If your immune system is on the ropes — a very common scenario for tens of millions of sleep-deprived, stress-battered and nutrient-deficient Americans — just about any infection can trigger post-infectious chronic fatigue syndrome. And a new study has added another infection to the list: Giardia, a waterborne parasite that can cause severe GI upset called "Giardia gastroenteritis."
Researchers in Norway tracked 1,262 patients after a widespread outbreak of Giardia in the city of Bergen. They found that 58 of them (5%) developed CFS, with "long-lasting fatigue and abdominal symptoms" — an incidence of CFS 8 times higher than in the "general population."
"Our findings suggest that there may be a relationship between Giardia infection and CFS," concluded the researchers in BMC Gastroenterology.
Naess H, Nyland M, Hausken T, et al, "Chronic fatigue syndrome after Giardia enteritis: clinical characteristics, disability and long-term sickness absence." BMC Gastroenterol. 2012 Feb 8;12:13.
Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D. is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of eight research studies on their effective treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.