Journal of IiME Volume 1 Issue 2 www.investinme.org The difficulty with some of the earlier references is that the documented clinical observations may not have been scientifically evaluated and in the current climate which dictates that “evidence-based medicine” is the only acceptable medicine, such observations are dismissed and ignored because there is no “evidence-based data”. In the 21st Century, this is called progress in medicine. The Government, Big Pharma and the medical insurance industry all prefer to accept the Wessely School dogma that “CFS/ME” is “medically unexplained chronic fatigue” and is therefore a primary behavioural disorder. It is the case that the Government-funded “CFS” Centres will employ only the psychiatric interventions recommended by the Wessely School. Because this is such a crucial issue, the cardiac anomalies that have been documented in ME/CFS are summarised here. An update of the paper by Carol Sieverling was posted on Co-Cure on 10th April 2005 (“The Heart of the Matter: CFS and Cardiac Issues” – a 41 page exposition of Dr Paul Cheney’s experience and expertise), from which the following notes are taken and to both of whom grateful acknowledgement is made. Cheney’s focus is based on the paper by Dr Ben Natelson (neurologist and Professor of Neurology) and Dr Arnold Peckerman (cardiopulmonary physiologist) at New Jersey Medical Centre (ref: “Abnormal Impedance Cardiography Predicts Symptom Severity in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”. Peckerman et al: The American Journal of the Medical Sciences: 2003:326:(2):55-60). This important paper says that, without exception, every disabled ME/CFS patient (sometimes referred to as Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome or CFIDS in the US) is in heart failure. The New Jersey team looked at many things in CFIDS patients: what they found was the “Q” problem. “Q” stands for cardiac output in litres per minute. In CFIDS patients, Q values correlated -- with great precision – with the level of disability. Q was measured using impedance cardiography, a clinically validated and Government agency-recognised algorithm that is not experimental. Normal people pump 7 litres of blood per minute through their heart, with very little variance, and when they stand up, that output drops to 5 litres per minute (a full 30% drop, but this is normal). Those two litres are rapidly pooled in the lower extremities and capacitance vessels. Normal people do not sense the 30% drop in cardiac output when they stand up because their blood pressure either stays normal or rises when they stand up -- the body will defend blood pressure beyond anything else in order The PACE TRIALS (continued) This important paper says that, without exception, every disabled ME/CFS patient (sometimes referred to as Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome or CFIDS in the US) is in heart failure. to keep the pulse going. This is critical to understanding what Cheney believes happens in CFIDS patients. What the New Jersey team found in people with CFIDS was astonishing – when disabled CFIDS patients stand up, they are on the edge of organ failure due to extremely low cardiac output as their Q drops to 3.7 litres per minute (a 50% drop from the normal of 7 litres per minute). The disability level was exactly proportional to the severity of their Q defect, without exception and with scientific precision. To quote Cheney: “When you push yourself physically, you get worse”. CFIDS patients have a big Q problem; to quote Cheney again: “All disabled CFIDS patients, all of whom have post-exertional fatigue, have low Q and are in heart failure”. Post-exertional fatigue (long documented as the cardinal feature of ME/ICD-CFS but not of other, non-specific, states of chronic fatigue) is the one symptom that always correlates with Q. Among disabled CFIDS patients, 80% had muscle pain; 75% had joint pain; 72% had memory and concentration problems; 70% had unrefreshing sleep; 68% had fever and chills; 62% had generalised weakness; 60% had headaches, but 100% had post-exertional fatigue. Cheney posits that when faced with a low Q, the body sacrifices tissue perfusion in order to maintain blood pressure: ie. microcirculation to the tissues of the body is sacrificed to maintain blood pressure so that the person does not die in the face of too low a cardiac output. This compensation is what is going on in the CFIDS (ME/CFS) patient. In the Peckerman study, the data on the disabled CFIDS patients reveals that even when they are lying down, their Q is only 5 litres per minute. The lower the Q, the more time the patient will spend lying down because lying down is the only time they come close to having sufficient cardiac output to survive. Cheney states that it is important to note that the body does not sacrifice tissue perfusion equally across all organ systems: instead, it prioritises the order of sacrifice and one can observe the progression of ME/CFS in a patient by noting this prioritisation. Invest in ME Charity Nr 1114035 (continued on page 63) Page 62/72

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