Monday, 23 November 2015

Busted! Exercise Study Finds Energy Production System is Broken in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Keep your eyes on the oxygen molecule. Your body thrives on it. It’s at the heart of your aerobic energy production system. When it’s working correctly you’re filled with clean, abundant energy. When its not you’re in trouble.

You have a clean and efficient energy producing system and a ‘dirty and inefficient energy producing system. Guess which one is broken in ME/CFS?

Multiple systems explode into action in order to get that oxygen to your muscles when you exercise.  You breath more deeply and your heart pumps harder and  faster to transport it just as quickly as it can to  your cells. That heart/lung/muscle connection is the oxygen highway.

You have a second (mostly backup)  energy production system but it’s a dirty, inefficient and even painful system to use. Called anaerobic glycolysis it mostly kicks in only after your  aerobic (oxygen-using) energy production system has  pooped out.  If you exercise long and hard enough (or if you have ME/CFS –  not very long and not very hard) the pain and fatigue you experience when you switch to anaerobic system is unmistakeable.

As soon as you make that switch  – at what  researchers call your  ‘anaerobic threshold’ – toxins are going to start building up in your muscles and you’re probably not going to be exercising that much longer.  ( ‘Aerobic threshold’  might be a better name for a switch point that represents the end of clean (ie aerobic) energy production, and a dependence on anaerobic metabolism.)

At that point things get complicated quickly.  With anaerobic glycolysis comes lactic acid, and with lactic acid comes lactate, and with lactate comes CO2, and with CO2 comes a big problem.  CO2 displaces oxygen – the life blood of our system – so it’s got to be removed fast, and so into the blood and out the lungs it goes.  As the CO2 levels in your blood rise your breathing rate speeds up automatically just to  get it out of your system.

Busted! Exercise Study Finds Energy Production System is Broken in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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