Health and Environmental Illness

Resources about environmental illness and non-drug treatments

ME/CFS Cardiac Issues

Abnormal Impedance Cardiography Predicts Symptom Severity in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (abstract)
by Arnold Peckerman, PhD, et al, The American Journal of the Medical Sciences, August 2003

The implications of this study are discussed by Dr. Paul Cheney, MD, in Carol Sieverling's articles:

The Heart of the Matter: CFS and Cardiac Issues
by Carol Sieverling
Continued: The Heart of the Matter: CFS and Cardiac Issues
by Carol Sieverling

The study demonstrated that cardiac output measures the level of disability in CFS and correlates to post-exertional fatigue. Dr. Cheney notes that the patients in the study were not as ill as his own patients.

Carol Sieverling's articles are based on transcripts and tapes of conversations with Dr. Cheney on cardiac insufficiency in CFS. In CFS, Dr. Cheney says, cardiac output is lower than normal. When a CFS patient stands up, the further drop in cardiac output puts the patient into borderline organ failure. To maintain blood pressure, the patient's body sacrifices the microcirculation of the blood to body tissues (tissue perfusion). The progression of inadequate tissue perfusion throughout body tissues parallels the progression of CFS.

He cites the similarities between CFS and cardiomyopathy; and he discusses the nitric oxide / peroxynitrite cycle (see also Neural Sensitization Protocol) and treatments.

Cardiac Insufficiency Hypothesis
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Society of America
This article discusses Dr. A. Martin Lerner, who diagnoses CFS through cardiac abnormalities, as well as Dr. Cheney. It contains a large bibliography with links.

Klimas, Wessely, and NICE: Redefining CBT (PDF)
by Margaret Williams, November 10, 2006
This article includes notes from a seminar by Dr. Cheney that reviews the serious cardiac dysfunction, structural cardiac problems, and risk of heart failure in CFS patients.

"According to Cheney, aerobic exercise may kill the patient with (ME)CFS."

Circulatory Impairment in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis: A Preliminary Thesis
by Maryann Sturgin,, June 14, 2016

Updated 6/15/2017