Post-exertion Malaise & Cortisol in ME/CFS

Overwhelming post-exertional malaise as a result of minimal cognitive, emotional or physical effort is the primary symptom of ME/CFS. Cortisol is an essential hormone for immune function. Cortisol is produced in the adrenal glands where it enters into the circulation to dampen inflammation. Many studies have shown that cortisol is low in ME/CFS patients – known as hypocortisolism.  Recent articles find increased cortisol receptor expression is associated with post-exertion malaise (PEM), low cortisol is associated with more severe PEM and a return of cortisol to normal levels is associated with recovery. In this month’s research digest, three studies that look at the effect of cortisol on function and post-exertional malaise in ME/CFS were reviewed and can be accessed for reading by the links below. Post-exertion malaise in chronic fatigue syndrome: symptoms and gene expression Stress management skills, cortisol awakening response, and post-exertional malaise in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The role of hypocortisolism in chronic fatigue syndrome.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments are closed.