Always exhausted? Never feel energized no matter how much sleep you get? You might be experiencing symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome, which is a condition where normal exertion leads to debilitating fatigue that isn’t alleviated by rest – and you might be wondering why.
Now for the first time ever, new research is shedding light on the reason you find yourself suffering from frustrating, chronic exhaustion.
The gut and brain correlation
According to a study published in the journal Microbiome, scientists and researchers have recently gained a better understanding of this syndrome and report they have been able to identify the culprit: your gut.
We already know how important gut health is for our overall well being. Yet everywhere we turn, we’re hearing more about the importance of maintaining good bacteria in our gut and how it can affect every aspect of our body. This new evidence is no exception.
In the study, researchers identified biological markers of chronic fatigue in gut bacteria by studying stool samples of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome versus patients who feel they have normal energy levels.
One of the most important findings from this experiment was that the patients with chronic fatigue syndrome had less anti-inflammatory bacteria. So why is that significant? Because it points to strong evidence that eating more anti-inflammatory foods can help boost and keep your energy levels up all day long.
"Our work demonstrates that the gut bacterial microbiome in chronic fatigue syndrome patients isn't normal, perhaps leading to gastrointestinal and inflammatory symptoms in victims of the disease," said Maureen Hanson, the Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Cornell and the paper's senior author.
What you can do
The study concludes that another major cause of chronic fatigue syndrome is "leaky gut," a condition resulting from a malfunction in your intestines that causes inflammation and can lead to a variety of diseases. The good news is this condition can be managed and even reversed with a holistic approach involving food, supplements and lifestyle changes.
The findings of this study point to incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into your diet as the number one way to combat chronic fatigue. Some great anti-inflammatory food options include leafy greens, nuts, berries, salmon, tuna and oranges.
Another suggestion is to add foods rich in probiotics to your diet, such as kimchi, Greek yogurt, kombucha and sauerkraut. If you don't feel you can achieve that with food alone, there's always the option to take probiotic supplements.