Gastrointestinal Issues

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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) are debilitating conditions marked by extreme fatigue and a range of other symptoms. Gastrointestinal (GI) issues are often reported as one of these accompanying symptoms.


Common GI complaints in people with CFS include abdominal pain, nausea, bloating, and alterations in bowel habits such as diarrhoea and constipation. Some individuals may also experience food sensitivities or indigestion.

Underlying Causes

The exact cause of these gastrointestinal issues in people with CFS is not fully understood. However, it’s suspected that physiological stress related to the syndrome may disturb the normal functioning of the gut. Another theory suggests a link with altered gut microbiota – the trillions of bacteria living in the gut – which can affect digestion and absorption of nutrients.

Impact on Quality of Life

These gastrointestinal issues can significantly degrade the quality of life for people living with CFS, adding to the burden of fatigue, decreasing appetite, and leading to malnourishment in severe cases. Furthermore, discomfort due to GI issues can exacerbate other CFS symptoms such as sleep disturbances and cognitive problems.


Treatment of GI issues in CFS usually aims to alleviate symptoms. This could include dietary modification, probiotics, or medications to control specific complaints like diarrhoea or constipation. It’s also important for individuals with CFS to maintain regular consultations with their healthcare provider to address these symptoms promptly and mitigate their impact on daily life.

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