered something very important providing some relief to people suffering from this disease.

The team illustrates how they accurately diagnosed myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) in 83% of patients. They conducted stool samples and blood work, which provided a “non-invasive” diagnosis. This gives a step toward comprehending the cause of this disease.

The work of the Cornell University researchers reveals that the gut bacteria microbiome in the patients is not normal, conceivably leading to inflammation and gastrointestinal symptoms in chronic fatigue syndrome victims.

According to Maureen Hanson, a professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Cornell, their detection of a biological abnormality offers further indication against the preposterous notion that the chronic fatigue syndrome is psychological in origin. Prof. Hanson said that their work shows that the microbiome in people with CFS is not normal.

The senior author of this study added that sooner or later, the world could see this technique as a balance to other noninvasive diagnoses. But, if only we have a greater concept of what is really going on with these gut microbes and victims, perhaps physicians could mull over changing diets. The first author of the study, Ludovic Giloteaux , agreed to the idea. He added that the use of prebiotics like probiotics or dietary fibers will be introduced to help cure the condition.

In a collaboration between Ithaca campus researchers and Dr. Susan Levine, they asked for the participation of 48 individuals diagnosed with ME/CFS and 39 healthy controls to give stool and blood samples. Dr. Levine is an ME/CFS specialist in New York City.

They arranged microbial DNA’s regions from the stool samples to classify different kinds of bacteria. On the whole, the multiplicity of types of bacteria was significantly lower and there were lesser bacterial species acknowledged to be anti-inflammatory in ME/CFS patients compared with healthy individuals, a similar observation also spotted in ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease patients.

In addition, the researchers saw specific inflammation markers in the blood, possibly due to a permeable gut from intestinal issues that let bacteria enter the blood. Bacteria found in blood will prompt an immune response, which could just worsen the symptoms.

Unfortunately, the researchers were unable to gather evidence to differentiate whether the altered gut microbiome is a consequence of the disease or a cause. But the breakthrough, even with the fact that it was only found on a small sample, it is very important for 2 main reasons.

Foremost, the indicators could be included in the future to help analyze the condition, as they were found in 83% of the CFS patients. Second, the finding indicates that diet and stuff like probiotics may be a solution to help cure the disease by getting the gut microbiome back into stability.

In the future, the research team of Cornell University will search for solid evidence of viruses and fungi present in the gut. This is their way to find out whether one of these or a connection of these along with bacteria be contributing or causing the chronic fatigue syndrome.

Left Brain, Right Brain

I cannot recall the last time, if there ever was a last time, I gained so much insight or experienced such an incredible multiplicity of revelation from witnessing a single presentation. I may have attended a sermon or two that came close to having its impact, but I doubt that any experience has ever educed from deep within so much insight about the human condition. The following video will take up about 18 minutes of your life. It may change the way you look at the rest of it.

I’ve heard and read much about left-brain vs. right-brain thinking processes and how they may relate to individual learning processes. Jill’s talk made me realize far more clearly how human communication is a primarily left-brain affair. It now appears to me that, in fact, the human condition results from how much clarity people might find behind the veil brought down upon reality by left-brain noise. Jill makes it clear, at least for me, that people must get to know their right-brains a whole lot better; perhaps I can help some people do this.

As a communications professional, I’ve long been aware that in certain magic moments we are somehow, almost accidentally, able to find the right combinations of words that inspire the right mental images in our audiences that allow us to reach into and connect with their right-brains, cutting through the noise made by their linear, left-brain thoughts, to give our listeners and readers the gift of in-the-moment, timeless experiences. Some call these moments magic. Some call them spiritual. I call them vital to human communication, progress and understanding.

Such moments are too rare. Last fall, I was awoken at 3 a.m. by an idea that demanded my immediate attention. Rather than just jot down a couple of notes, as I sometimes would, I ended up getting up and sketching out some broader rough ideas. Three pages of notes I composed that night have occupied much of my thinking and time ever since.

Some weeks before my inspired insomnia, I had challenged myself to come up with a new way of visually organizing thought processes. I had learned my share of varous communications and presentation systems, gimmicks and trade secrets. While I recognized that all of them have value, I thought that the information age required something new. In challenging myself, I had tasked my subconscious mind with finding that something.

For quite some time, I’d been tinkering around with some of the concepts first expressed by Tony Buzan through his mind mapping concepts. I had downloaded and played with some popular mind mapping software and found it to be useful. But for me there were problems with using it as an effective communications tool.

The biggest benefit in it, I thought, was that mind mapping helps people overcome limitations inherent in rigidly organizing thoughts in a left-brained linear, outlined or bullet-pointed manner. The biggest downside of it, I thought, was that mind maps went too far in the other direction. Most of the mind map examples I had found on the Internet were too freeform and too jumbled precisely because they lacked consistent structure. If I revisit some of my older mind mapping attempts, I cannot fully understand points I was trying to make that were absolutely clear to me at the time.

Experience taught me that that standard mind maps might be useful to individuals or groups as brainstorming tools, but they’re not all that useful for communicating ideas and concepts to wide audiences. I concluded that basing communications processes too much on the way our right-brains work goes too far.

There had to be a happy medium, I thought. This happy medium is what got me out of bed that night. And so, my idea came out clearly, well, at least clearly to me so far: I understand it well, but expressing what it is, what it does and how it works with enough simplicity to be both practical and broadly useful is proving to be a challenge. In my minds eye I envision a simple, visual communications planning system that applies the free form freedom of mind maps to a set of pre-defined and consistent but flexible structures.

One example is how we think about food and how some people are slim while others are obese. Is it the right or left side of the brain that controls this situation? Some people spend a lot of money on gym classes, dieting e-books or pills, but they have a hard time getting fit and slim all their life no matter what they do. Others are effortlessly good looking and with a great silhouette. All that is controlled in our brain.

The big obstacle for me is to come up with the best way for people to use my system. I’m designing a single-page visual tool for turning a brainstorm into a clear stream of ideas with a purpose. Maybe I needed a better understanding of the left-right brain relationship. Maybe it was this need that made me stumble upon Jill’s presentation. I sense that her video has helped me a lot, but I haven’t yet figured out what it means to the application of my new ideas.