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Stress, particularly chronic stress, is considered a potential trigger for ME/CFS. It is also thought to worsen ME/CFS symptoms. ME patients are usually advised to avoid stress wherever possible.

Notable studies[edit | edit source]

Several studies found it is not uncommon to experience major psychological chronic stress (from events such as divorce, bereavement or serious financial worries) in the year prior to developing ME/CFS.[1][2][3]

Chronic psychological stress elevates cortisol which suppresses the Th1 antiviral/intracellular immune response and the T-cell response.[4] Chronic stress has also been shown to greatly increase susceptibility to viral infection.[5] This increased susceptibility is not observed after short-term acute stress (periods of stress of less than 1 month duration).[6]

As ME/CFS normally appears after acute viral infection, the presence of chronic stress may weaken immunity and allow a normally mild virus to trigger the serious disease of ME/CFS.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Hatcher, Simon; House, Allan (Oct 2003). "Life events, difficulties and dilemmas in the onset of chronic fatigue syndrome: a case-control study". Psychological Medicine. 33 (7): 1185–1192. doi:10.1017/s0033291703008274. ISSN 0033-2917. PMID 14580073. 
  2. Theorell, T.; Blomkvist, V.; Lindh, G.; Evengård, B. (May 1999). "Critical life events, infections, and symptoms during the year preceding chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS): an examination of CFS patients and subjects with a nonspecific life crisis". Psychosomatic Medicine. 61 (3): 304–310. ISSN 0033-3174. PMID 10367610. 
  3. Salit, Irving E. (Jan 1, 1997). "Precipitating factors for the chronic fatigue syndrome". Journal of Psychiatric Research. 31 (1): 59–65. doi:10.1016/S0022-3956(96)00050-7. ISSN 0022-3956. 
  4. Dhabhar, Firdaus S (Mar 15, 2008). "Enhancing versus Suppressive Effects of Stress on Immune Function: Implications for Immunoprotection versus Immunopathology". Allergy, Asthma, and Clinical Immunology : Official Journal of the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 4 (1): 2–11. doi:10.1186/1710-1492-4-1-2. ISSN 1710-1484. PMC 2869337Freely accessible. PMID 20525121. 
  5. Murphy, Michael L. M.; Cohen, Sheldon; Janicki-Deverts, Denise; Doyle, William J. (Jun 20, 2017). "Offspring of parents who were separated and not speaking to one another have reduced resistance to the common cold as adults". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 114 (25): 6515–6520. doi:10.1073/pnas.1700610114. ISSN 1091-6490. PMC 5488935Freely accessible. PMID 28584098. 
  6. Cohen, S.; Frank, E.; Doyle, W. J.; Skoner, D. P.; Rabin, B. S.; Gwaltney, J. M. (May 1998). "Types of stressors that increase susceptibility to the common cold in healthy adults". Health Psychology: Official Journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association. 17 (3): 214–223. doi:10.1037//0278-6133.17.3.214. ISSN 0278-6133. PMID 9619470. 

The information provided at this site is not intended to diagnose or treat any illness.
From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history.