Friday, August 21, 2009

To exercise or not to exercise in chronic fatigue syndrome?

BY Professor Garry C Scroop,* Richard B Burnet†

* Visiting Associate Professor in Exercise Physiology, Department of Thoracic Medicine; † Endocrinologist, Royal Adelaide Hospital, SA 5000

"To the Editor: A recent editorial1 and article2 continue to promulgate and link the unproven concepts that patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) are “deconditioned” and exercise is beneficial in treatment."

"In summary, patients with CFS are not “deconditioned”.

Neither their muscle strength nor their exercise capacity is different from that of other sedentary members of the community (> 70%).

We remain unaware of any incontrovertible evidence that the various “exercise training” programs suggested in previous articles improve either the physiological or clinical status of people with CFS."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

small heart syndrome? only Japan appears to be researching this:

Cardiac function fluctuates during exacerbation and remission in young adults with chronic fatigue syndrome and "small heart".

Miwa K, Fujita M. Department of Internal Medicine, Nanto Family and Community Medical Center, 577 Matsubara, Nanto, Toyama 939-1518, Japan.

BACKGROUND: "Small heart syndrome", previously referred to as so-called "neurocirculatory asthenia" associated with a small heart shadow on the chest roentgenogram, is characterized by weakness or fatigue even after mild exertion, palpitation, dyspnea, and fainting, many of which resemble symptoms in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome

METHODS AND RESULTS: The study population comprised 42 patients with CFS younger than 40 years of age. Cardiothoracic ratio was determined on the chest roentgenogram and echocardiographic examination was performed to evaluate both the cardiac chamber size and function. "Small heart" (cardiothoracic ratio

CONCLUSIONS: "Small heart" on the chest X-ray photograph was prevalently noted in CFS patients. Echocardiographic examination revealed that CFS patients with "small heart" had an actually small LV chamber and poor cardiac performance. Cardiac functional changes evaluated by repeated examinations appeared to be directly associated with the severity of their symptoms. Small heart syndrome with impaired cardiac function may contribute to the development of CFS through low cardiac output as a constitutional factor.


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