Tag Archives: Chronic fatigue syndrome

Leaky gut syndrome

Leaky gut syndrome
Leaky gut syndrome is a condition invented by nutritionists and sold by sciencey-sounding nonsense.

As we shall see, the diagnosis of “leaky gut syndrome” is a convenient catch-all to offer an illusion of knowledge to patients suffering from medically obscure symptoms. This is particularly pernicious, since in many cases such conditions have a psychosomatic component: the illusion of diagnosis is almost its own cure.

A competent and ethical health publication would urge caution around unproven diagnoses that make claims which should be verifiable from pathology, but aren’t.

WDDTY of course supports the nutritionist industry agenda.

Leaky gut syndrome

Leaky Gut Syndrome
‘Leaky gut syndrome’ is a proposed condition some health practitioners claim is the cause of a wide range of long-term conditions, including chronic fatigue syndrome and multiple sclerosis.

Proponents of ‘leaky gut syndrome’ claim that many symptoms and diseases are caused by the immune system reacting to germs, toxins or other large molecules that have been absorbed into the bloodstream via a porous (‘leaky’) bowel.

There is little evidence to support this theory, and no evidence that so-called ‘treatments’ for ‘leaky gut syndrome’, such as nutritional supplements and a gluten-free diet, have any beneficial effect for most of the conditions they are claimed to help.

While it is true that certain factors can make the bowel more permeable, this probably does not lead to anything more than temporary mild inflammation of an area of the bowel.

NHS Choices

The world of alternative medicine has a certain fondness for inventing conditions in order to be able to sell a “cure” that medicine cannot offer. morgellonsW and chronic Lyme diseaseW are two of the better known. Another, particularly beloved of nutritionists, is leaky gut syndromeW.

Often there is an overlap with reality: in morgellons the condition is delusional parasitosisW, patients preferring the alternative because they repudiate the psychological cause; in chronic Lyme there is a genuine condition (post-Lyme syndrome) though many self-diagnosed sufferers show no evidence of borrelia burgdorferi, the cause of Lyme disease.

Other genuine disorders such as infectious mononucleosisW (also known as glandular fever) have lasting effects similar to chronic fatigue syndromeW (CFS).

In the case of “leaky gut syndrome” there is some substance to the idea that the gut wall can become more permeable in those suffering from inflammatory bowel diseaseW but the crossover between this and the alternative diagnosis of “leaky gut” happens early. However, the idea of a leaky gut syndrome, particularly as the cause of autism, CFS and even multiple sclerosisW, is entirely speculative and not supported by credible evidence.

Nutritionists typically pin the blame for “leaky gut” on whichever idée fixe they happen to hold: gluten is a frequent target, milk and candida overgrowth are also fingered.

leaky gut As an example, the website leakygutcure.com uses the illustration at right. This shows: top left, a normal gut wall; top right, villous atrophy, a diagnostic sign of coeliac diseaseW, and bottom, vague references to food and unspecified “toxins”.

I am not aware of any credible pathological findings of undigested food in the blood, as this suggests, nor is any such objective test proposed for “leaky gut”. Instead the diagnosis is one of – well, guesswork: usually exclusion diets, but with the nutritionist’s favourite bête noire always in the mix, and (it seems) always found to be the One True Cause.

Comparison with coeliac is illustrative. Coeliac is an autoimmune disorder where the immune system attacks the gut wall where the proteins in gluten are absorbed. Diagnosis is by blood tests for tissue transglutaminase (tTG) antibodies, possibly confirmed by duodenal biopsy, which typically shows exactly the features seen at top right in the picture: blunting of the villi, enlargement of the crypts and invasion of the crypts by lymphocytes (white blood cells).

WDDTY on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)

Chronic Fatigue SyndromeW is a debilitating condition which is at best poorly understood by medical science. Palliative care focuses particularly on cognitive behavioural therapyW, which some sufferers assert is the same as diagnosing it as purely psychosomatic, a characterisation they reject absolutely, insisting that it is a real physical disorder with a real physical cause. Much of the rhetoric of MorgellonsW is present in this group.

A combination of incomplete scientific understanding and a medical treatment that some people utterly reject on the grounds that they don’t like what they think it implies, makes this a fertile hunting ground for quacks and charlatans.

The following list is taken from a search of WDDTY.com and has not yet been filtered or validated. Corrections gratefully received via our contact form.

  1. Cfs: A few have followed up on the vast e-mail bag last time on a link between an underactive thyroid and chronic fatigue syn… more » e-news
  2. CFS: Poor heart function could be to blame Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) may be linked to reduced heart activity – but researchers aren’t sure if heart function c… more » e-news
  3. Me/cfs: all in the mind of psychiatrists only Re ME/CFS (WDDTY vol 14 no 12), the WHO categorises ‘chronic fatigue’ states as ‘Mental Health Problems and Behavioural… more » Letters
  4. Chronic fatigue syndrome (cfs): One reader swears by the effectiveness of LDM-100 (a liquid tincture of the herb Lomatium Dissectum) for battling CFS wh… more » Family matters
  5. Chronic fatigue syndrome (cfs): Less news this time because we have been swamped by readers’ comments (especially about chronic fatigue and a possible l… more » e-news
  6. Pesticides linked to chronic fatigue One cause of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) could be exposure to organophosphate pesticides and insecticides. … more » News
  7. Chronic fatigue does exist: it’s official The government has finally issued its long-awaited paper on chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or myalgic encephalomyelitis… more » Updates
  8. Prescribed drugs cause me immune dysfunction Congratulations to Jane Colby for drawing attention to the problems of ME sufferers (WDDTY, vol 12 no 12). Doctors are d… more » Letters
  9. Chronic Fatigue: Does this mystery disease have its roots in an unhappy childhood? Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a mysterious condition that usually baffles doctors. Nobody is sure why it starts, ho… more » e-news
  10. The best alternative treatment for . . . me or chronic fatigue What is ME? Myalgic encephalomyelitis, or chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), although treated as a 21st-century mystery, o… more » Alternative Treatments
  11. How doctors treat ME According to the UK Working Group on CFS/ME, set up to compile guidelines on the appropriate management and treatment of… more » Alternative Treatments
  12. ME: The link with thyroid problems Thyroid problems may be a culprit behind unexplained diseases such as ME/CFS and FMS. In most cases, the health problems… more » Alternative Treatments
  13. Fluoride and ME Although few researchers have looked at the role of fluoride in the development of ME, there are conspicuous similaritie… more » Alternative Treatments
  14. Me: happy drug doesn’t help The antidepressant Prozac (fluoxetine) is often prescribed to treat chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) but researchers have… more » News
  15. More than just tired It seemed unimaginable a few years ago. Despite the growing evidence indicating that ME is a distinct clinical entity, a… more » Comment
  16. Chronic fatigue: It’s real, and there are seven types Good news for sufferers of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) who have been told for years that their problem is ‘all in the… more » e-news
  17. It’s official: the me generation Huge myths about the illness now known as chronic fatigue syndrome/ME have been exploded by a new report on treatments p… more » SECOND OPINION
  18. Connections between petsicides and ME Congratulations on the consistently high standard of WDDTY. more » Family matters
  19. Chronic fatigue? we think not . . . People who’ve told their doctor that they have chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) have often been met with chronic scornful… more » e-news
  20. ME – A polio by another name Research into Post-Polio syndrome and ME has made the astounding discovery that the virus that most often triggers ME is… more » Cover Story
  21. Chronic fatigue syndrome CFS—also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) or post-viral fatigue syndrome—is a debilitating condition that affects… more » Story
  22. Recent research A study published at the beginning of the year by Federal scientists at the US National Institute of Allergy and Infecti… more » Cover Story
  23. Is there a link between Thyroid problems and ME? A scandalous lack of knowledge by doctors and an epidemic of undiagnosed thyroid problems may be behind the other growin… more » Cover Story
  24. After-jab exhaustion Thousands of UK children are now being injected with the measles/rubella vaccine, regardless of previous immunizations a… more » Comment
  25. Testing for mercury sensitivity One of the latest diagnostic tests to determine mercury sensitivity is MELISA (memory lymphocyte immunostimulation assay… more » Cover Story
  26. Fluoride – Damning new evidence Researcher Doris Jones has unearthed startling new evidence demonstrating that fluoride interferes with enzyme systems,… more » Cover Story
  27. Fibromyalgia: a painful diagnosis According to the textbooks, fibromyalgia (FM) is the name given to a collection of chronic symptoms of widespread pain f… more » Alternative Treatments
  28. ME: The first things to do Preliminary stages in tackling ME more » Alternative Treatments
  29. Mineral supplement cured our daughter’s me … more » Family matters
  30. Me: it’s in the water – ‘ ‘ more » Doctors training notes
  31. Vitamin b6 made me better I was very pleased that the government’s decision to limit vitamin B6 supplements was mentioned in WDDTY. I am very con… more » Family matters
  32. Tuning in to a cure for me Re ‘the best alternative treatment for ME or chronic fatigue’ (WDDTY vol 14 no 12), I want to advise you of a very benef… more » Doctors training notes
  33. Me could be a reaction to the polio vaccine Re your article on ME (vol 14 no 12), I contracted the illness after an afternoon spent with two children who had just h… more » Letters
  34. When ‘no’ means mental illness Samantha? Suffering from pervasive refusal syndrome? I couldn’t believe it. Pervasive refusal syndrome (PRS) means refus… more » SECOND OPINION
  35. How vaccines can cause me ME is a provocation disease. That is, a range of co-factors a virus, a viral and a bacterial infection, stress, surgery… more » Cover Story
  36. Me-the latest theories The greatest hurdle in treating ME is trying to figure out exactly what it is and how it differs from other illnesses of… more » Cover Story
  37. The latest me treatments Diet is the first area to pay attention to when ME is suspected. Cut out all simple sugars and refined foods, and concen… more » Cover Story
  38. Chronic fatigue Our story last time about chronic fatigue syndrome and the disregard many doctors show its victims sparked several inter… more » e-news
  39. The best alternative treatment for . . . me or chronic fatigue – What to do instead As ME is a collection of similarly presenting disorders, the most effective measures are those concentrating on ‘metabol… more » Alternative Treatments
  40. Mercury fillings – The missing link New evidence unearthed by Dr Jack Levenson, the dentist who has led the fight against amalgam fillings in the UK, shows… more » Cover Story
  41. Chronic fatigue: tired old response from doctors Medical studies might have proven it exists, and it’s been acknowledged by most medical authorities as a real condition,… more » e-news
  42. Miss Wanda Hawran PracticeName: Discipline: Nutrition Address1: 17 St Leonards Road Address2: West Ealing Address3: Town: London County: G… more » Practitioner
  43. Mrs MARY HALLIDAY PracticeName: Discipline: Nutritional Therapy, General Practitioner Address1: KENTRIGG Address2: ST. JOHNS PARK Address3… more » Practitioner
  44. Adrenal fatigue Q) Please tell me how to treat adrenal fatigue and whether there is a test to check the function of the adrenal glands.—… more » Q & A
  45. Dr Fi Dann (Aware Chiropractic Centre) PracticeName: Aware Chiropractic Centre Discipline: Chiropractic, Allergy Testing & Treatment, Bach Flower Remedies,… more » Practitioner
  46. Grapefood Seed Extract for H Pylori As an alternative to the triple whammy amoxycillin flagyl bismuth treatment for H pylori the bug thought to cause ulcers… more » Family matters
  47. ME: The pesticide connection One cause of chronic fatigue syndrome could be exposure to organophosphate pesticides and insecticides. The condition is… more » Alternative Treatments
  48. Low blood pressure Q:We hear an awful lot about hypertension high blood pressure but not so much about hypotension low blood pressure. My w… more » Q & A
  49. Coping with me ME is not just fatigue; neurological symptoms may be worse. Memory, mood, concentration, speech, counting, sensation, ba… more » News
  50. Chemical sensitivity – Allergic to the 20th century “Environmental illness”, a every genuine condition with a number of recognizable symptoms, is not as many doctors and ve… more » Cover Story
  51. Lyme disease Q:I would like some more information on Lyme disease. Why is it handed out so often as a diagnosis does it really exist?… more » Q & A
  52. A sweet truth If you’ve had a heart attack, a bar of chocolate is probably the last thing your doctor would recommend. Nevertheless, n… more » Cover Story
  53. Coenzyme Q10 As the use of this supplement grows in popularity, do the impressive claims stack up? more » Story
  54. Quantum SCIO Wellness Ltd PracticeName: Quantum SCIO Wellness Ltd Discipline: Allergy Testing & Treatment, Bio-energetic Testing & Therapy… more » Practitioner
  55. The best alternative treatment for . . . fibromyalgia What is fibromyalgia? Once called ‘fibrositis’, the patient has tight and tender spots in his muscles, and suffers gene… more » Alternative Treatments
  56. Some like it hot Doctors and alternative therapists are experimenting with special light rays to heat up the body and kickstart cellular… more » Cover Story
  57. Fibromyalgia- A painful diagnosis FIBROMYALGIA : A PAINFUL DIAGNOSIS According to the textbooks, fibromyalgia (FM) is the name given to a collection of ch… more » Cover Story
  58. Spinal tap What’s it for? The human brain and spinal cord are surrounded by a watery fluid called cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). It p… more » Medical Tests
  59. Herpes simplex Herpes simplex is best known for the recurrent appearance of bothersome cluster(s) of tiny fluid filled blisters around… more » Family matters
  60. How viruses “compete” with one another The advent of polio immunization in 1955 caused changes in the balance of the gut viral population, favouring the spread… more » Cover Story
  61. Glyconutrients The Internet is awash with claims that a new breed of supplements will cure everything from cancer to AIDS. The evidence… more » Story
  62. Cancer’s missing link: How bugs could be the real cause Growing evidence suggests that cancer can be caused by a microorganism—and some researchers believe it’s the only cause….more » Cover Story
  63. Lyme disease: a leaky brain Lyme disease is still barely recognized by orthodox medicine, but new, explosive evidence links this worldwide epidemic… more » Cover Story
  64. Lyme disease : A leaky brain Lyme disease is still barely recognized by orthodox medicine, but new, explosive evidence links this worldwide epidemic… more » Cover Story
  65. The real spin doctors The organizations that keep a lid on conventional medicine’s damaging secrets. more » Cover Story
  66. Waxing Lyrica on FMS There was a revelation last month. The drug company Pfizer report-ed that its drug prega-balin (Lyrica) had been approve… more » Cover Story
  67. Cold sores Q-This time of year I seem to suffer endlessly from cold sores. Using drugs like Zovirax helps, but I wonder if there is… more » Q & A