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Hormone Imbalance may lead to prolonged fatigue

by Medindia Content Team on  November 29, 2002 at 4:57 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
Hormone Imbalance may lead to prolonged fatigue
According to a new study researchers observe that stress hormones may be disregulated in people with chronic fatigue. The HPA (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal) axis is a hormonal system that helps the body deal with physical and psychological stress. The end result is the production of the stress hormone cortisol by the adrenal glands.
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Chronic fatigue is characterized by aches, pains and overwhelming tiredness. It's cause is not well understood, but some patients do improve on hydrocortisone, which is closely related to cortisol.

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Researchers in Germany and Switzerland have studied a group of patients with chronic fatigue and a control group. They subjected them to hormone tests during physical and psychological stress testing. Those with chronic fatigue were found to have lower than normal levels of ACTH, a hormone preceding cortisol in the HPA axis. This suggests a fruitful approach in the search for the cause of chronic fatigue. It may also explain why hydrocortisone causes some improvement - it may restore the balance to the HPA axis.

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